“If you’re going to kill the animal it seems only polite to use the whole thing.”
The first stop on my Magical Mystery Vacation Tour ™ was a few days spent in London, England. As soon as I knew that would be on the itinerary, I put a visit to the St. John restaurant as #1 on my to-do list in London. I’ve been to London before, but this was a place that I was not able to visit due to time, lack of funds, and the lack of desire of my travelling companion to eat there. This time, I vowed, I would eat there solo if I had to. Luckily, my two friends were interested in sampling the food too! For some odd reason, I didn’t write down any notes – during or after the dinner. But I’ve got notes on every other place I ate at during the month so I’m not quite sure what happened. Please bear with me if my memory is a little hazy on details.
St. John restaurant
Founded by English chef Fergus Henderson, there are actually two St. John restaurants in London – the original, which is the one I went to, and St. John Bread and Wine, which has a few different menu items and a bakery. The original restaurant won a Michelin star in 2009 and maintained its star for the 2010 guide. Their specialty is nose to tail eating, where they serve offal among other things.
The restaurant is rather nondescript from the outside and was almost easy to miss, especially because it is located in Smithfield, a neighbourhood full of restaurants and bars, as well as the centuries-old Smithfield meat market.
St. John exterior
The inside of the restaurant is very simple too – white walls, white paper tablecloths… even the waiters were dressed in almost all white. The first thing you see when you enter the building is the bar area which is a little more casual and has a number of tables and chairs for dining. The restaurant itself is up a small staircase.
St. John interior
St. John interior with view of bar side
The kitchen was open to the dining room and I was able to take a slightly blurry photo. If you look closely you can see the whole pig that someone pre-ordered for a party that evening!
St. John kitchen
Too many things going on right now. Between work and trip planning and events, I haven’t had much time for myself, let alone to think about the blog other than to write up posts as quickly as I am able.
I’m slowly getting back into the groove. Too many things happened all at once – first I was recovering from my trip where I crammed way too many things in (as usual), and then some personal things came up that required my attention. But expect more here soon.
It took me 2 1/2 hours just to catch up on my blog reading. Either I’m following too many blogs or people write posts way too often!
- I was supposed to go to the 2nd Edmonton Foodie Meetup but I screwed up and got lost. After 20 minutes of driving around I gave up and went home. Other people managed to find their way though, and it looks like they had some fantastic eats. *wipes away a tear* See here, here, here and here for photos and memories.
- Nose to Tail At Home, a blogger working his way through the offally St. John cookbook, scored an interview with Fergus Henderson himself. (And another one with general manager Thomas Blythe.)
- Rasa Malaysia has some great photos of a soy sauce factory in Penang where they make it by hand.
- The Chicago Tribune searches for answers to food mysteries like how does Jell-O gel or popcorn pop.
- Whistler, B.C.’s Araxi will be where Gordon Ramsay’s next Hell’s Kitchen winner will get a chef’s job. This explains Ramsay’s praise of the restaurant in some interviews I’ve seen, and will be great promotion for the place prior to next year’s olympics.
- Edmonton and the Alberta Farm Writers’ Association will be host to the next Canadian Farm Writers’ Federation conference, from September 10 to 13, 2009. The social media session looks interesting but I’m not sure the rest of the sessions would be my cup of tea.
- These have to be the CUTEST food wedding favours ever.
- There is a great article on improving your food writing over at the Food Blog Alliance. It’s something I’ve been thinking about recently, so I found it helpful.
- And lastly, if you like Threadless.com you should check out Threadcakes – the cake contest based on Threadless t-shirts. There’s still time to submit entries! Or just look at all the pictures and marvel at people’s creativity.
And just to show you all that I truly have a boring life, tonight’s big plans are a trip to the newly opened 2nd location of T & T. Sad, I know. Maybe I’ll spend enough to get a free set of “Japanese multi-function bowls” or a clay pot….