I have returned and recovered from my travels around the neighborhood with The Girls. I was giddy, I tell you. Giddy to have guests!
Dinner was, in fact, at The Moghul Palace (see previous entry for the link), and the food was delicious. I even managed smooth parallel parking on the wrong side of the street. We feasted on prawn balti, chicken tikka masala, and all sorts of delicacies. We lived it up and ordered the Banquet for Three. It was Thanksgiving, after all, and what kind of Americans would we be if we didn't eat to the point of bursting to celebrate the occassion? Stopped in a little pub on the way back to the car for a quick pint. There was a great band playing. We knew that karma was on our side when the first complete song they played after our arrival was the Helen Reddy classic "Angie Baby" (with a celtic lilt, of course.) Note to those of you who have not been part of our LP dinner parties in the past...I am obsessed with this song. Basically the creepy premise of the song is: a lonely teenage girl (who is basically crazy) spends all her time in her room listening to music and dancing. She tempts this neighbor kid into her room, and traps him in her radio to take out whenever she wants...here's a link to the lyrics...worth a read. Big 70's hit, though why I'm not exactly sure. I guess a decade that gave us "ode to BIlly Joe", "Wildfire", and "Seasons in the Sun" is not really going to be a source of quality, now is it? Anyway, this was the perfect way to set the stage for our week, and we were home in time for the girls to get a good night's sleep and for me to catch the tail end of Jonathan Ross.
On Friday, we had HORRIBLE sausages with our watery/barely cooked scrambled eggs, and headed out for Cambridge. Made a side trip to a lovely cathedral in Ely. Absolutely beautiful....it encompasses architectural styles from Norman to late 1400's, with new pieces added as recently as 2000. The Octagon in the center is a stunning work of architecture...like 200 tons of lead and glass and stone, soaring into the sky and glimmering on the floor below. It really is a spectacular place. Of course, the place takes quite a bit of upkeep, so there's a giftshop on site where you can buy all kinds of religious and secular gift-items to remember your stay. Icons, celtic crosses, stained glass reproductions, watercolor paintings, toast caddies, and lavender sachets...or my personal favorites "holy socks" and a little book called "What Cats are Really Thinking".
Moved on to Cambridge for bad tapas and some window shopping, with a final stop at Kings College Chapel for evensong. Beautiful building, fabulous choir. Favorite part...when one of the younger boys in the choir snuck a few belches into his angelic singing. They may be one of the most renowned choirs on the planet, but 10 year old boys still love their body-function humor.
They were actually quite resonant belches, so at least he's using his diaphragm properly.
Final stop of the night was Ye Old Swan (see previous entry for link), where we dined on stilton and mushroom sauce rarebit, and lovely entrees such as fish and chips, chicken in a dijon sauce, and lamb and apricot pie. Cutest baby carrots EVER on the side. Finished it with a chocolate steamed pudding with custard sauce which, should you visit me, you must try. Steamed pudding is a moral imperative for dessert here. Yum yum.
Must run. Next installment soon...tune in for: Karen's favorite sight EVER, elegant tea, and something unexpected in a coat pocket at Harrods. Cheers for now.