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Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Hello London

ThegarrisonSo I made it to London. This time I'm staying in a neighbourhood that's almost entirely new to me, Bermondsey. I'm renting a little flat here for a couple of weeks before I make my way down to France for Burgundy-spitting fun.

I wondered if London would feel a little odd, coming back into town for the first time since that horrible day. Living in America, and especially on the faraway West Coast, it's easy to feel insulated and disconnected from the world at large. We are very much the world unto ourselves.

Am I scared? No, I don't think so. It would be supremely silly to, no? But then again I haven't made it down the Tube yet. We shall see. I should hope not though. So many things in this world are completely out of my control, if I were to worry about all of them that would be all I do.

I must say it's very good to get out of the craziness of the west end of town where my old flat was. I've been hanging out on this end for a while anyway. My favorite places like St. John, Borough market, Neals Yard and Monmoth café are over here. In fact, I'm about to walk over the Monmoth for some good coffee and superlative bread/butter/jam. That butter is so good it makes me weep. What a shame it's so hard to find excellent butter in the US.

Garrisonchicken Last night I walked down the street to a local 'gastropub' called The Garrison. The name made me chuckle, thinking of Mr.Garrison and his lewd hand puppet in South Park. The food was quite good actually, and quite London in the paired down St.John style. I had a very good roasted chicken with buttered carrots (perhaps a bit too strongly flavored with tarragon) and sautéed spinach, and a scoop of lovely rosemary ice cream to finish. The wine list looked ok, but rather sparse on the by-the-glass selections. I ended up with a South African Chinon. Not knowing much (or at all if truth be told) about wines form South Africa, I was delighted to find this one quite nice, with a very good level of acidity to support the fruit, and not a hint of oak to be found. All in all it was exactly the kind of nice low-key evening I wanted for my jetlagged first night in town. I'm sure I'd be back there again before my two weeks in London is over.

The Garrison

99-101 Bermondsey St.
London, SE1

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