The girls and I had a sunny London rendezvous last weekend. I was desperate to see the hanging baskets at the Churchill Arms on Kensington Church Street, and the girls – with much teasing about my horticultural enthusiasm and joking about how much of an anticlimax these flowers would be after listening to me go on and on about them – humoured me.
We walked around the corner and as Sam and Lu saw the pub for the first time I got to enjoy one of my very favourite things: the intense satisfaction of being right. Their previously sceptical faces were lit up like two Christmas trees.
We decided it was too sunny to spend our afternoon indoors drinking (not something that happens often in England) but what we could see of the interior through the open door was pretty awesome. We’ll have to come back when summer’s over (probably some time next week, god damn it England) and explore properly.
When the girls were done ogling they turned back to me and asked “How did you know?!”, clearly mystified by my London pub knowledge. I sort of guiltily mumbled something about something something and looked the other way, before eventually admitting that I’d seen the pub on Gardener’s World. That’s right, boys and girls. I watch Gardener’s World.
It started innocently enough: I was channel hopping and suddenly this gorgeous Golden Retriever appeared, and was wandering around being adorable while the gardening happened, but then before I knew it I was enjoying the plants just as much as the dog. Yeah I might as well just say it: I like to spend my Friday nights curled up with a cup of tea, something chocolate-y, and Monty Don. (On the TV, I mean. Monty doesn’t sit and watch Gardener’s World with me. That would be weird.)
So now that I’ve admitted that I’m a big ol’ loser, I think it’s time for some food.
Prior to the floral fun, we’d been for some raw vegan lunch at Nama. Now I might be a vegetarian (and sometimes a vege-scare-ian) but I bloomin’ love cheese. And eggs. And all the dairy. So I was expecting good things from an artisan raw food restaurant, but my booking for lunch for three at 1pm wasn’t my only reservation.
But as soon as the starter arrived my doubts disappeared.
Holy guacamole was this stuff good. Guacamole is one of my very favourite foods, and I have eaten a lot of it. I mean A LOT of it. But the guac at Nama. Oh. My. God. How good was it? Let’s just say if I fell into a vat of it, and had to eat my way out, I wouldn’t be sad.
When we’d finished eating forkfuls of guacamole (which by the way is totally acceptable restaurant behaviour when the guacamole in question is that good) the main attractions arrived. We’d ordered tactically so we could share everything.
Lasagne verdure (layers of Pomodoro sauce, herbed nut, seed and yellow pepper cheese, pesto and marinated spinach served between courgette ‘pasta’ strips) which was sort of like chewing your way through heaven.
Zucchini pasta (spiralised Zucchini noodles served with Pomodoro sauce, sundried tomatoes, marinated mushrooms, caramelised onions and olives) which you might think would be less tasty and less filling than normal pasta but you would be oh so very wrong.
And Thai coconut curry (cauliflower, courgette, red pepper and leek marinated in sweet chilli sauce, served with a coconut curry, kohlrabi rice and pickled fennel) which as well as being delicious was also the best looking curry I’ve ever seen.
Having chewed our way through all of this deliciousness we were stuffed like three turkeys at Christmas time (albeit artisan raw vegan turkeys), but when the waitress asked if we wanted to look at the dessert menu, who were we to say no? And when that dessert menu had something called a ‘sweet treat selection’ we basically had no choice but to order it.
So yes, I would highly recommend Nama to anyone, whether they be vegan, vegetarian, or an avid meat eater. Having paid up and sipped our last sips of the never ending supply of cucumber water, we skipped off into the sunshine (or perhaps more accurately, limped and groaned into the sunshine, clutching our tummies) and headed to the park via the Churchill Arms, for more gossip and some ice cream in the sunshine.
I have missed my daily fix of these two wonderful women more than I can say in the last year. More adventures soon please, ladies!