The Easter weekend came and went and it was a very relaxed affair. For once, I didn’t jump on a plane the moment the bank holiday weekend kicked in. Instead, the Italian and I decided to take it easy at home, in our flat.
The flat keeps getting more and more cosy. I don’t know why, maybe because it finally feels lived in. We have blankets, a favourite sofa corner and Netflix. Although I don’t think a TV in the bedroom is necessary it feels good to be able to sink into the pillows and just watch another episode of Modern Family (admittedly, I’m quite bitter that I can only see the two seasons Netflix offers. I’m years behind Cameron’s shirt changes).
As usual, we structured the weekend around meals. On Friday we spoilt ourselves (i.e the Italian spoilt me) and took me to Kai of Mayfair, where we had some pretty amazing Chinese food. The desserts were particularly tasty, with Iranian pistachio ice cream and chocolate fondant disappearing quite quickly – it’s the Italian’s default dessert choice. My default dessert choice is anything marzipan or liquorice, which rarely appears on any menu. Thus, I’m happy with Green tea or mint tea. At work the Green tea tastes fishy (I know, vile description), but at Kai the Green tea was on a whole other level. Yes, there are Green tea tastiness levels!
A butcher has opened close to the flat and so the Italian ventured off to check our their lamb selection for Easter Sunday. He wanted to make an authentic Italian lunch for me, which equals lamb and peas cooked in a casserole for a few good hours. I’m currently a part-time vegetarian after watching the documentary Vegucated (don’t watch it if you want to continue lusting after beef), but the lamb I couldn’t resist. It was so tender without an ounce of fat and we ate so much that later on the sofa, we resembled two stranded whales.
As the Italian wanted a true religious Sunday, we made an attempt to watch Passion of the Christ, to celebrate JC and all. Since we have Sky Italia at home and the film is in Armenian, the Italian subtitles didn’t do very much for me. It was much too violent and the Italian feel asleep 20 minutes in, so our Catholic Sunday turned into a lazy Sunday instead. Just as well.
Earlier we had gone to Columbia Road Flower Market and bought plants for the balcony. Armed with kilos of buxom, the Italian performed some “gardening” and made the balcony ready for summer. I don’t know why I’m putting gardening in quotation marks, because the Italian actually has green fingers (he’s even equipped with garden gloves), but a professional he is not.
We also went to Fabrique and bought the best sourdough bread in London. It is by far the best bread you might ever taste and puts supermarket bread (“baked fresh in store”) to shame. It went well with the lamb.
When Monday came I don’t think either of us felt particularly inspired to eat, but I had already booked lunch at the Olde Bell Inn, a great recommendation by my boss. The Italian and I rarely leave London, so this trip to the village of Hurley, a 45-minute drive away, felt like a little adventure. Of course, the moment we sat down to eat the rain started pouring down. Dessert in the garden was quickly cancelled. The food was very good and simple and had Scandinavian undertones. The cured salmon was among the best I’ve ever had, it was a smooth as sashimi and the plaice with buttered potatoes was perfect for a substantial lunch. The creme brûlée was a hit, too.
Yes, it was an Easter weekend with lots of food. I also made this buckwheat granola, which I found in the superb cookbook Honesty Healthy. The granola definitely made up for the gluttony that went on from Thursday night through to Monday night. I highly recommend it as there’s nothing naughty in it whatsoever. In fact, I highly recommend the cookbook too. Even the Italian has re-created one of its recipes.
Although there was nothing honesty healthy about our Easter weekend, it was one of those holidays when you feel you truly deserve the epithet Epicurean. And that’s a state of mind we always strive towards.