Wednesday, 16 July 2014

The Weekend, Part 2...

So, as you may have noticed that my last post stated an intriguing ‘Part 1’ in its title. Intriguing I say, as two weeks have been and gone since it was published and still there is not even a whiff of ‘Part 2’... Well never fear, the weekend did not end with hummus and drag queens as you have no doubt been wondering for all this time; oh no, there was much more room for eating than that...

Yup, as you may have gathered, the last post only touched on the breakfast, lunch and dinner (how I like to portion out all of my days), of Saturday, leaving a whole new day of brunch, afternoon tea and midnight feast to get my rumbling tummy, and foodie ramblings on this very blog, engaged with. I mean, come on, you didn’t really think I spent a whole day without batting my boyfriends fork out of his hand as he dared to begin eating before I had snapped his brioch-bunned burger, did you?  

So, after an evening of falafel (see here), followed by fiddles and foot stamping watching Once at the Phoenix theatre, Sunday started the only way a sunny day should- with croissants, flat whites and strawberries on Clapham Common. A few dodgy cartwheels (from Mr. R) and an unexpectedly spectacular handstand (from yours truly) later, it was time to get eating. Our first port of call was Brick Lane, where hustle, bustle and beigels are on the menu every Sunday, easily making it the perfect destination for the wandering foodie with mouths to fill and guests to entertain.

We headed straight to the Sunday UpMarket, held in the concrete floored, rough and ready warehouse that once housed the Old Truman Brewery just off the neon signed, curry scented throng of Brick Lane itself. Open every Sunday come rain or shine, the mouth-watering smells emulating from the bubbling pans of rich, sticky lamb tagine or smouldering hotplates adorned with kimchi stuffed Okonomyaki from Brixton favourite Okan; ensure that you will never leave hungry, and, after temptation no doubt gets the better of you, seldom with a spare pound left in you pocket. This is a hungry person’s Mecca. Yup, as a perpetually hungry person, the giant pans of smoky paella, great hunks of Cuban barbequed pork, cumin rich falafel and spicy pans of punchy Ethipian beef stew make this treasure trove my absolute favourite haunt for Sunday lunch.
The indecisive amongst you (and this includes me...) beware; this hall of steaming pans and vintage Barbours (not roasted; don’t worry- The market does clothes, jewellery and other tempting fancies too...), this is no Burger and Lobster. There is enough choice here to turn even the most decisive into a shivering mess under a rail of beaded 80’s playsuits. An even bigger issue if your lunch-mate professes to suffering from a severe and debilitating food-sharing allergy...

This time around, it was a refreshing cup of pepper spiked gazpacho, fragrant with cucumber and sweet, juicy tomato that tickled my fancy- the perfect partner to a paper plate stacked with golden pork and spring onion dumplings, smothered in spicy chilli sauce, soy and (not entirely authentic) Sarson’s malt vinegar. Delicious. And leaving just enough room for a legendary salt beef stacked, pillow soft beigel from the famous Beigel Bake, heady with bright yellow mustard and still warm from the boiling and baking process that goes on out back 24 hours a day. Follow that with a big slice of the renowned Jewish bakery’s creamy baked cheesecake, crumbling as you bite from the sticky white paper bag, and always managing to pack the perfect sweet, salty, slightly sour punch. A foodie’s dream.

Well fed, slightly soggy from an unexpected (shorts were the wrong outfit choice, as it turned uot) downpour, and slightly tipsy after a near perfect round of mojitos, Bloody Marys and Negroni-esque Rumdog Millionaires from the seductively lit Redchurch Bar at the end of Brick Lane (well, what else do you do in the rain??), the day concluded with a very civilised sashay around the beautiful, flower fronted and couture filled halls of my favourite department store- Liberty’s. With its iconic white and black beamed frontage frilled with frothy, neon pink hydrangeas and fragrant prongs of vibrant lavender plants in brushed metal tubs; this couture playground is the velvet and silk filled sum of every girly-girl’s dream.  The mirror-shined wooden floors, tables adorned with glistening rainbows of pattern splattered silk scarves and shelves stacked with an array of butter-soft, gold edged Charlotte Olympia pumps; this place is what shopping must have been like before Primark somehow made piles of scrumpled vest tops and floors covered in bejewelled flip-flops the done thing.

After a quick stop off for smoky pulled pork and fluffy jalepeno cornbread at the neon lit, cartoon strip wallpapered Jamie’s Diner in Piccadilly Circus, it was time for my guests to go on their merry way from whence they came and for me to pass out on the sofa, comatosed by too much food and too many mojitos.

The. Perfect. Weekend.

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