EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND – One of my favourite sights in Scotland was the Royal Yacht Britannia. It’s vintage and classy and used to sail the royal family around the world. But the Queen’s no longer allowed to use it as it’s too expensive to keep up (also the Labour government decided not to replace the yacht when they came to power in 1997) so now it’s berthed at a dock in Edinburgh where tourists such as I get to peek inside and get a glimpse of her former life for £12 (headset included).
Boy is this queen spoiled. The yacht was used for 40 years and travelled over 1 million miles to faraway places including the South Pacific.
Surprisingly, the Queen and her husband didn’t even share a bedroom! She slept on a single. I guess she just needed some space.
The one thing that stood out to me was the class structure that was so visible on this ship. The upper class on the upper deck and the working class below. Apart from that, it was the special telephone that was used to call the Queen and Duke that had me smiling as well as the Phantom Rolls Royce they had aboard. I wish I could remember the statistics more, but the crew on board was large and there was even a mini hospital too. But even larger than that was the laundry room. Also, all the clocks were stopped at 3:02…not sure if it was AM or PM or even what the significance is behind this. But it was an interesting detail.
Apparently the Queen cried at the decommissioning ceremony attended by senior royals. Did she shed any tears for Di? Anyway, what’s your favourite royal attraction?
LONDON – With summer here, berries are now in season and taste fantastic. I love the different varieties. There’s so much that you can make with berries. Jam is on my to do list. But first I decided to make a British classic – Eton mess. It’s so simple and so good. My guests didn’t waste any time in eating this dessert.
- Crush meringues into small pieces and place in a dessert bowl.
- Whip some cream and small amount of sugar and spoon a few dobs on top
- Sprinkle liberally with berries.
According to google, Eton mess is traditionally served at Eton College’s annual cricket game against Harrow School.
Note: A true Eton mess is served with strawberries. But it’s just as good with any type of berry really.
LONDON – I’ve never been one to enjoy biting into an apple. It always makes the hair on my neck stand up. But I do enjoy the occasional golden delicious variety. However, when it comes to baking with apples, I’m a big fan.
One of my favourite recipes is apple crumble. It smells so great when it’s being prepared in the kitchen and it tastes so good. Here’s a recipe I’ve used since my varsity days. So simple.
2 cans of apples (I prefer the tinned kind because they’re soaked in their juices and bake nicely)
pinch of salt
2 tbl butter, melted
1-2 tsp cinnamon
some cloves, whole
1 cup and 2 tbl sugar (I like to use a brown sugar)
1 cup oats
1 cup flour
1 cup butter
- First, grease a baking tin. I typically use a lasagne dish. Preheat the oven to 180 C.
- Pour the apples into a bowl and mix with cinnamon, cloves, salt, 2 tbl sugar and 2 tbl melted butter
- Pour the apples into the lasagne dish
- Mix the flour, oats, remaining sugar and butter till it resembles chunky crumbs.
- Spoon this over the apples
- Bake for up to 1 hour or until the top is golden and crisp.
- Best served with vanilla ice cream or double thick cream
What else are apples good for?
SOUTHBANK, LONDON – It’s not just kids who like this ride, but grown ups too. A fun way to escape.