To Sea & Earth

It had been a full day and the fun continued as we had dinner reservations at a special restaurant, Lou Cignales. 
www.loucigalon.fr


We started with an amuse bouche, an olive tapenade and a second amuse bouche of warm couscous. Delicious. 

I had ordered the earth menu, an incredible petit gateau de champignons in a light citrus infused broth with white beans. It was earthy, warming and hearty. The mushroom mousse melted on the tongue and with a hint of orange, the flavour combination was perfect. 

Letad had started with the sea menu, a woody smoked salmon with fennel. Light and delicious but we agreed the mushroom dish was the winner. 

Moving on we both went with earth as we ordered duck with vegetables and a rich, sticky sauce. The duck was perfectly cooked and slivers of caramelised ginger surprised and complemented the palate. 

We moved on to a cheese plate, a small crisp salad combined with a Roquefort mousse. Light, salty, unusual.

We thought we were finished but an amuse bouche après arrived. A miniature tarte tartin. It was the perfect end to the earthy winter menu.

And just when we thought that was it, a plate of petit fours arrived. A sticky French nougat was the end of the meal and we sighed, replete.

The Modern Pantry

Sunday morning, the weekend rapidly flying by and so Letad and I went to The Modern Pantry in Clerkenwell for an early brunch.www.themodernpantry.co.uk

I decided to start with a delicious glass of Prosecco, a good decision indeed while Letad abstained, and instantly had drink-envy. Mistake!

The Modern Pantry

A creature of habit it seems, I ordered the tea-smoked salmon with poached eggs and hollandaise. The tea flavour was pungent, the hollandaise silky smooth and with fronds of watercress, the combination was delicious.

Letad was more adventurous as he boldly ordered Beef Rendang mince on toast with poached egg and coriander. With a rich spicy flavour, it was delicious and for once, he got to eat what he’d ordered.

After brunch we wandered over to the Smithfield market, the historic meat market. There’s been a livestock market on the site of the Smithfield market for almost a thousand years which is an interesting fact unless you’re a cow. 
www.smithfieldmarket.com

Smithfield market
Gates at Smithfield market

Leaving Smithfield we headed back to Camden to look for antiques. Camden isn’t France and so was full of tat and tourists and was sadly lacking in antiques. Somehow we ended up in Morrisons (how surprising) where we spotted a six foot fake Christmas tree for £25. Nabbing it, I was delighted it. A nice bit of bargain shopping.

Letad kindly acted as donkey as he carried it up the hill, into the tiny lift and up to the little flat in Chalk Farm. Of course, it’s far too early to set it up yet but it’s all beginning to feel quite festive.

With a few lights and baubles on it, no one will know what the tree really looks like… hopefully.