Thursday, July 23, 2009

Breakfast at Liberty's

A brief post today - I'm back from vacation and straight into the stress-inducing mode of "gotta get going, gotta get this done."  However, I will take time for breakfast at Liberty's of London. 

One of the pleasantest aspects of a vacation is the food and to experience true delicacies one has to eat where the locals eat from locally produced ingredients.  Sounds self-evident I know, but so many people still have the idea that British food is terrible and quite where they have been eating I cannot say, for my experience is totally the opposite (as my soon-to-be-dealt-with new waistline attests).  Any tourist can eat very badly if he refuses to stand outside of personal prejudices.  Witness the food courts in the malls, the airports and cities of this country - places where tourists generally speaking visit and suffer as a consequence.  As anyone of any intelligence and taste knows American food is not about the offerings of Generica and neither is the food of other countries. 

On the menu at Liberty's of London was the ideal thing for me - I'm not a sweet stuff first thing in the morning kind of a bloke - a dish I'd had twice for breakfast on the Isle of Skye - smoked haddock with poached eggs.  Breakfast at Liberty's was the last of the vacation and was salutatory in showing how when one leaves a locality the flavour and quality are not quite the same.  That is not to say that this breakfast was not delicious, it was, especially when accompanied by the glass of champagne offered as an apology by the cook for having been stayed (unavoidably) on the phone whilst we waited ten minutes after ordering. 

I grew up eating smoked haddock, kippers, potted shrimps, those specialities of northern England and Scotland, but only until I got closer to the origins did I realize how wonderful they were and still are.  Not for these craftsmen and craftswomen the injection of smoke flavoring, this was real smoke in all its deliciousness, and the continuation of this ancient tradition of food preservation is one of the glories of that part of the world. 

Anyone recognize the wallcovering in Liberty's Cafe? 

Edward James' Monkton House. 

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