Phew. My week as a tour guide with my teenage cousin. Done. She's fallen in love with London too. But we always knew that was going to happen, right? Poor girl never had a choice...
Our view of Tower Bridge at lunch. What's not to love? (I shrieked at her)
Some highlights of our practically perfect London week, more details to follow once I've recovered:
- Walking 800 miles in a 8 mile radius
- Crawling onto bus and boat tours thankful for a break
- Singing our hearts out at Singin In The Rain. Possibly just me singing...
- Experiencing the most fabulous breakfast at The Wolseley
- Exploring the wonders of the National Theatre at a backstage tour (a must-do)
- Visiting Paris in the middle of Piccadilly at Brasserie Zedel
- Watching The Goonies under the stars on one of our hottest days of the year
- Dining in a rooftop car park bar at Frank's Cafe
- Taking in the beauty of London 40 floors up at Duck and Waffle
- Flying across London in a cable car
- Discovering hidden gems in the middle of The City in Postman's Park
We seemed to spend a lot of time up high...
But came back to ground level for places like this
Peace in The City, Postman's Park
So while I showed off London to her, she introduced me to things such as Fangirling, a bizarre game called Ninja (not the Teenage Mutant Turtle kind), Google Goggles and Sminky Shorts. If you're from Ireland, or familiar with our lovely dialects, you have to watch this YouTube video, trust me.
Sometimes I felt a little old and not so down with it, but then classics such as The Goonies and Ferris Bueller's Day Off united us. And we bonded over our love of shoes, food, shopping and stationery shops. Ah the little sister I never had. Ahem, if my brother is reading this (and he'd better be, I'll know, I always know...) then of course, big brothers are the best. I'd love to tell you her trip to London was my idea, but it all started with The Godfather. So this one's for you GD. It was perfect.
I loved every minute of it. A fun-filled, sight-packed, gourmet tour. So much food, it's dancing in front of my eyes. One such delight, the signature dish at Duck and Waffle, Heron Tower:
The Duck and Waffle, yes that is maple syrup
So while I take a little break from eating out, I need something simple to snack on. Something easy and tasty but healthy. I should really be checking myself in for a food detox about now, but this will have to do instead.
The Snack Attack
Ciabatta (or pitta bread)
2 tablespoons of greek yogurt (or your preferred type of yogurt, I sometimes use coconut)
Cumin and coriander
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius/400 degrees Fahrenheit/gas mark 6. Slice the aubergine in half length ways and drizzle in olive oil. Be generous, like the glass of wine you pour yourself, not a bar measure.
Place on a baking tray and roast for 45 minutes, or until they look a little like this.
5 minutes before the aubergine is finished, brush the ciabatta with olive oil and sprinkle with cumin. Place in the oven with the aubergine until lightly toasted.
Remove the ciabatta and aubergine from the oven. Leave to cool slightly. Then roughly chop and stir in the yogurt. Do leave it to cool, I never do and end up with sticky burned fingers.
Serve and attack. If you have time before scoffing the lot you could add a little coriander.
As a dip with pitta breads
As a side with fish or chicken
But I mostly like to eat this still warm, beside the oven.
Now, back to reality after a blissful week in London. Ah to be 16 again. Sigh.