Thursday, November 8, 2012

A Tale of Two Cities, Part 5: Goodbye to All That

     Though a bit overdue, my final segment of the international trip I made with my mom to London, England. I had saved my money for an entire year, bought a plane ticket, and co-planned the entire trip. For five days, we had ridden the Underground, exchanged five-pound notes, spoken to a variety of interesting people, eaten some truly great food and seen amazing things around London. On our final day, we had a few hours to accomplish all that we could before our flight back to New York.
     Our first item of the day was breakfast. Instead of going far, we simply went to our hotel's restaurant, called Bracers. My mom and I chatted excitedly about what we were going to do that day, as I munched on my Belgian waffles. After splitting the check and leaving a pound for the waitress, we dashed out the hotel doors and hopped to the nearest Underground station. We were on our way to Buckingham Palace.
     Surprisingly, there was a good turnout even an hour before the ceremony even started. My mom and I kept saying, "Let's get a good seat!" But five minutes before the changing of the guard began, we found ourselves scrambling for the best seat possible. We stayed for half an hour as the guards in red, white, and black marched around, chatting with an authentically British family. Eventually we decided to get out of the way of the chill wind, and we left Buckingham Palace with drums ringing in our ears...
     ...Right into the frenchiest French restaurant that we could find in London: Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester Hotel. I was not at all prepared for this (me and my Doctor Who T-shirt), but I was very excited nonetheless. Now, my mom beat me to a post about Alain Ducasse, so I'll share my part of the story.
     Before I begin, know that Alain Ducasse is a french chef, who is famous for his presentation. Keep that in mind as I go on.
     The typical three-course-meal was poo-poo'd, instead an elegant array of art was presented on several plates. My first appetizer was a pasta and lobster dish, which looked (and tasted) nothing short of miraculous:

     My mom ordered the salad, which was nothing like she expected. A thin wafer sat atop a vegetable sauce, and was drizzled ever-so-slightly with a different sauce and other vegetables.

     In between the appetizer and the main course, we were presented with a gauntlet full of cheese puffs, which we devoured quite swiftly. It was comforting to have a familiar type of food before I dove into something I had never tried before: pigeon. 

     I made at least three pigeon jokes after that course, but doesn't it look amazing? If all pigeon could be prepared this nicely, the population of birds in New York would disappear almost overnight.

     Here was my mom's main course. A beautiful steak dish, but I preferred mine just a little bit more. I was still marveling when the most interesting potato chips were presented to us. They were curled almost like sticks! We just thought this was the coolest thing.

     Next was, to my great pleasure, the pre-dessert! (Could this get any better?) Not only were these lovely macaroons served, but also chocolate and nuggets!

     At last came my dessert: a simple and delicate dish of berries and clotted cream. After all of that food, this dessert was refreshing but filling at the same time. Brilliant!

     At the end of the meal, we asked our polite waiter to take a picture of us as a memento. We were tired and worn out from our trip, but my mom and I were happy as can be sitting together and enjoying extravagant food.

     Alas, our wonderful meal eventually came to an end, and we grabbed our bags and departed to the airport, where we said our bittersweet goodbyes to a fantastic city, the people we met, and the food we ate. Maybe some day I will return during my travels, but until then, farewell, Britain.

Here's to an incredible, worthwhile trip spent with my mother in an incredible city,



  1. Aw, how could a mom be any happier than a fabulous trip with her daughter -- and amazing food to boot!