Thursday, June 18, 2009

Royal Ascot

Everyone  showed up for the races at Royal Ascot!
They were young and old, some young with old as in "Sugar-Daddy"!  They were Royals, Celebrities, Posh Socialites, and American Women's Club member's all decked out in heels and hats.....well we changed into heels after we made the trip there! 

The drink of the day was Pimm's or champagne. We enjoyed a delicious lunch with wine and a proper tea later in the afternoon in our private suite overlooking all the race activities.

The wind was gusty but all these ladies managed to hang onto their hats...and what magnificent hats they were!  

It was a fabulous day in London!

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Trooping of the Colours

The Queen's Birthday (actually April 21) is officially celebrated by the ceremony of the Trooping of the Colours on a Saturday in June, "when good weather is more likely". Trooping of the Colours is carried out by fully trained and operational troops from the Household Division....that means most of the troops were on horseback, even the band!  

Royalists, children, visitors to the UK and a few Londoners enjoyed the pageantry that accompanied the traditional ceremonies on the Queen's 83rd Birthday.

We were able to find seats on a wall which put us above the heads of everyone and gave us a great view of the famous balcony at Buckingham Palace. Debra was smart enough to pack champagne and orange juice which helped the 4 hours go by quickly.

My favorite part ....the fly-by at the end, of course!
We were approached and interviewed by a TV crew doing a documentary on tourists in the UK - so we pretended!
Look for the special next fall on ITV!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

A day in the country

I caught the 10:00 AM train from Waterloo to Haslemere to meet Consuelo for a day outside the city....and I just have to share my adventure. Her home is so charmingly British countryside - it could be a movie set! ("The Holiday" with Cameron Diaz comes to mind!) The gardens and grounds were in bloom with the colors of spring. Inside the kitchen I could smell our lunch of sourdough bread and a delicious tomato tart warming in the Aga.

We cranked up the old Land Rover and drove down quaint narrow lanes to a park where we hiked to the top of a crest for the most incredible views of the lush valley below. We encountered a few other hikers with dogs and several cows grazing but it was so tranquil along the path, I truly forgot that I was only 40 minutes outside the bustling city of London. Our search for Elderflowers was successful - we picked handfuls for Consuelo's next batch of homemade Elderflower Cordial. I promise you, after a long hike it was as refreshing as a tall cold glass of sweet tea with lemon! I brought some back along with her brother's pear cider and a special salad dressing to share with Rick.

I had such a fabulous day in the country with Consuelo ...we shared stories about our kids and our own childhood and even though we have lead such different lives, in different parts of the world, we have faced the same joys and challenges of raising a family and finding our own paths. Thanks for the day, Consuelo! It was BRILLIANT!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Well, one band-aid!

You may have heard that our London Transport System is striking so getting to Mortlake for my AWC Knife Skills and Cooking Class was not easy ....but so worth it! Our teacher was our own club member, Cari Clark, CEC, American Culinary Federation....yes, the same Cari who leads the hikes, so talented! We learned about knives, how to sharpen them, and how to use them properly. Cari taught us the art of boning a fish and removing the segments of an orange with finesse...both will come in handy this summer on the river.

After the demonstration we all took a turn with the knives and practiced our skills chopping and julienning (fancy huh!) vegetables for the Thai Noodle Salad. The trick really is having very sharp knives and when we left everyone still had all their fingers...well, one band-aid ...on Cari! (Don't tell her I told you!)

It was a refreshing main dish salad...a real treat! I especially liked the rice noodles and the dressing so I decided to post the recipe for all to try this summer.

1 lb cooked chicken breast, thinly sliced (or shrimp or tofu)
4 oz rice noodles
2 c iceberg lettuce, torn into bite sized pieces
1 c julienned carrot
1/2 cucumber, peeled and sliced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
1 c cabbage shredded
1/4 c chopped scallion
1/4 c fresh mint, chopped
1/4 c fesh cilantro, chopped
1/4 c fresh lime juice
1/4 c rice vinegar
3 T sugar
4 tsp fish sauce
1/4 c sweet chili sauce

Place boiling water over rice noodles and let set 10 minutes. Drain noodles and rinse with cold water, drain again.
Toss all vegetables, noodles, herbs, and chicken in a LARGE bowl.
Whisk remaining ingredients together for dressing, and drizzle over mixture.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Hats, Hats, Hats

Wait, is that Dr. Nancy wearing pearls in London?

Today I attended the KCWC Annual Membership Luncheon at the Royal Automobile Club where the theme was Ascot and a prize was given for the best hat. These are a few of my favorites!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Swag and Tails

The gastro pub which is conveniently located just outside our back gate and through the secret passage into the Mews ... is now closed. After 20 years of business in Knightsbridge...closed! It was the perfect pub for guests who were visiting from the States or EY freinds who were in town for meetings and tired of airplane food. We even had our Christmas Party there the first year we were here.

Friday was our last supper at The Swag and we celebrated with friends at the long table in the back. Rick always ordered the burger, medium rare, cheese and bacon, no bap and I always ordered the chicken dish which changes with the season. We are really going to miss this place!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Have you ever tried Nepresso?