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I really really love London.  But it completely ruins me!

Back from a 4 day trip to the city, where I had a brilliant time but don’t think I’ve ever felt so tired in my entire life.  I feel broken, my knee has been out of joint since Sunday and is ridiculously painful, so walking around for hours on end really hasn’t done it much good!

We saw some brilliant shows, 2 comedy gigs and ‘Ghost’ the musical.  Initially I didn’t want to see Ghost as I’d not seen the film and wasn’t really interested, but actually really enjoyed it.  The special effects were fantastic and I will definitely watch the film now to see if the musical did it justice.

For me, the main source of anxiety about the trip was obviously going to be the food.  And dear god was there a lot of food.  At times I was anxious, nervous, stressed, frustrated, unreasonable, preoccupied, and a whole lot of other emotions associated with anorexia but, I had a brilliant time and ate some gorgeous food.  My only wish is that I didn’t panic so much before hand.

Highlights:

The breakfast

Really is ace.  Ate the same every morning, and as I predicted didn’t pace myself.  The day started as follows:

  • (1) Bowl of porridge with maple syrup, apricots and raisins
  • (2) Poached egg, bacon, beans, mushroom & tomato on brown toast
  • (3) Tea
  • (4) Fruit salad (melon/mixed berries/apricots/raisins)
  • (5) Brown toast with honey
  • (6) Coffee

In one sitting.  This was followed by an overly full sicky feeling for a while.  I tried to be brave with the bacon, because it’s something my family have a lot at home and I always decline.  I used to love it but honestly, it was too salty for me and didn’t really like it that much.  I wanted to prove to Mum I could be ‘normal’ but I don’t think she realised how hard it was for me to eat it, and eat the mushrooms which were dripping in butter and made my heart beat at a crazy pace.  Still, I ate it every morning and survived.

Afternoon tea

This calls for another bullet pointed list.  Bear in mind that this was eaten after what was for me, was a monsterous breakfast.

  • Some sort of savoury profiterole thing (horrible – had Gruyère cheese in ick ick ick)
  • 5 x sandwiches (coronation chicken, cucumber & cream cheese, smoked salmon & creme fraiche, beef & horseradish, egg & cress)
  • 2 x scones with jam
  • Lemon Madeline
  • Gingerbread cake
  • 2 x Mini Mince Pies
  • Chocolate Yule log
  • Blackberry crumble cake
  • Lemon mousse pie
  • Raspberry & Passionfruit mousse cake
  • Chocolate, Praline & Caramel cake

Needless to day – I was pretty full after that.  We ate in Fortnum and Mason and although it is beautiful, I can’t believe people can afford to eat in places like that regularly!  Although there were a fair few tourists (like us) in there, you can tell the people who are regular visitors.  The whole day was lovely actually, Mum and I had our first ever manicures (which I smudged within 30 seconds of them being finished like a complete idiot), then afternoon tea followed by a theatre trip.  It truly was a touristy day!

We also visited Camden, some of the markets there were ace and I’d have loved to spend longer there.  We had to meet my brother from the station so were only there for around 3 hours it wasn’t nearly long enough!  Bought some jewellery, Christmas decorations and a pretty snazzy clock.

Other foodie bits, ate lunch twice in Covent Garden at a soup place on the bottom level which was really good.  We had chicken stew with rice one day and butternut squash with crusty bread the next.

PUDS & CAKE!

Despite feeling apprehensive around food, I do still love a good pud.  The day we arrived I had ice cream after dinner (cinnamon, walnut & maple syrup and raspberry flavours) YUM.  We had eaten at a Turkish restaurant called Sofra and I had a lovely fish stew which looked pretty healthy when it arrived – I therefore had no guilty feelings at all when it came to ice cream!

Monday was the major “cake fest” at Fornum & Mason.

Tuesday we ate at a Thai restaurant on St Christopher’s walk which was a hell of a lot more expensive than we initially realised :0.  It was faultless though, my venison was perfect and although we had a mini heart attack when the bill arrived, we justified it with the excuse ‘we’re on holiday…’.  Rather than pay a ridiculous amount of money for dessert there, and because we had 2 hours to kill before the gig we headed to Soho to find coffee and cake.  Stumbled upon a very strange looking cafe which bizarrely seemed to revolve around Mango.  Mum hates Mango but my brother loves it and I’m indifferent, so we took a vote & headed in (only because they had a ‘non-mango lovers’ section for Mum).  There was a good choice of cakes but then I spotted the trusty scone.  It had to be the scone.  Although I maybe should have branched out & got something different, the scones were nice (2 arrived which I wasn’t expecting!)  I think Mum was a bit annoyed that I hadn’t pushed myself, but meh, 2 scones is better than nothing right?

Wednesday’s cake was the best by far.  We ate lunch in Covent Garden again & wandered round town showing my brother some of the sights and then went to find somewhere to have coffee & cake to waste some time before we got the train.  There’s so much choice in London!  We tried all the side streets but finally settled on a French or Italian (can’t remember) looking cafe/restaurant on Piccadilly because the cakes in the window made me drool.  There was so much choice!  I got in a bit of a faff, partly because I wasn’t exactly sure what a lot of the cakes were (they looked stunning but hard to tell what they were!) and partly because my mind was arguing over – choosing something I like the look of, choosing something safe, choosing something braver, or choosing something I thought Mum would want me to have…so much indecision.  I looked like an imbecile pacing back and forth in front of the counter saying ‘Do I want cheesecake?  No, I want an ice cream Sundae, ahh but look at that Raspberry mousse, or the chocolate cheesecake looks so nice…’.  It was embarrassing and the waitress looked less than impressed when I asked her what each & every cake was.

I know this isn’t interesting to read in the slightest, but I want to write down how I felt and what my thought processes were so I can attempt to alter them and make sensible decisions.

  • I wanted ice cream because it’s something I’m comfortable with and not scared of.  I love it.  I didn’t choose it because Mum’s face screamed disapproval.
  • The Raspberry mousse bomb looked pretty but it was fairly small in comparison to the cakes and Mum would have probably been a bit peeved.
  • They did scones – out of the question.  I needed to be braver.
  • I really really wanted cheesecake.  The chocolate one looked gorgeous and rich, a bit like a chocolate tart but it scared me a bit.  The fat/calorie content seemed to override everything on this one.  There were strawberry & raspberry ones as well but they were bigger (in height) than the chocolate one so that also scared me.
  • Then there was the Praline cake and the Coffee, Chocolate and Hazelnut cake.  Mum was having the Praline so I decided not to choose that one because I would still get to try hers.  I settled on the Coffee, Choc & Hazlenut cake, finally, then the second I sat down panicked and couldn’t stop talking about the chocolate cheesecake.  I’m such a prat.

Ok now back to the cake – it was stunning.  Genuinely = no guilty feelings after this whatsoever.  Worth every gram of fat and every calorie in there.  Seriously good!  Photo to follow :).

Got a boots meal deal for the train back which I wasn’t really hungry for but ate anyway.  Then had a chocolate, caramel & marshmallow bar which I bought from Cyber Candy (where they sell ace chocolate bars not usually available in the UK), then the ticket lady went past with loads of Mince Pies from 1st class which she was dishing out for free.  I chased her down the train!  Took two off her and ate them both.  I was so full, horribly so, but I think part of me relishes being “away” and I use it as a time to eat like a pig and since we were on our way back home where I settle into bad habits so easily – I was making the most of it.  Felt rotten afterwards though, too full!

Afternoon Tea: (Some of the sandwiches and a lot of the cakes are not pictured, we chose more after we’d eaten those on the stand) I wish I’d have taken a better photo!

Tuesday’s Cakes:

Wednesday’s Cakes:

I also bought of these, which I am so so so excited to eat!  It was my favourite cereal when I was younger and you can’t buy it in the supermarkets here anymore.  I know you can get it from some shops, and in Selfridges, but seriously it’s about £12 a box.  I love it, but the rate I eat cereal the box wouldn’t last 2 days.

And so concludes a fragmented account of my London trip 🙂

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