Castles and Cobblestones – My Journey to Europe – Part Seven

Europe092014 033Sometimes, you just have to move on. The pic attached here is the wrong date. I’m very technically challenged and, after way too long a time spent trying to fix it, I left it alone. Suffice it to say a table, a menu and me is enough of a visual for a post about eating. After spending the afternoon at the Tower of London, dinner was a welcome event.

Our tour package included several meals which is a big help when in unfamiliar cities. Dinner this particular evening was a choice of four places/styles.  We could have Asian, Italian, Lebanese or an English Pub. Our small group chose the Princess Victoria Bar and Kitchen (the pub). Princess Victoria B&K is a place for locals to go after work or just out for an evening cocktail or coffee.

We were given a menu specifically for Collette Vacations groups. They offered three courses and I’ve listed them below. Quick Travel Tip: In the UK and Europe, the gratuity is often included in the price, so there is no need to leave more on the table.

STARTERS

Scottish Smokehouse Salmon with rocket salad horseradish olive oil dressing

Soup of the day with toasted granary bread

Duck & Pork Pate with Orange liqueur and Cognac Red Onion Marmalade, Cornish Sea Salt, Bread

MAINS

Pork and Old Mount Cider Pot Pie with Apple and Dijon Mustard Mash Potato

Classic Caesar Salad with Parmesan Cheese and Croutons

Beer Battered Atlantic Cod Fish & Chips with Mushy Peas and Tartar Sauce

DESSERTS

Cambridge Burnt Cream Dessert with Strawberry Coulis

Sticky Toffee Pudding with Caramel Sauce

Cheese Board with Selection of Finest British Cheese and Water Biscuits

If you look at this menu, it really is comparable to the food you would find at a nice place in the United States. Because I was in England, I really did try to experience different foods throughout the trip. For my starter, I went with the duck pate – bad choice, folks, very bad choice. I wanted to like pate – really, I did. It always sounds so fancy-schmancy to have pate. I can’t do it. One taste and I knew. This little girl from the Midwestern village of Panama is never going to develop a taste for duck, especially duck pate. It just makes me want to gag.  Blech. The bread was good. 🙂

A pilsner of ale and I was ready for the main course. All three sounded good, but since I hadn’t eaten in about seven hours and the pate turned my stomach, I played it safe and went with the fish and chips. No mushy peas for me, though. I knew enough to ask for my peas to remain whole. More bread, a starving girl’s best dinner companion.

Then came dessert. How does one choose between the three listed? The words toffee and caramel are like laser beams to my brain – cannot resist either. Dear God, they did not disappoint. It was like a spongy pudding with sauce. To.Die.For.

By the end of dessert, I was stuffed with food and ale and ready to walk off that full feeling. The walk back to the hotel was balmy and filled with little shops along the way. We wandered in and out, perusing the card shops and what we call a drugstore here. These drugstores are noticeable by the green neon cross on the sign above the stores. They have pretty much anything one would need from OTC meds to food, batteries, books and beyond.

One last nightcap in the bar at our hotel and I was more than ready for a bath and my nice cool bed. Only one more full day in England. Next, we’ll go to Windsor Castle.

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