Dr John Hawkins
Welcome to my bit of the Maison de Stuff,
home to a huge load of pictures,
and my daily blog.
My email address is as above - I've put it in an image in a vein attempt to reduce the amount of spam I get.
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Maison de Stuff
- Recent Entries:
- Sunday Lunch at the Holly Bush
House of Lords Reception and Shepherd's
Teriyaki and Ironing
Belgravia with Kyle
Perry and Chips
Lunch at The Bear in Crickhowell
Saturday with Vera
Off to Abergavenny
Dentist and Fleet Street Pubs
Oliveto and The Antelope
Karaoke with Andy
London's Swedish District
Whisky Society with Al
Dim Sum With Mum
The Whisky Show
The Goring and The Lamb
Ill at the Weekend
Best Espresso in London?
- Sunday Lunch at the Holly Bush
- [Sunday 29th November]
A very late Sunday lunch (or was it an early dinner) at the Holly Bush in Hampstead. The food was particularly good today - really excellent roast potatoes.
- [Saturday 28th November]
Spent the afternoon revising for a Japanese test I'd be sitting next week. Made this page to help me study.
- House of Lords Reception and Shepherd's
- [Friday 27th November]
Chie and I went to a university alumni reception at the House of Lords this evening. We didn't know anybody else there so it was a tad boring to start off with, if I'm honest... but still it was a good opportunity to get to see a bit of the House of Lords you wouldn't normally get to see - and particularly it was nice to be able to go and stand out on the terrace overlooking the Thames (albeit only for brief periods at a time as it was pretty cold!).
About an hour in there were a couple of speeches which were quite entertaining, and things did seem to pick up from that point. After a bit more milling about we were then taken on a tour of the Houses of Parliament. This was our second time - having also done a tour just a few months back with our friends Simon and Vanessa - but it was interesting to have a different guide and get a different slant on the commentary.
So all in all that was quite nice I suppose.
There had only been canapés at the reception - and pretty small ones at that - so after it had all finished I was pretty hungry. It was after 9 by this point and neither of us felt like heading into the city centre, so instead I decided - quite appropriately I thought - we should give Shepherd's a call, and fortunately they had a table. In fact it turns out they're very quiet indeed on a Friday night, which was just fine for us.
Its location in Westminster and stalwartly old school approach to food makes Shepherd's a favourite haunt of politicians (and presumably members of the House of Lords). I'd been earlier this year with Robin and something about the place had rather struck a chord with me. Whilst this evening didn't quite have the gentile hub bub of political deals being struck in the background (by the time we left we were the only customers there), I think the food was actually better this time round, the service very good, and it made for a good end to the evening.
- Teriyaki and Ironing
- [Thursday 26th November 2009]
Japanese food for dinner - a vegetarian version of chicken teriyaki, some inari sushi, and other assorted side dishes.
I also ironed a prolific quantity of shirts this evening. Five in total - a personal record for me in one session.
- Belgravia with Kyle
- [Wednesday 25th November]
Went out for a couple of drinks with Kyle after work in Belgravia - first the Horse and Groom, then the Grenadier.
- [Tuesday 24th November]
Went for dinner with Al this evening at Skylon, the restaurant in the Royal Festival Hall on the South Bank.
- Perry and Chips
- [Monday 23rd November]
Met up with Chie after work at the supermarket, and after a spot of very rudimentary shopping we decided we fancied a glass of Perry (it has been very much on my mind recently - probably down to Hugh Fearnsely Whittingstall) so headed over to Chimes, where we also had a bowl of chips. This was very nice.
- Lunch at The Bear in Crickhowell
- [Sunday 22nd November 2009]
A very nice Sunday lunch at The Bear in Crickhowell with Vera, Robin, Ian and Louise.
- Saturday with Vera
- [Saturday 21st November]
Spent the day at Vera and Robin's house. Weather was pretty awful so we stayed in most of the day, just venturing out in the afternoon to do a spot of shopping in Abergavenny.
- Off to Abergavenny
- [Friday 20th November 2009]
Met Chie at Paddington after work, and after a quick dinner in the station (Yo Sushi again - a bit embarrassed to admit it but we actually quite like it) got on the train to Abergavenny.
- Dentist and Fleet Street Pubs
- [Thursday 19th November]
Decided to go and see the dentist (well technically the hygienist). I had signed on to a dentist back in February but somehow just wasn't really comfortable with them - so I went and found another one instead. I much preferred this place, and think I'll actually go back again this time.
In the evening Al and I visited a selection of some of the fine pubs to be found on Fleet Street - The Crown and Sugar Loaf, The Old Bell, and Ye Old Cheshire Cheese.
- [Wednesday 18th November]
- Oliveto and The Antelope
- [Tuesday 17th November]
Went for dinner with Chie this evening at my favourite pizzeria Oliveto, followed by a quick pint at the Antelope near Sloane Square. Managed to get a seat by the fire in the Antelope which was particularly lovely given how the weather has been of late.
- Stuffed Courgettes
- [Monday 16th November]
Made stuffed courgettes for dinner.
- Karaoke with Andy
- [Sunday 15th November 2009]
A very Japanese Sunday afternoon outing to eat ramen / kuroke and sing karaoke in Soho with our friends Andy and his other half.
- [Saturday 14th November]
Went to see Sleeping Beauty the ballet at the Royal Opera House this evening. My review on Twitter:
Ballet review: seems they got story out of way in first hour and a half to leave way for 45 minutes of mindless pissing about at the end.
- London's Swedish District
- [Friday 13th November]
Chie went off to her Hiroshimakenjinkai (monthly meet up for people living in London originally from Hiroshima) this evening. I didn't have anything particular planned, so decided to go for a very long meandering stroll, and eventually thought it might be nice to meet up with Chie when she finished. The 'kenjinkai is held near Marylebone, and this one finished somewhat earlier than usual (possibly in part because the usual pub they go to was closed, and they had to come up with an alternative, which presumably a lot of people didn't realise)... So after meeting with Chie, there was still a while before pub closing time, and we decided to go for a drink somewhere. I had rather liked the look of the Harcourt Arms on my way past, so we went there.
I was rather pleased to discover on entering that this is actually a Swedish ran pub, with a definite bias towards Swedish customers - a very interesting break from the norm. Indeed it is in the midst of a little enclave of Swedish things in that area - on the same street there's a Swedish church, and just round the corner is Garbo's, a Swedish restaurant.
So that was nice.
- [Thursday 12th November]
Apparently stayed in watching TV. From Twitter:
Docu-drama on BBC Four about Margaret Thatcher appears to have the Emperor from Star Wars playing Dennis Thatcher.
- Whisky Society with Al
- [Wednesday 11th November]
Went to the Whisky Society with Al this evening.
- [Tuesday 10th November 2009]
One very dark mobile picture of the Kolsch I had this evening at CASK pub and kitchen in Pimlico.
- Katsu Curry
- [Monday 9th November 2009]
A rather nice Japanese curry Chie made, including some vegetarian "chicken style" burgers from Sainsbury's which made a rather good substitute for the katsu in the katsu curry.
- Dim Sum With Mum
- [Sunday 8th November 2009]
A visit to the Wallace collection and Dim Sum at Royal China before dropping Mum off at St. Pancras.
- The Whisky Show
- [Saturday 7th November 2009]
Spent the afternoon at The Whisky Show, held at The Guildhall - including a once in a life time tasting session of all nine official distillery releases of Port Ellen.
- [Friday 6th November]
Mum was staying this weekend, and this evening the three of us went to Roussillon for dinner.
I had the Menu Légumes - an eight course vegetable tasting menu. The highlights for me were definitely the truffle dishes - the first course (cauliflower and truffle veloute) and the third course (truffle risotto). I also went for the sommelier's selection of accompanying wines which was interesting.
- [Thursday 5th November]
- [Wednesday 4th November]
- The Goring and The Lamb
- [Tuesday 3rd November]
Went for lunch at The Goring today with Al (who recently left the company) and the same crowd from Friday night. It had been a long standing item on our to do list, and it seemed that we were only able to get our collective act together after Al left, but anyway, it made for a rather nice second farewell event.
I really enjoyed it - The Goring has a sort of timelessness about it - very nice decor and a distinctly gentile atmosphere. The food was very good indeed (even the vegetarian options - it's not the sort of place you'd immediately expect that) and the service was impeccable too.
Wanting to be able to really take my time over it I had booked the afternoon off work, which was somewhat fortuitous as it turned out Tim was in London today for work, and had finished around 4 - rather perfectly timed to coincide with the end of our very long lunch at The Goring. So we headed over towards the City to meet up with him, and had a very pleasant couple of hours at the Lamb in Leadenhall Market, where we were also joined by Chie.
We escorted Tim to Euston to get his train around 7:30, but it turned out he had about an hour to wait, so we had a surprisingly-not-that-bad pub dinner in The Britannia in Euston station.
Overall a very enjoyable day indeed.
- [Monday 2nd November]
Spent the evening in Clerkenwell with Al.
- Dim Sum
- [Sunday 1st November]
Sunday afternoon dim sum at Joy King Lau in Chinatown.
- Ill at the Weekend
- [Saturday 31st October]
Spent the day stuck indoors with a sore throat.
- Whisky Society
- [Friday 30th October]
Went to the Whisky Society with Al, Andrew, Kyle and Hannah.
- 5th View
- [Thursday 29th October]
Went to the 5th View with Mick from work to introduce him to their St. James's Martini. Also had a browse around the bookshop while we were there, and I bought a book of the complete plays of Oscar Wilde.
- [Wednesday 28th October]
My old friend Simon was in London this evening. Went to Abeno Too for dinner.
- [Tuesday 27th October]
- [Monday 26th October]
Had tapas for dinner at Goya in Pimlico.
- Best Espresso in London?
- [Sunday 25th October]
A Sunday afternoon stroll around London, including coffee at Caffe Vergano (which claims to have the best espresso in London - not sure I'm quite ready to endorse that but it was really very good), and a wander down the Mall.