Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Rye Bay Scallop Week

When we boarded the train at St. Pancreas,
with a change in Ashford, we had no idea
that it was Rye Bay Scollop week.  The sun
was shining with a hint of spring in the air….
we were just out for another weekend
 to Rye.

For several hundred years from the late 1100, Rye enjoyed Royal Privileges, becoming a wealthy port.  It was made a Royal Borough and was allowed to run its own affairs, raise its own taxes, and operate its own judicial system. Despite the presence of a King's Bailiff, Rye earned a terrible reputation for smuggling and piracy!  

From the Ypres Tower above the Castle Museum we could look across the marsh and imagine this little town's past life as a port in the days before the sea rolled back. 

A stroll along Rye's cobbled streets revealed 
Mermaid Lane….

There's a theme going here with small doors!  

The wharf area is packed with souvenir shops, antique stores, 
pubs, and tea rooms.

But the best part of our day was our sampling of 
Bay Scallop dishes!

Coquilles St. Jacques….
Simply means "scallop" in French,
but remember this……
a sweet scallop grilled in butter atop chopped sautéed mushrooms,
steamed spinach and mash,
topped with a little Gruyere cheese
all tucked into a pretty shell! 

Rye Rocked! 

Sunday, February 23, 2014


The treasures that got away……
The seltzer bottles were the perfect shades of blues and greens but 
filthy and full of water.  We decided to pass!
The £35 iron clocks with Roman Numerals
(seen in Ballard Designs for $$$) 
would have been perfect for the girls in Boston
but when we went back after lunch,
many of the booths had closed due to the bad weather!

I loved this "Old Hall" trunk,
but not today! 

I did bring home a French bench/foot stool……

It looks nice with the desk I got last year.

And I got a deal on a Chinese 'Vahhz'
to add to our Founder's Day Mahjongg Basket…
I thought the color was so soft and pretty, 
who wouldn't want to win that? 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Ardingly - Mr. Rick's first visit

Ardingly Antiques Fair …. through freezing rain and flooded fields, the show goes on!

Rick has heard so much about this antique fair that I actually convinced him to take a day off, 
rent a car, and drive a few of us ladies for a day of bargain hunting.  
Of course, this had to be the worst conditions I have ever been to Ardingly!

You can tell from our reflection in the mirror that we were prepared for the bad weather,
 many of the vendors were not!

I thought this time I would feature Mr. Rick and some of the treasures he was interested in…..
"You don't need a cane yet!" 

old bikes

industrial tables

Parts off an old merry-go-round

I'm not even going there!

boats and fishing reels,
but no one was willing to bargain!

The best part of his day,
a ham and cheese toasty!

And NOT getting the rental car stuck in the mud,
needing to be pulled out by the local farmer's tractor, whew! 

Next blog….my treasures! 

Monday, February 17, 2014

London's Vibrant China Town

Chef Ruby Cheney gave us a tour of London's vibrant China Town.  She introduced us to Chinese culture and food…...
interesting ingredients and how to cook with them.

She took us to her favorite bakery.
Some things like these fried dough sticks are savory,
filled with black bean paste,
while some things, like these Hello Kitty cakes, are sweet.

She lead us through the grocery store pointing out 
the best things to buy 
and things to avoid.

Aha, flashbacks of my childhood in Taiwan,
where nothing is wasted! 

Our final treat was a Dim Sum lunch at the Golden Dragon. 

It's always good to try new things! 

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Pickles, of course!

This my favorite Pub treat …. a Ploughman's platter!
Usually a thick slice of ham, a wedge of sharp cheddar,
a little salad, crispy bread or a baguette,
and always,
always, a generous helping of chutney.
Some of the fancier pubs might offer hard-boiled eggs or a slice of pork pie.
During our many years in London I have tried all sorts of onion chutney,
from the cheapest grocery store brand to the most expensive fresh market brands.
The best, by far, is the one we get at our local Belgravia Pub!

It's 'chunky'!  I thought maybe they cut up those pickled onions to make 
the chutney so 'chunky'.

So, I finally asked! 

It is not onion chutney at all…
It is, buy it in any grocery store,
Original Pickle

Pickles, of course!
This will be in my suitcase heading home this time! 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Pub Quizzers

The Queen's Head in Hammersmith is our home for the AWC Pub Quiz -
and this time we celebrated the
This activity has become a sold-out event for our club but it is just as popular for Pub Quizzers all around London - 457 pubs participate on a weekly basis! We are always amazed at the "Quiz Master".  Each time we have been, he has stumped us with trivia.  This time  he focused on the Superbowl Game…. we thought we had him!

How many blades of "turf" are in this jar?
Which of these dips has mackerel, garlic and mint?
Who wears the Fisherman's ring?  Not his wife?
(If you are Catholic you better know this!)
Write the Roman Numeral for 1999.

We sure missed our regular table mates, they would have been proud!
We brought in the 'ringers', Pat W and her husband.
We had to identify the name of the product in past Super Bowl commercials…..
We had to identify stadiums from pictures from the blimp…..
and we had to match teams with their logos.

I just had to write down the answers
because I have lingering laryngitis.

The hardest section by far was the music section!
Identifying the song and original singer would have been hard enough but when a marching band is playing the music…..
What?  That does not sound like Beyonce! 

This is the winning team - all young and spirited!
We "graded their papers" and they made an A+
They almost had a perfect score on the music section!

I hope there is at least ONE more Pub Quiz in my future!