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Bread Meats Bread Meets Face
Recently in the UK, there’s been a noticeable surge in the number of restaurants specialising in American-style burgers, hot dogs and barbecued meat. Glasgow, Scotland hasn’t escaped this trend and leading the way is a small place on St Vincent Street called Bread Meats Bread.
We ran in from the persistent drizzle and joined the small queue for tables at this popular eatery. We were immediately hit by a wall of meaty aromas and a hubbub of chatter from the young, trendy patrons. The restaurant is small, so to make best use of the space, a long communal table runs down the centre of the room. We didn’t have to wait too long for a table of our own and we were soon sipping on Irn-Bru and perusing the extensive and calorie-filled menu.
Clearly the management didn’t like the idea of having only one type of beef burger. Three types are on offer with up to four variants of each. There’s also pulled pork and chicken, cheese-steak, gourmet dogs, poutines and grilled cheese sandwiches to name but a few of the dishes on offer. I went for the ‘Smokey Burger’ (pictured), a house-blend beef patty, Swiss cheese, smoked beef brisket, purple slaw and tangy BBQ sauce, while Jade decided upon Pulled Pork served inside a brioche bun. Both were excellently meaty and juicy with loads of flavour. Each ingredient was clearly of a very high quality as we could taste each one with every mouthful. Accompanying our burgers was a portion a caramelised sweet fries, something neither of us knew existed but something we will be seeking out to try again. We love the fusing of savoury potato fries with a sugary coating. It made them extra crunchy and super moreish.
We can only hope Bread Meat Bread have plans to expand and move south of the border so that we can sample their meaty treats more often. The rest of the country deserves to know how good American barbecue cuisine can be.
Head to the Bread Meats Bread website so find out more and to drool over their full menu.
The Cathedral and Abbey Church of Saint Alban
At the weekend, Jade and I popped into The Cathedral and Abbey Church of Saint Alban for a guided tour. The majestic beauty of the exterior is matched inside, perhaps even surpassed, made more so by the warm welcome we received. What struck us most (and what isn’t terribly obvious in the photos) was the mixture of architectural styles. Since its inception in 1077, the cathedral has undergone major extensions, structural collapses, and aesthetic tweaks creating what stands today, a massive cultural and historic jigsaw. Even today, decisions are being made about new installations and additions to existing structures.
If you can, try to join one of the free guided tours as the stories you’ll be told will really reveal the cathedral’s fascinating history.
Official Commonwealth Games Haggis Anyone?
Last night, the twentieth Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland drew to a close. Nearly 5000 athletes from 71 Commonwealth nations and territories competed in 18 sports and what has been hailed as a successful and "pure, dead brilliant" games.
I dropped by on Glasgow a week or so ago to soak in the atmosphere (and the rain) and found a friendly, energetic city bursting with history but also keen to express its modernity. I have lots of photos to share with you, but let’s start with this one I took in the Games Superstore on George Square. As well as the normal array of tat you’d expect of a souvenir shop of this nature, they were also selling official Haggis. An amusing and uniquely Scottish touch.
Scoops of Happiness in Sunny London
What better way to celebrate it being a Wednesday than with yet another gratuitous food post from Here To Geneva
With the weather still rather on the warm side here in London, people’s minds have turned to seeking out ways to cool themselves down. Air conditioning isn’t especially prevalent in the UK, so more often than not, people have to make do with cold drinks and ice cream.
My special trick to stay cool in the weeks of Summer is to hide in the back room of my house until Autumn arrives. For some reason, it stays cool regardless of the temperature outside. Occasionally though, I do head outside and when that happens, I seek out my favourite ice cream places.
Top of my list at the moment is Scoop (40 Shorts Gardens, London). Just a short walk from Covent Garden tube station, Scoop specialises in making thick and richly flavourful gelato made with natural ingredients from around the world without preservatives. The flavour list is large with several unique varieties including Amarena (Sicilian black cherries and crunchy meringues) and Malaga (Chilean sultanas aged in Sicilian Marsala wine and sugar). Alongside those are varieties of stalwart flavours such as Cioccolato Fondente (with Gran Cru pure single origin cocoa) and Vaniglia (with single origin Planifolia and Tahitensis organic vanilla pods from Madagascar) which are both to die for. Each variety I’ve tried so far is incredibly thick and scrumptious - a real treat and well worth the asking price considering how large the scoops are and the ingredients used. My favourites are Tiramisu, which tastes ridiculously similar to an actual Tiramisu and Caramello, which contains pasteurised Channel Island milk and caramel sauce. Expect my loyalties to change though as I continue to work my way through the menu. I’m pretty fickle when it comes to ice cream!
Explore Scoop’s full flavour list and read their philosophy towards their gelato on their website and if you can, drop in!
Do you have a favourite ice cream/gelato place? Where in the world is it?
Vietnamese Food at Stratford City, London
It’s been two weeks since I’ve posted photos of delicious food for you to feast your eyes upon. This is an unacceptable truth that I intend on fixing this very moment.
The Westfield shopping centre in Stratford boasts a large world food hall among its more traditional restaurants. Stands selling Chinese street food rub shoulders with outlets selling massive chilli beef burritos. It’s quite easy to work up a hunger simply walking from stand to stand perusing the menus.
On a recent visit, we dropped in on Pho, an outlet specialising in Vietnamese street food with branches all over London. We ordered two dishes to share between us; the first was Cari, a Vietnamese curry of chicken, vegetables and mushrooms, topped with nuts and a sweet & very addictive curry sauce, served with fragrant broken rice. The second dish was Goi Bap Chuoi, a fragrant banana blossom salad. The dish mainly consisted of room temperatures noodles, some crunchy, some soft accompanied by tender beef, peanuts and star-fruit. The dish was zingy & fresh and the different textures made consuming it a very enjoyable experience. To wash both dishes down, we had a home-made ice tea which was an unusual but refreshing mix of orange and mint.
We really relished our chance to sample Vietnamese cuisine and we’re sure we’ll be heading back to one of Pho’s multiple locations soon. You can check out the rest of Pho’s menu and plenty more on their website.
Introducing Granary Square, Kings Cross
It’s getting rather warm here in Britain, particularly in the southern half of our fair isle. Indeed tomorrow, it’s set to become even warmer with temperatures expected to reach the dizzying heights of 32°C. Alas, it can’t get warm here without the atmosphere exploding shortly after in the form of thunderstorms, so the population is enjoying it while it lasts in the only way they know how; by complaining about how warm it is.
Earlier in the week, I set out to enjoy the warmth and to take some photos in the bright sunlight. The new, funky King’s Cross area behind the station of the same name was where I headed. I’d not been to this area of London before, but the forest of cranes and the shiny new buildings that have sprouted from the ground called to me. There’s not masses to see at the moment, but what is there is an attractive mix of new and old architecture. Eventually, this will be another thriving business, residential and leisure district of London, serving different groups of people at different times of day. For now, you can head up to the viewing platform or grab a deck chair and see a sneak preview of what is to come.
I’d write some more about what I saw, but these photos tell the story pretty well. Besides, I have to go outside now and frown at the sky. We Brits don’t know how to behave in weather like this.
Head to the King’s Cross website for find out more.
Climbing the Narrow Steps of St Albans Clock Tower
With only a mere 93 steps to the top, St Albans Clock Tower certainly isn’t the tallest tower in Britain. That award goes to The Shard in London which has more than three times as many whole flights of stairs from top to bottom. At only £1 to get in though, it’s certainly much cheaper than The Shard and since it’s more than 600 years old, a great deal quainter.
Traversing the narrow staircase to the top was an experience in itself. Visitors seemingly are encouraged to yell up or down the staircase that they’re coming to avoid having to turn back. That’s because the staircase is so narrow, passing is impossible. At one point, Jade and I found ourselves temporarily trapped next to a large bell along with two parents and their three boys as we waited for the staircase to become available. Not a place for those with claustrophobic tendencies.
Once we’d reached the top, we were treated to lovely scenic views of the historic streets below and the surrounding rolling hills of Hertfordshire. If you find yourself in St Albans this summer, we’d certainly recommend a trip up the stone staircase to see it for yourself.
C’est surréaliste - The Tour de Cambridge
Monday saw Cambridge, UK host the start of the third stage of the Tour de France 2014. Yes, Cambridge in the United Kingdom. No, really! I was there and saw it with my owns eyes.
It’s not as strange as it sounds, with 11 countries other than France hosting stages of the tour over the course of its 101 editions. This doesn’t of course make seeing French police officers on motorbikes riding through the historic streets of England any less surreal.
The first two stages of this year’s tour were also in the UK, with the beautiful county of Yorkshire hosting "the grandest of Grand Departs". 2.5 million spectators lined the route over the course of two glorious days. Cycling in the UK has clearly never been so popular.
Not to be outdone, Cambridge put on a show of its own to see off nearly 200 riders (and a ludicrously high number of support vehicles) on their way to The Mall in central London. Many businesses lining the route had decorated their windows with bicycle wheels and yellow jerseys while the streets were adorned with celebratory bunting. Traditionally, the opening kilometer or so of a stage of the tour is ceremonial with the riders cycling very slowly, so the thousands who lined the streets of Cambridge were able to get a close look at their sporting heroes before they switched on their after burners.
The tour doesn’t visit the UK too often, but the success of this year’s grand depart should hopefully see a shorter gap between now and the tour’s next visit.
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