Saturday, 20 August 2011

Thursday Early Start and Germany!

So we had a very early start on Thursday.  Our flight was at 6.55am, so we had a 4.15 rise and a 5.15 shuttle bus to catch to Stansted.  As you can see, neither Joe nor I are usually early risers.

Breakfast was a classy pret a manger!  Joe's sheer delight to find a pret at quarter to six in the morning was something to behold! He loves his flat whites. That and a tasty egg and tomato baguette and smoked salmon and cream cheese sandwich later, we were both a little more awake.

A good pret breakfast - sandwiches and two super strong flat whites!
This was who I sat next to on the flight.  How did he manage to sleep like that!
Arriving at Memmingem airport
 We landed at Memminhem at about 9.30, minus a Colin, Michael's best man.  Colin was meant to be on the flight with us, but texted at 6.06 to say he had just woken up! Needless to say he missed the flight and embarked on an adventure to make it to Germany with new plans...!

After introductions to the Maier family (thanks for having us Verner and Zita), it was a trip into Ulm for some savory pancake delights! (these are Joe's words now, so not quite as descriptive as Jo's!!)

The restaurant

The first weiss beers of the trip
Savory pancake one
Savory pancake two
Joe and Tom - for once I haven't made him cry!
Jo and Tom
It was then a wander around the city which is beautiful and right on the Danube. 
This is where the Hunter piggy went to market
Peace and quiet
The symbol of Ulm
Cheap as chips (but quality) ice creams - 90 cents each! - Mum and daughter

The pride of Ulm is the M√ľnster. This cathedral boasts the highest church steeple in the world, 161.5 meters. It dominates the town and symbolized Ulm's independence, prestige, and wealth. Construction began three hours after sunrise on June 30, 1377, and finished on May 31, 1890.
The best man - the late arrival did well to get to the wedding after missing his flight. Apparently he is was up till 6am partying with 7 midgets - it's about priorities I guess.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Wednesday was London Town!

It is the week of the Barcroft Maier wedding, so it was Wednesday in London for us then a night in the Hilton Stansted followed by a super early flight to Memmingem to join the friends and family. The wedding day is on Saturday so pictures to follow.

I am using a German laptop for this so there may be some gramatical issues! It is also not a macbook!! Oh well, will crack on and see how it goes...

We got into London at 12ish and had to be on the train to the Hilton at 7pm ish so we decided to walk along the Thames, from the Tower of London to Westminster and the Houses of Parliment.....
A monument

The war memorial
Jo at the Tower of London

Joe with a knight

The sphinx in London - there would have been a proper picture but some brat wouldn't get off it.

The busiest tourist trap in London

And Parliament itself.  No sign of DC or Boris though, sad days

Joe at London Bridge.  I don't think this photos are sequential!
We then headed to a noodle restaurant that was recommened in Time Out was a few mins walk from Covent Garden tube called Cafe De Hong Kong....It was excellent even though we didn't understand half of the menu!  But it was busy, the food was really fresh and well worth a visit - opposite Leicester Sq tube stop.

Hawker soup with beef satay and vermicelli

Joe slurping his udon
First taste of the satay - yum

udon with prawn dumplings and wantons
Dim sum sui mai

Tiger beer
Joe's finished bowl - an incredible appetite!

Then was then on to the Owl and Pusszcat in Shoreditch to meet a good friend of ours, Motto, who moved to London last year. It was really good to catch up and she gave us 2 two awesome engagement gifts of Hummingbird cup cakes!
Jo and Motto

We then got on the train to the Hilton at 8pm and had a dinner of cup cakes!!! Not the healthiest dinner ever but we didnt want to pay for the expensive and rubbish hotel food. Here they are..

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Tuesday - Last dinner before London then Germany

After last nights excitement, it was kilt picking up for me and packing for Jo as we are in London for the day tomorrow then heading to Germany for a Bavarian wedding!!

Jo did very well to throw a dinner together with what was in the fridge; it's better than I could do if it was full!! (well, not quite - you need to try my pork belly, chorizo and butter bean stew - wow).

We had omelet with bacon, mushrooms, chilli, pepper and mange touts - see below:

PS - Auntie Karen, if you look in the right column in the blog you can find all the posts that we have done in the blog archive section.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Jamie's Italian - Taster Night

Somehow, last week Joe received an invitation to a taster evening at Jamie's Italian in Leeds.  Joe and I are always a little suspicious of freebies and half expected it to be a con where we would be laughed at the door!

Anyway, we gave it a shot and went to Jamie's.  We've never been before.  The queues and the lack of booking facilities always put us off.

But tonight we were welcomed in straight away.  The tasting was held upstairs in a well finished and furnished restaurant.  Jamies is a bit of a tardis, with at least a third hidden away where you wouldn't expect it.  It's stripped back with bare walls and low lighting.  The effect is warm and homely but fun.  They also have some great staff.  It was a free night but they were still welcoming, with good knowledge and great with the food (and generous with the booze!).  They may be well trained in the Jamie-ideal but they still come across as genuinely passionate, despite the random questioning (more later).

So back to the free food....we started off with an amazing anti pasti plate of various meats including salami, garlicky ham, prosciutto, and some lovely crostini, mozzarella and olives. It was meant for four, but Joe and I ploughed through quite a lot of it!

Next up was the slow cooked belly pork.  This pork was cooked for 14 hours, and stuffed and rolled with fruit and nuts.  It was AMAZING.  It's also up on the specials board as a Genaro recipe - for less than a tenner.  A total bargain and probably the best pork I've ever had!

Following on, two pasta dishes.  One raviolli stuffed with cheese, lemon and mint.  To be fair, this was the most underwhelming dish of the evening.  Probably just not my taste to be honest, as it was nice.  We then had pasta with mushrooms.  This is on the main menu and it was brilliant.  It was rich, meaty and really tasty, without being too filling,  Probably the perfect vegetarian dish for carnivores!

A little randomly, we then had fritto misto.  This was a mis-matched element of the night - an odd follow on from a rich mushroom dish.  I'm not a big fan of fritto misto anyway - I don't think it makes the most of lovely fish. Anyway, in the right context I'm sure it would be nice.
Apologies for the rubbish picture - looked a lot better and was brilliantly presented
Last but not least, we had a trio of desserts.  As you might expect,  a few glasses of prosecco down,  I stopped taking in the details.  Anyway, we had some sort of lemon tart, what appeared to be a chocolate and ameretto brownie and a chocolate and espresso tort.  Yum.  All brilliant, and unbelievably we finished the whole thing.
So overall, it was a brilliant night.  Having been a bit dismissive of Jamie's Italian's big brand ways, we've steered clear before.  However, we'd definitely go back.  And definitely eat the anti pasti which would be great with some white wine at lunch, the pork, the mushroom pasta, and all the desserts.  Big win.

All these treats cost us £11.45 - the price of the carafe of wine. 

Also, for info, you can buy a whole leg of prosciutto for around £300.  Bargain.