scenes from england and wales

December 2, 2011

My lovelies, we just got back from two weeks spent in England and Wales, where I’m from. It was an absolute whirlwind, as always, but amazing fun.

Our first night was spent in a pub on the Thames overlooking Tower Bridge, eating bangers and mash, drinking beer and cider, and feeling absolutely giddy to be home.

We spent the next couple of days in my home town of Reading, with two of my favourite people ever, eating fish finger sandwiches and visiting my old haunts.

In Wales we got to see my parents’ new home and revisit Porthcawl where I spent many a childhood day rock climbing the coast and eating fish and chips. Pretty awesome to be able to show it all to Dan. We also got to visit gorgeous Brecon and wander the town eating Welsh cakes, exploring the cathedral and loving all the Welsh accents. If only I could pronounce my own name the way they do…

Once back in London we spent lots of wonderful time with my sister, staying at her flat as a base and adventuring from there. There was time spent with old friends in cafes and bookshops; walks along the Thames; a visit to Borough Market and so much delicious food that – good god – it was lucky we were walking so dang much or we might have popped at any given moment.

On a Thursday afternoon we had lunch at NOPI which was a complete dream. What an inventive, delicious menu! We shared five plates including roasted cauliflower with ricotta, golden raisins, capers; winter coleslaw; seared prawns with fennel, white oregano, and feta; roasted beef sirloin with almonds, spinach and pecorino sardo; and slow cooked pork belly, coco bean cassoulet and salsa verde. Yeah.

We loved every single dish although the prawns and beef sirloin really stole my heart (as did our server, who brought us extra bread to sop up the juice from the prawn dish. Genius). And I didn’t take a single picture, too busy was I making sure I enjoyed every last second.

Then there was last Sunday when over thirty of us descended on a pub in central London for nine hours of catching up, drinking beer, and eating lovely roast dinners. Waves of friends came and went, which could have been slightly overwhelming but instead was just awesome, awesome fun.

Now we’re back in Minnesota and…winter has arrived. We were spoiled with mild weather and sunny days in the UK and yesterday we woke up to snow and some proper chilly weather. It’s hunker-down time.

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