Diane, A Broad

tag: london

  • May 8, 2013

    I’ve had a mild obsession with Jamie Oliver for years — I used to come home from school and watch him on Food Network. It’s cooks like him that started me on the road to being the food-obsessed girl I am now. So, I couldn’t go to London without visiting one of his restaurants.

    Barbecoa [London] by Diane, A Broad (dianeabroad.com)

    Barbecoa [London] by Diane, A Broad (dianeabroad.com)

    Barbecoa [London] by Diane, A Broad (dianeabroad.com)

    Barbecoa is on prime real estate with floor-to-ceiling windows that look out on Saint Paul’s Cathedral, specializing in dishes centered around meat and fire, whether it’s steak on grills, chicken roasted in wood-fired ovens, or pit-smoked beef. It’s a testosterone-filled menu, though with the occasional delicate touch like my cocktail: a Death in the Afternoon with a rose petal for garnish.

    Barbecoa [London] by Diane, A Broad (dianeabroad.com)

    Barbecoa [London] by Diane, A Broad (dianeabroad.com)

    Honestly, I felt a bit out-of-place. We went during lunchtime and were quickly surrounded by suits. Not that there’s anything wrong with suits, but the folks around us were clearly more interested in closing the deal than the (quite good) food in front of them.

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  • May 7, 2013

    Duck Soup is the little wine bar I mentioned on my last post about London. We passed by it on the street and I did a double-take: I was sure I’d read about this place somewhere. The menu looked good. We walked in, and were immediately seated at two empty bar stools.

    It’s in the same vein as some of my favorite spots in Paris: mostly natural wines and seasonal cooking with smallish, shareable plates. I would eat like this every day if I could. Serendipity, right?

    Duck Soup [London] by Diane, A Broad (dianeabroad.com)

    But it was our first meal in London, so it felt wrong to get a glass of Bordeaux. We went for beer instead.

    Duck Soup [London] by Diane, A Broad (dianeabroad.com)

    Wikipedia says that hipsterism “fetishizes the authentic.” Well I guess that makes this a hipster bar, what with the hand-written, daily-changing menus (with both smaller “bar” plates and larger “kitchen” plates), the wine menu scrawled on the wall, and the bring-your-own-vinyls policy for the record player, which was spinning Nirvana and the B-52s that night. Not to mention how of-the-moment the plates are.

    Duck Soup [London] by Diane, A Broad (dianeabroad.com)

    Torn bits of rich, milky mozzarella atop warm sweet peas and a puddle of olive oil. Spring on a plate.

    Duck Soup [London] by Diane, A Broad (dianeabroad.com)

    Wee olives for snacking are always appreciated with a beer or three. Continue Reading

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  • May 3, 2013

    Sometimes, you have to escape the city… even when that city happens to be Paris. Lucky for me, London is just a two-hour train ride away.

    One Day in London by Diane, A Broad (dianeabroad.com)

    One Day in London by Diane, A Broad (dianeabroad.com)

    Here’s the thing about May in France: there are a ton of bank holidays, some of which land in the middle of the week, like May Day (French Labor Day) did this year. Lots of people faire le pont (“make a bridge”) between the holiday and an adjacent weekend, thereby making it a very long weekend, but one can’t be doing that every time. So, sometimes one has a one-day vacation with which to do as much as one can, and one may as well visit one’s neighboring country.

    One Day in London by Diane, A Broad (dianeabroad.com)

    One Day in London by Diane, A Broad (dianeabroad.com)

    There are two basic ways to spend such a trip: either running around trying to see as much as possible in a short time, or just chilling out and wandering around, seeing what you happen to see. We took the latter route.

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