04 April 2013

British Food Makes Me Happy

Ahhh, London. One of my favorite places in the world (close tie with Lincolnshire in Northern England). It's really not something that should come as a surprise to anyone who knows me or reads this blog.

So not telling ya anything new.

Here's something you may or may not have noticed about me though.

I'm a bit food obsessed.

Like I think about it all the time. What I'm going to eat, when I'm going to eat, and even as I'm eating, thinking about when I'm going to eat next.

Disorder you may think at first...but you'd be wrong. Though I do have Crohn's disease, and that can be a common side effect of having this disease, I don't really have an eating disorder. I'm just passionate. But also, to tie in with the Crohn's, I have to think about food and my stomach at least 99.9% more than the rest of you healthy human beings. My stomach is freaking picky and shit will. hit. the fan. if I am not fed properly.

This is where Britain comes in. I have never had a healthier belly then when in England. (Well...that's not true...I had a healthier belly when I was ten and Crohn's free...but that doesn't fit with the flow, now does it?)

Now I'm not exempt from my Crohn's when I'm there...God no, I wish. But their food just seems to agree with me much more than when I'm at home. Or as my sis-in-law has said before, it might just be because I'm happier there. A happy me can mean a happy belly.

So I just wanted to throw at you a few pictures from last year's annual visit to London. (Yup, no matter the small meager paycheck I seem to be getting at any time, I will find a way to get over to England near the first half of every year. I go to see my friends from uni, when I studied abroad for a year, and then I practically peer pressure my, good humored and lovely, friend Laura to go visit her Mum in Northern England, up in Horncastle specifically. I LOVE it up there and their food.

At the beginning of every trip, I always find myself in the cafe of the Waterstones book store in Greenwich in London. I love it there and more often then not get to see people bring their dogs in while they get a cup of tea. I love that. I would so live in Greenwich if I had the money.
I go from coffee-crazed American, to obsessed tea-drinker Anglophile once I'm on British soil. Love my milky tea. Especially if it's PG Tips.

Last year's trip was just before Easter and so of course my first night in I had to get some Mini Cadbury Eggs. They're crack. And I'm a full on supporter of Cadbury Dairy Milk. God it's so creamy and delicious. Nothing like the stuff they sell in America.
And while at home in the US, I never eat little cakes (think Little Debbie kind of things) because after about 1 my stomach revolts...but not in England. Maybe it was all the walking. I definitely was carrying around a box of Cadbury Mini Egg cakes in my purse. Not kidding.
I am a class act. Don't you forget it.
And for my night in as well.

As for other sweets, I went to Ben's Cookies no less than 4 times on my last trip. Last year I was extremely lucky in that my fabulous American friend Megan had planned her trip to London around the same time as my trip, on accident, and our visits overlapped. We got to hang out and stuff our faces together on numerous occasions. That's what friends are for. Stuffing faces full of carb-y goodness together.

(We were big on sharing...and making sure we tried ALL the cookies. Orange Chocolate on the left side and Dark Chocolate Chip on the right. Both were amazing, but Orange Chocolate always wins as best in my book.)

Megan and I also went over to Brick Lane. First time there for the both of us. Shocking, I know. We had just one hour to spend there since we were meeting her friend to go have dinner and see Billy Elliot, so of course we needed a snack first...before going to dinner.

Makes perfect sense to me.
I present to you....curry wrapped in dough. AMAZING. Brilliant job, Brick Lane Indian shop. Well done. Everything was fried in the one we went into...the smell was calling to us.
Copyright Megan S.

It was a little spicy....and we're a little dorky.

Copyright Megan S. Actually I just stole both photos from her Facebook.

Nice photo of us, so you don't think us completely deranged.

And check out the view on our way to dinner. Green Park is gorgeous. And I felt I owed you another non-food photo.

Delicious and amazing, steak and ale pie from a pub in Greenwich.

Another traditional dish, and make Lindsay's tummy happy dish. Bangers and mash.

I also, amazingly, found a hidden-gem coffee shop on Tottenham Court Road. Where they actually serve espresso the right way...one shot only and with a bit of water and dark chocolate to cut it with. The chocolate croissant is just cause I can't go long periods without carbs/chocolate. Long periods usually spans 2 hours.
Though I'm still quite tea mad when I'm over in England.
Who loves a cream tea? ME! Especially at The Orangery at Kensington Palace.
I stayed right near Russell Square (for a week before I stayed with Laura) and it was near Le Cordon Bleu cafe. Lovely place.

And I'm also pie mad.
That there is cooked red cabbage, COVERED IN GRAVY. As all veg should be. I insist.
I have a favorite pub I go to right by London Bridge tube. It's a bit touristy, but I always find the upstairs area to be a nice reprieve from the world and the food is as delicious as the last time I visited. And I visit The Bunch of Grapes on every visit.

And fish and chips mad.

Eaten at my FAVORITE hidden pub in Oxford. That my friend Brian introduced me to a few years ago when he went to Oxford. Yes, I am friends with many smart people.

Turf Tavern, Oxford. I've linked it before and I'll link it again.

Additionally, there's also two food companies I'm hooked on, mainly because of my time studying abroad in London. Wagamamas is a chain that, currently, is only in Boston in the US, and I don't even think their menu is the same. I adore their food and always get the same thing. Some dish with rice and chicken and veg and sauce. It's awesome. But not called that on the menu. Cause that wouldn't be classy.
Rice, chicken, veg, sauce. Awesome.
Now this is actually the one I'm a bit embarrassed about. All my British friends think I'm a little weird because of my love of Greggs....well, all the my British friends think I'm weird period...but I keep blaming it on the American-ness in me (shhhh, don't tell them I'm weird over here too.)

I just can't help it. I love the fact that you have to identify what you're eating by the color of the mush inside. Steak pasty is brown, chicken is yellow, veg is white....not sure why. But there you have it.

Oh look...sometimes I'm not stuffing my face. I swear. I can be a normal tourist and do normal tourist things...that don't involve taking pictures of my favorite foods.
Pretty, pretty princess. And I still have those boots.
Sometimes I would go to fancy food places and actually eat fancy food.

Lentil salad with a poached egg on top. Pretty much my idea of heaven.
Fancy pasta. With mozzarella. The fanciest of cheeses. And apparently only one basil. JIPPED!
Fancy lady and her booze. Before the lentil salad.

But really, I'm not fancy. I am also kind of poor and would eat my breakfasts in church cafeteria's. Pro-tip guys: most of the Church's in London have a cafeteria and they are really quality food (re:edible) for cheap prices! Hurrah!
And I love me a good touristy breakfast. Full English at a cheap place outside of the  British Museum.

Look fancy bruschetta from Pizza Express. Another chain favorite.

And sometimes I ate fish that wasn't fried. But that was just the one time.

Majority of the time, I'm a die hard British classics fan.

Yes, that is baked beans on a baked potato. Because the Brits are GENIUS.
Nope didn't eat the salad.

Roast dinner with Yorkshire Pudding (that fluffy white thing in the upper right hand corner. Sometime I will learn how to make Yorkshire Pudding and when that day comes...I will put on 30 pounds of pure joy.

Not classic British. Just to show you that the food is the same in just about every Chinatown.

Me and Laura. She's very British. And I am very American. We make an odd pair.

I am lucky in that I have Laura as a friend. In years past, because I was too poor to pay for any place to stay, she would always let me stay with her and her boyfriend (now fiance!!!) Miles and she cooked delicious meals. When we lived together at uni (that's how we met, we were flatmates...yay for integrated programs!) we were both on our own for the first time and she decided to show me how to cook. I had never really cooked anything, outside of my tummy-favorite of that time period: cooked pasta with green peppers and Italian dressing...yup. My stomach goes through weird food phases.

Cooking together helped both of us get over homesickness...though the very first baked potato I made without her supervision ended up being so rock hard that my knife got stuck and I had to throw it all away, knife included. To this day, we are still puzzled as to how I could have gotten a potato rock hard. One of the mysteries of life people.
Sausage and veg that Laura made me. She's very smart and cooked healthy things cause she knew the kind of stuff I was eating out on my own.
And bless her heart, she would always be okay with me begging to head up north to visit her family. I just love it up there so much. Lincolnshire and Horncastle are just lovely! Last year, Laura, her mum, her sister and I went over to Laura's great Aunt's house where she cooked a whole spread for us. One of the nicest things somebody can do for me. Nobody should be surprised that I am moved by food. You can't see much in this photo cause I was trying to take it covertly without being looked at strange (too late, I'm American, I welcome strange looks alllll the time!)
I did indeed make sure to eat all the fried pastry dough items first. Then a side of veg. And 20 thousand cups of tea.
Okay...well. This officially is the longest post ever. I still have more food photos from last years trip that I haven't included. Aren't you disappointed I didn't include them. I'm kind of sad.

Definitely not going to apologize about the subject matter of this post. In fact, I'll probably return to it again and again and look fondly on all my delicious times.

Each year's visit is different for me because my Crohn's is always changing a bit. Last year I had terrible times with dairy. But I'm okay with dairy now...though jury's out on how much bread items I can digest. And my portion sizes are ridiculously small. To the point where people worry if I'm eating enough.

My stomach always seems to take a bit of a break for me when I'm over in England though. Not too worried.

Get excited for my post when I go on about the food from this month's trip to London. I'm sure it will be EPIC and THRILLING.


Lindsay xxxx

Look at the pretty photo I took last year of Parliament and Big Ben. No filter. No Instagram even. Though if you want to follow me on Instagram now, I'm @LindsayDinsyDay (same on Twitter, my favorite!) No surprise, I take mostly pictures of food and my dog, Charlie. You're welcome.
Copyright ME. LindsayDinsyDay.

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