Sunday, August 11, 2013

Our Last Sunday in London

We all comfortably slept in this morning.  Loren went out for a long walk while Don and I stayed home reading and working on crossword puzzles!!
Although we had eaten a fantastic dinner last night up in Chobham and really weren't that hungry, nothing was going to stop us from having our traditional roast beef and Yorkshire Pudding at a traditional Carvery Pub.  We googled "Carvery Pubs in Hammersmith" and the one that sounded pretty good was The Raven.  We called to make sure they were serving the really traditional buffet and they assured us that they were.
We took a walk, guided by Siri who took us through Ravenscourt Park which is really quite extensive with swimming pools, tennis courts, a number of playground areas and dog parks.  It's a real gem of the neighborhood. 

What struck me was the variety of houses.  It was almost as if each street sported its own unique style of architecture.  There was little variety on each street, but great variety from street to street.

We arrived at The Raven and walked in to a large bar with a huge TV screen showing the latest Test Game of cricket with England playing against Australia.  Walking through the bar we came to a dining area and the kitchen - and there was the buffet.

Don's eyes lit up!  We had found our Traditional Sunday British Buffet.  Not only was there roast beef, roast potatoes, gravy and Yorkshire pudding, but there was also turkey, lamb, ham and pork.

Don said we must try the Crackling which was also available.  I had heard a lot about crackling which actually is deep fat fried Pigs' skin.  In my mind I had thought it was going to be like the crunchy outside of a pork roast.  instead, it was very tough and greasy.  The flavor was actually quite good, but the effort to get that flavor was more than I was willing to put in to it.  I have determined the reason it is called "crackling" is that you are very liable to "crack" a tooth eating it!!

The chef came over to check on us and we raved about his meal.  don said, "This is the best Carvery in all of London."  (We didn't tell him it's the only one we had found since we arrived!!)  He was very pleased and asked how long we would be staying.  He was very disappointed to hear we wouldn't be here on Friday as he was doing a test Christmas Dinner so that people could get their orders in.  He showed us the menu and it was amazing with lamb and chicken pate, stuffed mushrooms, bourbon soaked turkey and on and on and on.  I asked him how he learned to cook such fancy things and his story unfolded.  He cooked for the Sultan of Oman.  He served meals to Idi Amin and Sadaam Hussein!!!  His name was David Prema Kumak and he was from Sri Lanka.  He worked on the "private warship" of the Sultan!!  We were dumbstruck.  Maybe we truly had stumbled upon the best carvery in all of London!!

We did our last bit of grocery shopping on our way home and then I ducked in to Marks & Spencer to buy some shortbread and English marmalade.  When I was checking out the cashier asked me if I would like what sounded to me like "a tea bag."  "A tea bag?" I enquired thinking perhaps Marks & Spencer gave out free tea bags!!
"A P bag,"  she clarified.
"A P bag?  What is a P bag?" I asked.
The lady picked up a think plastic bag.  She was asking if I needed a bag.  "Oh, a bag.  Are you asking me to pay a Pound for that bag?"
"A Pence," she patiently responded.
"Oh,yes, thank you very much!!"

My sister Janet asked me if I was able to understand the Brits.  When I watch British TV at home, it takes me well 5 minutes in to the show to  accustom myself to the accent before I can understand everything.  Here in London, I'm understanding most of the words;  it's the meaning that I;m not getting all the time.  This exchange with the cashier at Marks & Spencer is a perfect example of speaking the same language but knowing you're in a foreign country.

On the way home I went a different route and came across a very funny sign.  It said, 

"It Rains More in Rome than it Does in London. Quit Whinging."

 We had a lite dinner of salad and a slice of pork/egg pie.  I suggested that since it was our last Sunday, we try to see if we might get a good BBC movie on TV.  We haven't watched TV since we arrived, and I thought it might be fun to watch BBC in London!  Don and Loren said they thought that was a nice idea.  Don put the TV on and disappeared in to the garden.  Loren went upstairs to get on the computer, and I was left on the couch watching The Mill - a horrid story set in a Mill town in Cheshire, England around the mid-1800's.  The owners treat their child apprentices horribly and it was quite depressing.  Thankfully it was almost over so I didn't have to watch very much of it.

The next show to follow was The White Queen - a new 10 part series recently aired by BBC.  This takes place in Medieval England.  The year is 1464 and England has been at war for nine years battling over who is the rightful King – it is a war between two sides of the same family, The House of York and The House of Lancaster. 'm not sure which part I was watching, but I think I needed some background in order to follow it.  But once again the ruthlessness of the British was gloriously portrayed as two young boys (presumably princes in line for the throne) were being held in a tower and their beheading was being plotted.

Ah, the noble history of England!!

Here I was, all by myself, watching BBC...   I kept nodding off, and finally packed it in and went to bed!


Anonymous said...

Thanks again for your lovely informative
I read them each morning when I get up over my coffee.
Great way to keep in touch.

Happy final days in London.....
Love, Emmy

Glorita Jucá said...

I'm sorry I've not been here often to comment, but I assure you I read every line of your blog! Once again, you have captured the beauty of little things and the sense of the place. I so much enjoyed reading about Don's, Loren's and your steps around town, the thrilling things you saw and experienced, the pints you gushed down and the tasty food you tasted. I have a very different view of London today, thanks to your blog.
Thank you for this marvelous gift!
Now, regarding your good-byes, what do you think of having tea at the Savoy? or a drink at the American Bar at the Savoy? Hum, that would be a crowning finale.
A big hug to all of you and a safe trip back home.