Saturday, June 03, 2006

A Lunch Date

Wow it’s a real sunny summer’s day here in London: Amazing! England looks so fantastic in the spring when the sun shines – it’s that wonderful, lush green everywhere sparkling in the sun, even in the Big Smoke.

Late last night my neighbour invited me to lunch today – I had to think of a gift to bring. I have heaps of wine left over from the split last year (and I don’t drink much), but I thought it was a bit cheap to recycle wine in this way.

My neighbour is a very grand lady who lives very well: food bought from all the right shops, organic everything. I know this because several times now when she and her husband have gone away they’ve left the contents of their fridge with me. She’s also a suberb cook – I had her mince pies last Christmas and they were stupendous (and I don’t even like mince pies!).

Anyway, my task was to purchase a suitable gift in a very limited amount of time. Chocs or flowers from Sainsbury’s were just not going to cut it. Then I had a wonderful idea. L'Artisan du Chocolat is just off the King’s Road. I could bus in, pick up a box, and tootle back in time for lunch. Hoorah! Good thinking batman.

Caught the 137 from the Common, which was already thronged with hotties with their tops off. Yay! I love summer. Arrived at L'Artisan to be served by the sweetest little French girl. I made up my own box – the chocs look gorgeous; you have to choose great flavours and arrange them beautifully in the box. They have things like banana and thyme, tobacco, green cardomon, passion fruit, rose, salted caramel, and lavender. Yum. As usual when buying a gift, I had to buy myself one too so I bought a small bag of the most attractive chocs.

Then I caught the bus home. Despite lunch on the horizon, I opened my bag of chocs and had the Moroccan Mint one. Oh my God. L'Artisan is my new favourite chocolate shop in London. This was the best mint chocolate I have ever eaten, so fresh and naturally minty, with a terrific balance of chocolate and mint. Usually, flavoured chocs have that choc shell with a soft centre – L'Artisan seem to do theirs differently, almost like a solid soft choc with the flavour in the chocolate. Also, all their chocs are dark – I have to admit my taste is quite downmarket and I’m usually happy with a milk chocolate Cadbury or Galaxy. But these were awesome. I quickly finished my whole bag.

The bus stopped on Queenstown Road and a gorgeous guy wearing an Abercrombie t-shirt got on. Gorgeous Guy sat at the front at the top. The day was getting better and better. I remembered that Abercrombie are moving into the old Jill Sander place in the West End and apparently they have massive billboards featuring their usual models outside – I made a note to go and check this out soon.

Whether it was the weather, or the chocs, or both, I started getting an irritated throat – my allergy strikes! I started coughing. I’m really worried that my hayfever is morphing into asthma. Then we arrived at Clapham Common. Gorgeous Guy got up – I held back so I could check him out when he turned around – and then followed him down the stairs and out.

Then I remembered – The chocs were still on the bus! Hell! 137 pulled off and headed off on a mission into South London. I ran after it, but clearly it was going to get to the next stop before I was. Damn! Moron! Gorgeous had disappeared too.

What a bloody idiot. So now it was wine for the neighbour after all. I rang my brother to find out if a Rioja Marques de Arienzo 1996 (Gran Reserva) was still OK. He thought it was. It has to be.

Whoever found those chocs, I hope they enjoyed them

No comments: