Call it what you will - Girl's Day Out, Afternoon Adventure, Foodie Fieldtrip, Whatever - I spent the last several hours in St. Louis in Culinary Heaven. After making plans to meet my friend Margaret for lunch, I decided to go to a few places in the city that I've heard about but never been.
I started with breakfast at the London Tea Room on Washington Ave. It's an open, light space with exposed brick, lime-green walls, wood floors, and white marble tables. The tea was brought to my table on a linen-lined tray in mis-matched blue & white china.
I tried a small pot of the Lapsang Souchong, which is said to have been Winston Churchill's favorite. The tea had a very smoky aroma, reminiscent of a campfire. It was not subtle and lingered in the mouth & nose, but not in an unpleasant way. I sprinkled in some raw sugar, though I think it would be good with honey & lemon to off-set the robust smokiness. It was so interesting, that I bought a 1/4 pound and gave Margaret half to try (with a little strawberry fairy cake). I also ate a warm almond scone that was round & biscuit-like with clotted (aka Devonshire) cream. The cream is like unsalted butter. I think it would have been better with jam, too. Next time, I'd like to try the green chai or the high tea service.
Next was lunch with Margaret at Wasabi, my favorite sushi place. We shared four rolls and caught up on each other's lives. I haven't seen Margaret in over a year and it was nice to chat.
After lunch, I drove to Whole Foods...a place where I like to treat myself every once in a while and where I obviously need to be chaperoned. I bought black figs, spelt pasta, san marzano tomatoes, ricotta salata cheese, goose liver pate, albacore canned in olive oil, green olives with cardamom, rice crackers with tamari, breakfast sausages with blueberries & maple, a loaf of country bread, broccoli rapini, some organic heavy cream, a nice tuna steak, and a couple 6-packs of beer I'd been wanting to try (Hoegaarden & Bell's Two-Hearted Ale). I have some lovely meals planned for the next week.
Note: Drinking English tea out of a china cup makes me use adjectives like "lovely."
I ended my little afternoon adventure with a visit to Jilly's Cupcake Bar, where I purchased four treats: a PB & "J"illy, a S'murtle, a Bee Sting, & a Ja Love. I couldn't decide, so I just got all of the ones that looked good to me.
Despite still having tons of work to do before fall classes start on Monday, I don't feel the least bit of regret over "wasting" the day (or the money). Instead, I feel recharged and ready to tackle the challenges of a new semester.