England: Myths of Foggy Albion
Rain. Fog. The penetrating wind. Prudish gentlemen in a pub. “Tayms“, tube, English breakfast cup. “Your porridge, sir“. “As badly the queen was dressed today!“ “As in the nine Wayne Rooney fine punched!“ Kind old England! Or not?
England - a bastion of traditions and firm rules. The advantage and coolness - here a portrait of the true Englishman. Will not damage also a little self-irony. The most terrible sentence - absence of sense of humour. The gentleman without hat - the foreigner. It is necessary to sleep with a hot-water bottle in the winter, and all the year round - to walk with an umbrella. It is necessary to wash in a bathroom, the shower is, it … gentlemen, well it is even not ridiculous! What is hell? The place where police officers are Germans, comedians are Swedes, cooks are Turks, waiters are Irish …
the Monarchy - a subject of constant criticism, and still: “My God, store the queen!“ And what you will desire to eat? Roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, scrambled eggs. You hurry? Then - fish &chips, please! Familiar invariable naborchik. And what you want? England - a bastion of traditions and firm rules. Was.
British are entirely cold and reserved people. Familiar statement?“ Yes they are not able to have fun at all, all only work and work, and in the evenings sit in pubs and silently are inflated with beer“, - the girl familiar with British as obliges told me before flying away to London. Yes, British work much: an animal grin of capitalism, fear to lose a lucrative post … Yes you and all know. But in the evenings … In the evenings streets, bars, restaurants and discos of London are filled by cheerful people.
21. 00. Oxford - the street. Traffic jam. Across to cars the flock of sixteen-year-old girls rushes. They hurry to kiss each other with the friends shifting from one foot to the other on the opposite side of the street. Laughter, joyful shouts, embraces. Drivers knowingly smile: ah, youth, youth!
21. 30. A pub “A polecat and a keg in the balloon up a stream“ (an institution with the longest name in London). There`s not an inch of room. Beer of own production flows like water. Behind one of little tables the company of typical “white collars“ desperately tries to reproduce the last hit of Robbie Williams. The song is pleasant to neighbors, and the young man with appearance of the bank employee of an average link jumps on a little table. Oho, here dances! Alas. Having stood a couple of minutes on a table, future banker goes down on a floor.“ White collars“ begin the new song. The young man cheers up and with running start jumps on a table again. The shirt flutters as a sail. The tie is thrown on a shoulder. In eyes fire, a thunder and lightnings. Again on a floor. The new song - and the third attempt to subdue a table. Successfully. Storm of applause of people around. For some reason nobody is angry and uses foul language. Bartenders laugh and pour to the guy still beer.
22. 00. Bar in St hotel. Martin`s Lane. the Most popular place in the city in which design Philippe Starck was engaged. About a bar counter not to force the way. Local specialty cocktails - a nail of the current season. They are so unusual that behind an additive all jump the line. And as well-known saying:“ The Englishman, even if there is nobody nearby, forms the disciplined line of one person“? In total in the past, gentlemen, all in the past.
Couscous, sir!English cuisine is awful
! It is heavy, ordinary-looking and unappetizing. I admit, to a trip to London I too so thought. However what is the real English cuisine? After vigorous transfer of a pudding, roast beef and porridge the thought begins to slip? Then listen!
Thanks to mixture of styles and influence of the best world gastronomic traditions reformation of English cuisine happened, and London, no doubt, became one of the gastronomic capitals of the world. Practically all fashionable restaurants of London offer dishes in style of eclecticism. Popular British cooks Gordon Remsey, Gary Roudz, Jamie Oliver, Henry Harris are not afraid to experiment and actively make use of culinary experience of other countries. All these people are fans of the business. They work at kitchen not because did not find other ways to earn a living.
Just they like cooking food. At the same time the commercial kitchen remains the last bastion holding the working conditions which came from the 19th century: almost seventeen-hour working day, constantly standing, cooking for a handful of people whom never in life even you will see. Consciously to want to be roasted on this heated frying pan, it is necessary to be completely in power of the flavoring receptors.But as a result on light fantastic combinations are born
: a fua - a gra with a tuna and pickled beets, a stewed duck with a karamelizirovanny salmon and a potato graten, pheasant, squids salad, nuts of cashew and seasonal greens. But it is not that fusion - konfyyuzhn which the Moscow experimenters, and really sometimes offer flight of the author`s imagination. There now, say, the chef of Asia de Cuba Owen Stewart prepared for us combs on - Sichuan. All right, we think, it is time to try something very Chinese. Bring plates. M - yes! Fluent survey gives existence of sausages chorizo, dried tomatoes and corn. Combs, however, too are available. All this is filled darkly - green salsa and strewed with small planed lemon grass.Sinicism obviously does not smell of
. Carefully I put the first piece in a mouth. Mm! Fantasy. Not so sharp, ideally balanced dish. It is advisable to put additives. Hey, where! My satellites throw combs as natives of the Hungry Cape. And it despite eight dishes which we already managed to taste. And ahead twelve more changes. In total - journalism - a hard profession. We are obliged to try everything. Difficult, but differently it is impossible. Otherwise is a cowardice and an unsuitability for a profession.
A what kitchen now at peak of popularity in England? Indian and North African. The fashion on ethnic motives is quite explainable: the Asian population of Britain (more than one million) - the most numerous in Europe.
the Best restaurant of London specializing in Indian cuisine is called Zaika. It is said whether as “hare“, whether as “stutterer“, and means “refined aromas“ in translation from Hindi. A delicacy to Londoners it is obvious on temper - places for dinner in Zaika should be reserved for several weeks.
But fashion on the East does not mean at all that all Indian and Moroccan restaurants are filled chock-full. Matter in another - the famous cooks amicably entered the corresponding dishes into the menu: a chicken - the tandoor with mango chatn, a vegetable saute in sauce of a curry, rack of lamb on a pillow from vegetables with harissy. The absolute leader of a season winter - spring - 2004 - couscous. In all fashionable institutions of the English capital there will be a couple of intricate dishes with these whaet groats: couscous salad, mussels, lettuce and frieze; fua - a gra with couscous; couscous with strawberry and pineapples. There is even a couscous with truffles. And why is also not present?
By the way, the last culinary hits it is possible to try not only at capital restaurants. For example, in two hours` journey from London there is a city of Bath (Bath). It is famous for ancient Roman terms, modern for Spa - resorts and excellent kitchen. Especially I recommend to visit restaurants in Ston Easton Park Hotel and Pimpernel`s in The Royal Crescent Hotel.
the Woman`s kingdom
Of course, British try to follow certain rules of the game. So, in advertizing leaflets of Menu &The grill restaurants it is written that the chef Angela Hartnett connected traditions of high British cuisine to modern trends of other European countries. Beautifully. And in actual fact - typical Italian cuisine with easy influence of culinary styles of other countries. What is unsurprising: the grandmother and Angela`s mother - Italians. But restaurants are in traditional British hotel Connaught, so, it is necessary to correspond to ambitions of the British Empire. However, Angela is interesting not to these. It began the way to success at Aubergine restaurant (“Eggplant“) under supervision of famous Gordon Remsey. The men`s team of cooks relied at once: in our severe collective the woman will hold on no more than a week. Angela held on until the restaurant was not given a star of Michelin.
Now in Angela`s submission several tens men. But even the boss should work. If you glance on restaurant kitchen before a lunch, will seem to you that you got to a madhouse. The door conducting in restaurant has “krichalshchik“ who cries out orders like machine gun fire. In the distant end of kitchen of its team by miracle reach someone`s hearing, and the long line of plates appears with velocity of light. Inexplicably the necessary food gets to the necessary plate. And in the final act of this ballet of a plate departure from kitchen and land directly before the trembling nostrils of having dinner.
It is natural, nobody has to guess that behind revolving doors - the real bedlam. Therefore in kitchen the army discipline reigns. Everywhere posters with orders of the severe cook hang: “This door NEVER has to be closed“, “On this table do ONLY desserts!“ Who did not understand - let expostulates on himself. In all corners of kitchen video cameras are established. Try pokovyryat in a nose in a preparation time of banana mousse or to tell a joke to the colleague, undressing a tuna. The matter is that directly in the middle of Angela`s kitchen chef`s table is equipped (a table the chief - cooks). Sitting at this table, guests can observe all sacraments of cooking on four plasma screens, and also to see Angela`s journeymen, in waste rushing by them. Clients it is excited.
be not a pudding
there are in London also original strongholds of national traditions. The oldest restaurant The Rules of London opened in 1798 offers clients aristocratic British cuisine. The king Edward VII preferred to have dinner with the girlfriend actress Lily Lengtri here. Well-known “a little table for two“ at which lovers sat, - to this day the most ordered place at restaurant. The list of the famous visitors of The Rules commands respect: Charles Dickens, William Thackeray, John Galsworthy, Graham Green, Clark Gable, Charlie Chaplin and many - many others. For preparation of dishes in The Rules use only a bird and fish hooked in the territory of own hunting grounds. In the menu there are always several classical dishes: a smoked Scottish salmon, specially made roast beef and, of course, a pudding. Or rather, ten the most different puddings.
Immemorial question: and what is a pudding? First of all the pudding is a dessert. The English child wishing something sweet can quite ask: “Mothers, and that at us today on a pudding?“ There are, however, puddings solid, thorough, for example Yorkshire. Such pudding - a full-fledged hot dish. The pudding is so popular in England that dictionaries give also other values of this word. Expression “Well you and pudding!“ means that at the owner of such epithet of a cheek are visible from long ago - for ears. And the phrase “Ah, our Margaret fell into a pudding state“ it is possible to regard in only one image: Margo was careless and in 9 months of her friend waits for a surprise. And still British have a remarkable proverb which can quite be the answer to groundless criticism of English cuisine:“ The taste of pudding is in the eating “-“ can learn taste of a pudding, having only tried it“.
At five o`clock all England drinks tea. Five o`clock tea - one of the English traditions most known abroad. Traditions need to be supported. In London there are several places where model tea ceremonies are held. For example, in The Ritz hotel or in The Brown`s hotel. We went to The Brown`s. Here try to hold tea drinking exactly as conceived them in 40 - x years of the XIX century the duchess Bedfordskaya. Ten grades of perfect tea, dense cream, cakes, rolls, sandwiches, jam and slow talk under quiet sounds of a grand piano. One “but“: our five o`clock tea began at three o`clock in the afternoon. The general manager of hotel Mathew Dixon admitted that five-hour tea about which it is very much written, no more than a legend. This ceremony was conceived by the English aristocracy only with the purpose to show the selectness. While the commonalty only went from work, anticipating a dense dinner (high tea), aristocrats sat down to drive teas with refined snack. But today adhere to old tradition unless in Buckingham Palace, and all country with pleasure drinks tea in the most different time.
the Formula “at first milk, then tea“ - too not the ultimate truth. Residents of Northern England very quietly pour milk directly in tea and are sure that their way only true. How to make the correct tea? How many British - are so much also ways. And the most impatient passed to tea in bags for a long time and do not feel a remorse.
the Only thing which really supports traditions of tea drinking, - tismeyd, a surprising thingummy like a thermos with the timer. It is intended for timely preparation of hot tea directly in an ice bed. All know that in the winter the terrible cold reigns in bedrooms of British. Speak, tea in this unit turns out prepogany, but - traditions, traditions...It is time for
the Ideal English pub is called “The underwater moon“. It is in the small small town near Manchester. Tables from mahogany, mirrors in patten frames, fireplaces with pig-iron lattices. Here often play darts, waitresses know all regular customers on names. Here it is always rather silent to talk if only do not praise too loudly the advantage of local ale. But you will never find “The underwater moon“ in life. About 60 years ago it was described by George Orwell who took part in popular English game - to think up an ideal pothouse.
each inhabitant of foggy Albion has the favourite pub.“ Panch and Judee“ - an institution for youth. One of the most fancy - a pub “Old Cheshire cheese“. From one name slobbers flow. There is a wish to come immediately inside and to order a mug of amber svezhesvarenny beer. The pub “The king`s head“ was chosen by theater-goers. Here under clinking of glasses plays are played. In one pubs fans “Manchester United“, in others - representatives of a religious community “Singing together“ gather. There are pubs for gardeners - fans and the gigolo - professionals, for owners of Yorkshire terriers and mistresses of “Jaguars“.
P. S. Warm February day. The sun will stick together eyes. Two ladies at restaurant. “Is cosmopolitan“, “As badly at a wedding at Pel played DJ Fucker!“ “But as are good as roses were fresh!“ Nice New England! Or not?