Easter in London

LONDON - Easter in London has many of the same traditions that I experienced growing up back home. For example we don’t go to work on Good Friday or Easter Monday. The Americans do! I only recently found this out. It struck me as odd as Easter is the most important event in the Christian calendar. You should get a holiday for it.

Cadbury milk eggs

We also eat lots of chocolate Easter eggs. A favourite here are the Cadbury mini eggs. They’re so addictive. But I’d also like to give a shout out to Malteasers Easter bunny chocolate. It’s actually much better than the original Malteasers.

Easter eggs2

Of course, no Easter would be complete without a hot cross bun which is a sweet spiced bun with a white cross on it. The cross obviously represents the crucifixion. It’s supposed to be eaten on Good Friday, but the shops market them very early in the year and I’ve indulged a bit already.

Hot cross buns1

Did you grow up singing the English nursery rhyme ‘hot cross bun’?

Hot cross buns!
Hot cross buns!
One ha’ penny, two ha’ penny,
Hot cross buns!
If you have no daughters,
Give them to your sons
One ha’ penny,
Two ha’ penny,
Hot Cross Buns!

Here’s the tune -

Hot_Cross_Buns_N_Yorks_version

We sang it growing up each Easter.

Here’s a link to a hot cross bun recipe. And here’s a recipe for a bun & butter pudding. I’ve always bought hot cross buns, but it’s fun to try new things. What do you do for Easter in your part of the world? Easter egg hunts?

What does rabbit taste like?

LONDON - What can I say that hasn’t already been said about Borough market? It’s a phenomenal, tourist-packed food market that never fails to deliver some of the best foods from around Britain and the world to the heart of London. It’s not just for amateur cooks like you and I, but a good many professional chefs hob nob here in order to source great ingredients for their culinary dishes. So as you walk around Borough, you feel like you’re in the right place.

On a whim I headed there this Easter weekend and it was nuts. Wall-to-wall people who were on the look out for great food. Well, we all found it.

Yummy!

Lately, I’ve become obsessed with tomatoes and I particularly love roasting them in the oven with olive oil and rosemary. There was this enormous table of tomatoes from around the world with some unusual shapes and colours that I ogled.

What’s not to love about cheese? There was plenty to choose from. One of the things that I liked about the market was that it felt that there was a lot of variety and few vendors mirroring each other. It increased the curiosity factor as  you waded through.

These hot cross buns looked amazing. Just perfect for the Easter weekend.

There were plenty of meat vendors too.

This one had a diverse offering. He sold venison and rabbit burgers.

“What does rabbit taste like,” I asked the butcher inquisitively. He laughed as did some people behind me. Had I asked the wrong question, I thought suddenly.

“What does rabbit taste like?” he repeated. And then I suddenly regretted asking the question because he didn’t hesitate to give me the chicken line. You know the one.

“Oh, tastes like chicken,” he said with a laugh. I faked a smile back but I was annoyed. I mean come on. What does rabbit taste like? Simple question. I kept on looking at him, hoping for an answer and he finally said: “Rabbit is a lot like chicken. And it’s a lot like beef. So, it’s somewhere in between chicken and beef.” And after hearing his final answer, I smiled, said thanks, and moved on.

I didn’t purchase any meat, but instead made my way to a favourite food group…cakes. The first time I headed to Borough market I was so impressed by the cake selections. Today they were selling fast.

I bought this carrot cake with lemon & mascarpone cheese icing from a vender called Cakehole. I’m a bit of a cake snob. I like cakes to be moist and generously iced. This cake was phenomenal! Didn’t waste a crumb…

    

 

I’ll be sure to head to Borough market again soon. Perhaps when there are fewer crowds. They didn’t have any this time, but I’m hoping I can buy some ostrich burgers at my next visit.

It’s Spring time in London…well almost

LONDON – I met up with a friend after work today and we walked through St. James’s Park, spurred on by the late setting sun and warmer temperature. It’s a fantastic outdoor public space that offers you some room to get close to nature in the middle of the city.

If you meander through the park at this time of year, you’ll pass a host of daffodils that remind you that Easter is just around the corner, as is Spring.

We smiled as we spotted some swans, squirrels, ducks and geese too.  And as you pass through, you’ll notice that St. James’s park buttresses Buckingham Palace and you can get some nice shots from the bridge. Or you can turn the other way and get a photo of this:

As soon as it gets warmer, I’m going to rent one of these and just kick back.

Do you wish you could be here in London too?