Saturday, December 4, 2010

Court & Cider: or, What I'm Going to Miss About London

Its hard to believe that in a mere two weeks I'll have to leave my cute little central London apartment and fly back to the suburbs (that is until Harvard once again calls). Just when I figured out how to bake cookies in the larger toaster and the best way to do a stir-fry in $5 pans on a hot plate. One thing I won't miss is my lack of real cooking equipment, the high exchange rate, and cheap, delicious, authentic Mexican and Asian food (and In'n'Out fries... I'm sorry, guilty pleasure).

What will I miss? Amazing Indian restaurants and grocery stores (I could hardly find Fenugreek Seeds in all of Boston, let alone at these prices!), a plethora of vegan fare, numerous farmers markets and health-stores just down the corner, Monmouth Coffee, and of course, the infamous, the pubs!

Pub life is something that I think American could learn from the UK. Not because I'm a big drinker, but just the opposite. Instead of having to choose ampy bars where you can hardly hear your friends, the cool place to go grab cheap drinks also includes delicious food and a chill atmosphere. Plus, most pubs can serve up a fantastic cider... I'm thinking I'm going to have to import this stuff as my drink of choice!

One pub in particular has stood out, and I know I'm not alone in thinking this. The Court is a lively pub just off of Tottenham Court Road that is immensely popular with the local UCL crowd. On Friday nights, students and business folk alike gather, overflowing into the streets with cheap drinks in hand.

The Court is a Yellow-Card location, meaning if you put out a pound, you get a--not surprisingly--yellow card that gets your discounts at a number of pubs and bars, about 1-2 pounds off select drinks; ideal for us starving college students. While I've enjoyed my fair share of cider here (Sam Smiths Reserve or Blumers are a sweet introduction), the star of the night was the food.
Lucky me, for 6 pounds you get 2 meals and one option happened to be a Vegan Veggie Sausage and Mash. Oh yes! I had the Vegan Burger & Seasoned Chips here before, and it was, surprisingly, oh so delicious! The Veggie Sausage and Mash fared just as well. I've actually had similar veggie options while here, such as the Veggie Sausage at Wetherspoon. Let me tell you, don't waste your time, please go here!

The red onion gravy was thick and smooth and so rich it could pass off as the real meaty thing. The mash was fluffy, and the veggie sausage was perfection! It was comparable to the best onion and veggie stuffing you've had, lightly fried, but like a fresh falafel, light and veggieful on the inside, perfectly seasoned. Needless to say, for the price, its the best deal in London I've found, a steal.

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