“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,” said Piglet at last, “what’s the first thing you say to yourself?”
“What’s for breakfast?” said Pooh. “What do you say, Piglet?”
“I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?” said Piglet.
Pooh nodded thoughtfully. “It’s the same thing,” he said.”
― A.A. Milne
A four day weekend meant that we got to get out and spend some time exploring the city with reduced crowds, since a surprising amount of the population heads elsewhere on holiday. The weather is just starting to turn to spring and daylight savings time kicked in so the light lasts long enough to get your vitamin D back on track after months of deprivation. We needed to get out, we needed to do something nice. In short, we needed brunch.
We headed to Grainger & Co. in Notting Hill, a place I’ve wanted to try for ages due to it’s reputation for Ricotta Hotcakes. Because, obviously!
There are no reservations at this location, and there is normally a huge wait, but thanks to the holiday, we were seated in about 20 minutes. I’ve seen some tourists completely lose their cool over a wait time like that, but for plenty of Londoners that’s a breeze! You spend time talking, you gauge the menu, you chat with the people in line, you charm the staff so they provide you regular updates, you enjoy yourself. We’ve slowed our eating time since moving abroad, and it’s been much for the better.
I geeked out irrationally over the hot chocolate, made with actual chocolate and milk that you mix together for yourself and sweeten (or not) as you see fit. The last time I had a pot made thus I was in Brussels, so it was a welcome treat to put together.
A major joy of a long weekend is lack of makeup (minus lipstick of course) and headband you pretend are “workout chic” fashionable.
Ricotta hotcakes, kids. Don’t just walk, run.
Pancakes as we think of them have only recently started worming their way into Britain. What they think of as pancakes is far closer to crepes in the American view, so occasionally I get a craving that typically cannot be fulfilled without substantial effort on my part (since I’ve only found buttermilk sold in a single store in hilariously small quantities). It’s bothersome, but it gives me a chance to explore when something like this comes along. These hotcakes are fluffy and light but still manage to have a slightly dense and pleasantly chewy aspect to them due to the ricotta. They are incredibly filling, topped with honeycomb butter, and sing when topped with maple syrup (also not terribly find-able in London).
Jeff went for the “Full Aussie” breakfast which, according to Jeff, is an improvement on the Full English. Either way, I can attest that the sourdough toast is amazing and I have no idea how they get their eggs looking like that but it tastes pretty darn good.
After brunch we decided to wander Hyde Park a bit and even though some of the trees were still a bit bare…
Others were over winter.
But the real highlight was seeing what was in the trees! Several years ago some parakeets escaped captivity and took up residence. Today, they can be found in all the major London parks! I’m sure there’s a valid conversation to be had about invasive species, but I can’t help be be delighted to have finally glimpsed these jewel toned birds finally.