Thursday, 12 November 2015

영국여행 | England (Day 7)

Deliberately moving this photo up to use as the thumbnail. Sorrynotsorry.
On day 7, Nick was busy with various arrangements and people I don't know, or at least know very well, so I met up with the second best thing, Ann-Marie (sorry, you're not a thing, I know)

We were determined to get some culture down our country bumpkin throats, so, after walking past the entrance gate and up the road the wrong way for about 5 minutes, we finally made it to the V&A Museum.

Considering it's full of ~beautiful things~ including fashion history, I've been wanting to come here for a LONG time. Look at that exterior! So pretty. Also, what a beautiful day to be spending indoors in darkened rooms with musty old things. Ah, yes.

Anyway, here are some pretty things. I like how they have benches all around this section so you can just sit and stare at the pretty things. I took these pictures mainly so I'd have some reference materials for drawing but we all know that's not going to happen, so I'll just share them with you.

My favourite dress, along with the section that made me laugh the most. Of course there's a section dedicated to modern British rainwear. Of course.

I love how tiny the lady is.

The wedding dress section was also really lovely to see (you can always count on a museum-worthy wedding dress to have gorgeous fabrics and detailing) and I really adore the idea of wearing a patterned shawl over all that white.

Mandatory ugly mirror selfie with antique table.
The more modern sections were a little...abstract...for my liking. I did like this bit though, which challenged the concept of having "nude" coloured anything equate to a sort of orangey peach colour that I've never seen on the skin of a real human being but maybe an average White person could if you squint? I much prefer the colours either side of the central one.

I guess Oompa-Loompas are people too.
Click to embiggen.
There was also lots of stuff acquired from other countries, and odd, conceptual stuff like "what is luxury?" (time, money, prestige, exclusivity, etc) and "if we make a diamond out of the script of Superman 3, is it still valuable?"

There was also a machine that we may or may not have broken (genuinely unsure) and a table made of laquered human hair. It's all the sort of out-there art fashion that I'm simultaneously in love with and terrified by.

And then butts happened, because I'm actually a 5 year old child who can't be trusted with classical sculptures.

We also discovered my love of making Ann-Marie stand next to really huge things and taking pictures of them. Heheh.

Anyway, all that culture made us peckish, and not only are we ~very cultured~, we're also "foodies", which apparently means we like to eat tasty food. Whatever.

I can't remember if Crosstown Doughnuts was Ann-Marie's suggestion, or something I found online, but we went there anyway. Actually, we walked there from the V&A because apparently as well as culture snobs and foodies, we're also masochists. Although in hindsight, after all the food we ate it's probably a good thing we walked.

We bought a box of 6 of the most intense doughnuts I'd ever laid eyes on, with flavours like peanut butter and mixed-berry jam, sea-salt caramel and banana on chocolate sourdough, orange blossom, and quite possibly something containing passionfruit because we're passionfruit FIENDS.

We decided we shouldn't eat them on an empty stomach though, and also should find a knife to cut them all in half for sharing. On our quest I remembered this Buzzfeed list of "delicious cheap eats" in London. Glancing over the selections, we found the one closest to us, which happened to be Smack Lobster. Sounds like a rather cruel and unnecessary way to treat a lobster, to me. (According to their website a 'smack' is what you call the kind of boat that goes around catching lobsters. Learn something new every day!)

The menu is really simple, 2 main options (salad or sandwich roll), £10 each. There's a handful of variations available for both options, but we both went for a roll because just look at that brioche bun. A lot of the options sounded great but since neither of us had ever had lobster before, we went for a simple and clean "Classic" bun.

Behold: a lobster
As someone who goes around proclaiming an inability or distaste for shellfish of all kinds (mainly out of self-preservation, and a childhood phobia that I'm still in the process of shaking off) I really, really enjoyed this. I don't know what I was expecting, texture-wise, from lobster meat, but it wasn't what I got. It was meaty, not like fish meat (because it's not a fish, probably) and not rubbery, like squid and octopus can be (because it's also not a cephalopod, probably). Kind of like a really, REALLY tender chicken. Why is everything like chicken? Thinking about it, it's a lot like the scampi I managed to eat with my uncle and aunt, which...makes a lot of sense.

I'm glad we went for a classic, though, because the flavour was also quite mild. I think getting anything else in the bun would have overpowered it and, while likely enjoyable, for a first time I think I wouldn't really have gotten the most from it.

I'm realising now that I've written a lot about just one lobster roll, most of which was quite obvious, so I'll just finish off saying that the only way I would have enjoyed it more was if we could have had some skinny fries with it. Like the ones they sell in places like Honest Burger, with aioli oil and some kind of lightly flavoured salt. And maybe chipotle mayo. Mm. Maybe I shouldn't write about food when I'm hungry.

In our desperation searching for a disposable knife that wouldn't also require us to buy a load of food to go with it, we ended up in Wasabi, realising that some of the stuff they try to pass off as Japanese is in fact Korean or Chinese or just generally not Japanese ("Sorry, I don't speak Asian!"), we bought edamame beans and nabbed a knife. We bought the beans because they were keeping the knives hostage by the tills. Why would you do that? (Presumably to ward off nuisances like us that come in to steal knives for cutting up doughnuts).

Once we procured a knife we then had to find somewhere comfy to sit, that wasn't in a cafe or restaurant where they'd no doubt boot us for consuming anything other than an in-store purchase. The we remembered we were in London and gave up all hope. (Ha)

Actually we made a beeline for Soho square, which was either full up, covered in poo, or soaking wet, and so considered to meander around the backstreets either side of Oxford Street until at last, to the sounds of heavenly fanfare, we found a bench,

We promptly cut up all the doughnuts, got into our second half (so effectively ONE DOUGHNUT in) and proceeded to question our life choices. They're very delicious doughnuts. They're also very rich and heavy sourdough. Very filling.

Not wanting to waste any of our precious premium box, we continued to fight our way through until we were done, and were torn between feeling proud, content, sick, and distraught. (Hence my face in the photo above) I think we cried at one point, but I can't remember if it was from laughter or sadness. Or hysteria.

The beans lay untouched.

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