An experience in London would not be the same without a ride on London’s underground tube system. This massive infrastructure is the second largest system in the world (270 stations), the oldest system and one of the busiest railroad systems in Europe with over one billion passengers.
My first stop in London was at Knightsbridge. Atop the long ascending stairway stands the world famous Harrods Department Store. I swiftly bypassed every purse, shoe, accessory and clothing display so that I could experience a journey through the gourmet production I had heard so much about. There were rooms allocated to wines and champagnes followed by sections of: chocolates, cheeses, meats, bread, pastry and cakes, truffles and prepared foods as well as, fruits and vegetables from around the world. Every imaginable color and aroma filled my senses; it was a delightful and luscious paradise!
Second on my list was “The Grenadier”. This wonderful little pub is tucked away on a mews off a side road in Belgrave Square. It was a difficult challenge to locate the little pub; tucked away at the dead end of a narrow cobblestone road. There are two claims to fame for this little building. First, it is known to be the Duke of Wellington’s officer’s mess. Secondly, the pub is known for their world famous Bloody Mary cocktail. I just had to find out what the fuss was all about. The flavors were nothing that I had experienced from a Bloody Mary before. This classic Sunday brunch drink had one little extra ingredient which took some time to put my finger on – alas the secret ingredient: I see the bartender pour in a dash of dry sherry. This spicy tomato infusion was a wonderful warm and comforting smooth texture on my palate. I decided to move into the dining room and enjoy some of the other menu items since their Bloody Mary was so delicious. Sadly, their dry, overcooked and bland entrees could not compare.
To close out the evening I made a return trip on the underground tube to St. Pancras station. My friend Pat got me all excited about the Searcy Champagne Bar located inside St. Pancras station, the largest champagne bar in Europe. The choices were impressive; Pat’s selection was the Pommery Summertime Blanc de Blancs NV; it had an aroma of honey and springtime flowers and a slight hint of sweetness along with crispness on the palate. I preferred the Lanson Black Label Brut NV. This wonderful beverage had an aroma of springtime as well as, a palate of fresh fruits, honey and toast. Although the bar was located inside the underground tube station they had a magical way of making me feel elegant and special; a lovely way to relax and unwind before the train ride back home.