Sunday, July 01, 2007

the wolseley

grey, cold and perpetual precipitation. just your typical summer day in london. it would have been a totally miserable saturday except for the fact that the peachy pebbles was in town (hurrah) and I tagged along with her and her mate to the wolseley for brunch.

a flimsy excuse perhaps, but I reasoned that as it hardly felt like summer, I was more than justified in eschewing all suggestion of a summery salad and ordered duck confit. I love duck confit. it’s very calorifically scrumptious and one of those dishes best not thought about in too much detail as just thinking about it makes your arteries harden – duck legs braised for hours, encased in their own fat to seal their flavour in and in the days before fridges – to preserve them. the classic way of serving duck confit is to finish them off in a pan to crisp the skin up, with potatoes cooked in duck (or goose) fat. the wolseley duck confit came with ratte potatoes and very earthy tasting sweet ceps and a thick caramelly gravy. I was tempted to pick up the bone and start chewing away, but decided against getting more evil looks from the people at the bar who were waiting to take our table.

pebbles and her mate were far more sensible and went for proper brunch fare in the form of smoked salmon with scrambled eggs and eggs benedict – both were very good as eggs should be. the hollandaise on the eggs benedict was especially good – it was the sort of sauce that you wanted to lick off the plate, but refrained for the same reasons for not chewing on the duck bone.

the wolseley used to be a luxury car salesroom till they went bust because they spent so much money on doing up the inside. that of course is my potted explanation – the wolseley website explains they went bust because they couldn’t sell enough cars which were priced between £225 and £1300, but that was the 1920s. the inside of the wolseley is brilliant – marbled floors, very high ceilings and Venetian columns – you feel like you’re on the continent. after the wolseley motors limited went bust, Barclays took over and you can still see the stamp machine and post box they installed on your way to the loos.

we stayed at our table as the rain stopped. and then started. and then stopped. and then started again. pebbles had attempted to drink her hot chocolate through the chocolate curls that accompanied it. it looked like fun as the curls melted with each sip and I ordered one too, incurring further evil looks from the people waiting at the bar. oh well. rather be stared at than to be outside in the rain.


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