Friday, July 13, 2007

Locanda Locatelli And The Last Days Of London

Just wanted to put up a few words about the restaurant I'd been dying to go. I'd fallen in love with Giorgio after I first laid eyes on him on the fabulous Tony and Giorgio cooking show. Basically if you're passionate about real Italian cooking then you have me hook line and sinker. And that foppish hair and those eyes...

R got us in for her one and only night in London during our weekend visit, so it was tavolo per cinque, all spruced up. Giorgio greeted us at the reception and I got all shaky and giggly. He looks good. I'm pathetic.

The meal was everything I'd hoped. Good Italian cooking. Unpretentious and reasonably priced. Cute Italian waitstaff. No celebs but what can you do. We saw Jude Law in Paris so that makes up for it.

For my entree I had scoops of goats cheese that was incredibly light and fluffy, drizzled in balsamic reduction and served with baby beetroot and baby onions. My main was orecchiette with crushed peas, guancale and something else. Oh dear I've forgotten. Never mind it was delicious. I was definitely having three courses so dessert was a chocolate and licorice fondant - perfectly runny in the middle - with a scoop of icecream on the side. Two great wines, Chianti and Sangiovese, chosen by the clever wine man himself, Wayne. The girls, bless them, tried to get Giorgio to come out and spend a minute at our table, but he was too busy. It was very sweet of you to try!

We then had some gorgeous martinis at The Purple Bar at the Sanderson. R really is the girl about town. What a fabulous night!


The sun did come out that weekend so it was delightful to stroll around the Thames (less delightful to push and shove our way through Oxford Street trying to get some last minute bargains. Horrible stuff, but managed to pick up a couple of pieces from COS and TopShop). Went to Borough Markets which were brilliant and had wild boar sausage hot dogs, then went to the scallop man (cute in a seafaring way) for three plump scallops served with crunchy bacon on the shell. Had a delicious curry (right around the corner from you, R, have you tried it?). We hopped on the London Eye for beautiful views and caught up with A again for lunch at Leon and some of my happiest buys - including the most perfect trench from Gap! Finally, a trenchcoat!

We had some great last laughs, and then Monday morning it was time to head home...

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

In Numbers:

Weight at departure: 58.0kg
Weight at arrival: 60.8kg
Weight of luggage at departure: 14.4kg
Weight of luggage at arrival: 30kg
Books taken/read: 3/0.5
Pairs of shoes bought: 4
Money spent: Beaucoup

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Almost home.

Is this the same trip that started with Carlo's eyes and handcuffed-scarred 'bracelets'? Kissing and screaming in Madrid. Cold in Amsterdam. Kinship in Dublin. Yes, it has all been this one trip, this one mad, amazing, beautiful trip.

Coming home. The fine line between answering polite 'what was the highlight'-type questions and sharing ridiculous anecdotes. Who can understand the sensation of dancing with others in that magical instant in Privilege or the joy of bathroom sex with a well-known Ibiza DJ?

(It's funny because I already feel closer to home, almost barring that last line so as not to seem crass. But I am crass, and sexual, and crazy, and if anything that is why I travel, to get closer to that real Julia).

But with repetition, and interruptions, the magic of the anecdote seems to be betrayed or pimped out. These moments are my jewels and it is hard to reconcile.

Writing is the happy medium I think. So here I am at Changi, putting a few last thoughts down, although there will be many more updates - Locanda Locatelli; photos. Now it's time to get back on yet another plane, pop a sleeping pill and wake up to a beautiful family.

Saturday, July 07, 2007


In London

How wonderful to have arrived in London at R's gorgeous apartment after a bit of a manic morning! Is there anything better while travelling than a normal shower (ie, one that doesn't flood or cut out or go cold or get walked in upon halfway through by a yeti), with a full leg shave and hair wash? Nope!

Dublin was brilliant. Spending three days with beautiful Ruth was really special - such good catching up - with her treating me to taking me around some of the best of the city and country. One day was spent on the best pub crawl, drinking creamy Guinness at the oldest watering holes, so full of character and charm. Another included a divine lunch at Dublin's top restaurant, then drinking at all the posh places - gentleman's clubs and swanky hotels. In the dark we drove down to the south to stay at a farmhouse. An incredible experience, to wake up in a big fluffy bed overlooking the rainswept beach, and to cook a full Irish breakfast. Memo to self: must learn how to make Irish soda bread. Then we visited some historic, mystical magical place that we'll definitely come back to for more.

It was colder than home and when the rain stopped for a minute I even began to praise how mild it was - oh dear! That's what spending time in this god foresaken weather will do to you!

We laughed, drank, really talked. A rare gift.

And now in London. May the sun peep out for just a few last moments of my northern summer. And then it'll be the anticipation of hugs and kisses with nearest and definitely dearest.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


A bit emotional today. Maybe because Im on my own for the first time in weeks, maybe because its being in Paris and a bit sentimental - quiche in the Jardin de Luxembourg; eating eclairs - maybe because its my last day in non-English Europe, maybe the lack of cigarettes after a month of heavy smoking.

It has been nice to play tourguide in Paris this time. Familiar yet always new Paris. I feel a bit disconnected from everything and everywhere today. Its probably fatigue. Unbelievably tired. I need a bed, a beach, or a hug.

Tonight, Dublin. Cant wait to see R in her neck of the woods. And then London, and then the concept of home enters the mind.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Barcelona, Florence, Amsterdam

I miss Ibiza.

Barcelona was great. A really cool place with a good vibe. More insane people. Just when you think you have seen all the quirkiness that life has to offer, there's more. We shopped; ate "the world's most delicious sandwich" (Mark Bittman) - the flauta of rich dark fatty jamon iberico between perfectly crunchy bread, which was so good we went back for more; went to the amazing Parc Guell; ate ridiculously good tapas at Paco Meralgo (a day after Pim) and Ferran Adrian's brother's Inopia, and I finally had a paella that I enjoyed - more than that, swooned over every last grain of rice.

Then a few days in Florence. Mostly to shop. Two pairs at YSL that make me very happy, and plates of pasta and Tuscan bread that possibly make me even happier. Florence is a nightmare though. Never again. The heat (36C), the tourists, the crowds. Not finding Grom. Enough.

Now, Amsterdam. We arrive a day earlier because our flight was cancelled and it is 16C and raining. Nothing to wear, cold. The deep tan looks nuts. The staircases are so steep and tiny. But we are in love. We share a joint in a coffeehouse with boys playing dice games and today in a rasta bar. We eat too much but it is so delicious. Everyone is on bikes. We feel good about this place and feel it is somewhere we could live. Who knows?

Time for the red light district. Be good.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Just arrived in Barcelona. There are no words, at least now, for Ibiza. We are very emotional at having to leave. We had the most incredible, insane, crazy, fun, mind-boggling, beautiful week. I´ve never laughed so much in my life, or been amazed by everything around me.

So for now, enjoy some photos, while we step out for that consoling Marlboro Light.