London eats: a recap

So Danny and I are back from a fantastic extended long weekend in London, England. It was everything we had hoped for and much more, largely in part to the beautiful weather that seemed to put a spring into our (many, many) steps.

I’ve promised a recap of where we ate – because this is the real reason why we travel, is it not? Sure we saw the Rosetta Stone, straddled the Prime Meridian and breathed in the scent of roses in the White Garden, but it was the incredible variety in our meals that left us weak in the knees.

For the most part, we visited cafés and restaurants that we wouldn’t necessarily frequent with kids in tow. A family visit to London is in the works, and then we will certainly frequent the bustling Borough Market for meat pies and take advantage of the kid’s menu at Jamie’s Italian.

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Family travel in Newfoundland, Canada

“I miss Newfoundland.” Clara said to me just the other day.

“Which part?” I asked

“All of it.” She responded without hesitation.

I knew exactly how she felt. I miss it too.

I couldn’t let our trip to Newfoundland pass without sharing a recap of sorts with you. Although I could sit down and talk your ear off all day about this lesser-known corner of Canada, I’m going to try to stick to our top highlights.

I’ve tried to pair it down to my absolute favourites photos and yet this post is still a mile long. We loved it; we truly did.

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Foraging for Newfoundland berries and Mixed Wild Berry Jam

I‘m in that post-vacation slump, an in-between state of leisure and productivity where I stall at work because there is too much to do and not enough time.

Eventually I’ll get the laundry put away, the fridge restocked and the emails answered, but today I spooned wild Newfoundland berry jam onto vanilla ice cream, ate it up and joined the kids for a water fight. It takes a day or two to ease into gear and until then, I’m going to fondly reflect back on our time in Canada’s most eastern province.

This is the story of a hike that turned into a berry foraging adventure and the rental kitchen project that happened as a result.

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More West Coast Culinary Adventures

“Why don’t we meet up in Campbell River and we can provision together?” my older brother suggested via text, a few weeks before we were set to board a plane.

Provision. I rolled the word around in my mind, delighting in its quaint practicality, loving how Josh tossed it out there so casually, while I had never even heard of this noun being used as a verb. Provisions: supplies such as food and drinks, especially for a journey. Provision: rounding up and buying those supplies.

We were planning on how to feed our family of twenty during a reunion (and a wedding) on a remote British Columbia Island called Cortes. Josh is used to provisioning: for a hunting trip, a camping expedition, a mountain bike race across the Yukon. I supposed I provision all the time, too, stocking the pantry, visiting farm stands, putting up produce.

Still, this was different. Because Cortes is two ferry rides away from a city, grocery staples on the island are nearly doubled in price. We’d want to get our oatmeal and peanut butter before coming, but source plenty of local produce and seafood. As it turned out, we did very well on the latter, and this is the full report of such culinary adventures.

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British hospitality and an event with Jamie Oliver

London Bridge in the fog. The view from the galleries of St. Paul’s Cathedral. Cheery Christmas markets. Mince pies from Harrods.

I pondered every little detail of my recent trip to London, as I tossed and turned, draped over two airplane seats. Flying over the ocean for hours on end, I finally summed it up in one word: hospitality.

The British have had a long-standing reputation for being polite, but everything my sister and I experienced went far and above common courtesy. It was enough to leave a lasting impression, and oddly enough, made me understand my dad’s preoccupation with good manners.

It started at the airport, receiving friendly assistance as we sorted out the public transportation to central London. (If you’re taking notes, buy the Oyster card and hop on the Piccadilly line.)

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