A night in the bosom of the home, a lunch of melt-in-the-mouth beef and salad at Ottolenghi and a heavy dose of Disco* has left me feeling refreshed and in a much better space than last week. I spent the last few days away from Manchester, in Bristol and then London where I enjoyed lots of satisfying catch-ups with friends over various delicious foodstuffs and caught the Rain Room exhibition at The Barbican. I'm planning on sticking around in Manchester for a year or so after graduating this summer but London once again did a very good job of wooing and beckoning.
I always expect others to provide blow-by-blow food accounts to vicariously tickle the old saliva glands, so I shall do the same. This is also because I want to remember some of the glorious flavour-combinations to recreate for lunchboxes. I've been making red cabbage slaws in bulk recently and leaving them in the fridge so I can spoon them into lunch boxes throughout the week but my recipe still needs some improving, so I've taken notes from Ottolenghi.
Ottolenghi with Sim: Seared fillet of beef with three salads. (Red cabbage, beetroot, celery and apple slaw. Maftoul and mograbiah with pistachios, turmeric and rocket. Roasted butternut squash with molasses and date yoghurt.)
Cafe at The Wellcome Collection with Josh: Pot of vanilla chai tea. (Scone was underwhelming, coffee disappointing)
Song Que with Josh: Rice paper prawn rolls and Beef steak noodle soup washed down with a bottle of Halida.
I also managed to fit in catch ups with Navaz and Charlie from Urban Outfitters who are always great for in-depth blog chat, reference sharing and adding their two cents to my 'future planning' which seems to be very much my current state of mind with the end of University only a few months away. Charlie also very kindly allowed me to choose a few items to take home which filled a few gaps in my wardrobe. As much as I love and desire a good bomber jacket, I ended up going for the lovely, soft cocoon coat instead. Does anyone else suffer from the bomber jacket problem? They always look great from the front but I find they end up bunching up at the back so I look like I'm straddling a wind machine.
The marriage of digital technology and art is always one I always find appealing, so the Barbican's Rain Room was fun and surreal in a calming, slow way as I stepped around the rubber pad watching the overhead showers respond to my movements. My friend and I got in after waiting for just under an hour but I'm not sure it would have been worth it if we'd waited for longer as the novelty of the concept ends rather quickly. Having said that, it's wonderful that such an innovative exhibition comes with free admission, so if you're passing and fine about waiting with a cup of coffee then it's worth swinging by.