A Month In Food: September 2017
- Monmouth, Borough, London
- Bedales, Borough, London
- Roast, Borough, London
The month kicked off with a visit to Borough Market, a meander through the sights and smells of this classic foodie institution.
Now considered somewhat ‘gentrified’ and therefore less hip than some of the grittier and less ‘polished’ newer food markets such as Maltby street and Brixton village, I still find it fabulous (even more so at Christmas when I can be found slightly tipsy, clutching a glass of champagne in one of those novel plastic flutes) and well London Bridge is somewhat more convenient.
A perfect cup of coffee from cult roasters Monmouth provided much-needed energy for a day of eating and wine tasting. But it was a mistake to turn up hungry. I proceeded to wander around in a bit of a daze procrastinating over what to eat – would it be a venison burger? Or falafel? Or paella? (no – the carbs!) then I spotted one of my favourite venues – Bedales, a wine shop and tapas bar and the perfect perch from which to survey the comings and goings of the market. Here I had a glorious Chicken liver mousse, lightly whipped and served as a large quenelle with some toasted sourdough (of course) and a glass of house champagne. Stomach suitably lined off we went to taste wine for the afternoon. Back at London Bridge several hours later and hungry again, my companion and I headed to the restaurant Roast – a much-lauded restaurant situated above the market (and this is just one of so many good restaurants here). This refined and elegant space affords great rooftop views of the market and the London Bridge area. The food was as good as I expected. I chose grouse while my guest chose the slow-cooked ox cheek and sides that included roast potatoes. All perfectly cooked and washed down with a carafe of Saint Joseph (a northern Rhone red – mostly Syrah). A lovely end to the day and a fitting way in which to start a week that was to end with a trip to Glastonbury to attend a detox retreat.
Regular readers know of my detox-retox lifestyle. This is totally necessary. Since leaving the corporate world, my lifestyle has become less disciplined with weight control somewhat more challenging. I do actually enjoy retreats where I get to hike or run in beautiful countryside and eat delicious healthy food and just simply get away from it all. It’s a wonderfully restorative thing to do and I have a few favourite places. But I have never gone without food. This has always struck me as ridiculous, something I swore I would never do. But I kept reading about the health and anti-ageing benefits (of which there is now so much scientific evidence, it is hard to ignore) and well, I felt like challenging myself. I wanted to see if I could do it. After all, food is pretty much my life. So could I go without?
I have to admit I was dreading it. It took all my willpower not to turn off at the last minute and check into my favourite Babington House, tantalizingly only 10 minutes up the road. But I did it. All five days. And I can honestly say… it was horrific. The hunger did not subside after the first couple of days as so many people profess and promise. Oh no. Not at all. I was utterly miserable. That said, I lost a noticeable amount of weight and got lots of comments on how great and ‘fresh’ I looked. My stress tracking metrics (did I tell you I am a health tech fanatic?) were all annoyingly the best they’ve ever been. So clearly something good had happened. But was it worth it?… No.