I Couldn’t Leave London Without Having Curry!

By 8:30 this evening, I’d gone almost straight from “I’m never eating again!” to “I’m famished!” I was going to grab a burger and a pint at the nearby pub when I decided that I had to have curry and didn’t want to chance that I’d have time for it tomorrow. I Googled something like “curry Kensal Green” and found the highly rated Curry Nights in Kensal Rise, a mile away. Ignoring my aching legs and badly blistered little toe (that I really should get amputated), I hoofed it over there and found a surprisingly posh looking decor. That would be two very expensive meals today, but whatever, I wasn’t going to worry about such things. 😀

And then I looked at the menu and blinked. I don’t know if I’ve just gotten used to prices here or what, but everything seemed very inexpensive! I ordered papadums as a starter for £1 as well as a Kingfisher Indian beer for a mere £2.95:

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The sauces were so good! The green stuff, the chutney, and the raita (white) were my favourite. The red sauce at the top was a bit earthy, but still enjoyable.

I was going to do chicken tikka masala for £6.95 and add plain naan and rice when I spotted their non-vegetarian platter, which was at the most expensive price point I saw on the menu, including the seafood, £11.95. It had five dishes, fancier rice, naan, and raita.

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I could have easily split this meal in two and brought home leftovers! My favourite dishes were the tandoori chicken at the top (an insanely generous portion) and whatever that is on the far left below the naan. I thought it might have coconut milk in it. At eight o’clock, there’s a cumin-heavy chicken that was very tender. The red sauce is their chicken tikka, which was actually too sweet for my taste. I enjoyed it in combination with everything, but would have been disappointed to have it on its own. The last dish was ground lamb, which I did not finish since I don’t like lamb. I made a valiant effort, though, since the spices it was cooked in were so good!

No, I did not eat the entire thing. But I didn’t leave enough to justify taking home leftovers. 🙂

Service was as attentive as at The Wolseley, making this a perfect meal for my last night in London!

I don’t fly out till 4:30 tomorrow, but was advised that I should be picked up at 12:30 and it looks like I have to go all the way back to Victoria London even though I’d been told originally I could be picked up at Baker Street… So all that said, I figure I might as well have a lie in tomorrow since I am completely exhausted, pack (not looking forward to doing that again), and head straight for Victoria London at about 11AM. I’ll have my bags and won’t be up for doing anything anyway.

Afternoon Tea at the Wolseley

I just happened to find myself in London on the anniversary of five years of running my transcription business and wanted to do something special to celebrate surviving all those lean years. Afternoon tea felt like the right thing, but I was intimidated by the prices and the fact that you have to dress up. I did a lot of research my first night in London, during those long hours when I couldn’t fall back asleep, and The Wolseley seemed to be perfect for me. It was the least expensive tea I found that was still in an upscale, by my standards, place and they didn’t seem too snotty about people dressing up. The cost was just over £30 with the service charge. I could have had tea for £10 (or more!) less at a small informal café, but I wanted the whole experience.

The Wolseley is located right next to the Ritz, between Piccadilly Circle and Green Park, but much closer to the latter.

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I wore a long black skirt, a plain dark grey top, my walking sandals (not too sporty), and earrings and felt chicer than most of the patrons there, many of whom stood out from the elegant art deco surroundings in their jeans and sneakers. I was greeted like a valued customer and promptly seated and served. They don’t like folks to take pictures, so I respected that (although I did sneak a picture of my meal!). The atmosphere was comfortable. Definitely upscale, but not intimidating.

When I booked online, I had made a point to say that I have an intolerance to eggs, so I didn’t want mayonnaise, egg salad, or meringue, but a bit of egg wash or egg in a cake was fine. Someone came out to confirm that the kitchen got my order and told me the proposed menu, which was fine.

There didn’t seem to be that much food when it all came, but it was enough even though I was offered more!

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I was surprised that they replaced my egg salad sandwich with a second of smoked salmon instead of something cheaper, like cucumber. All the sandwiches were great. I think the chicken with tarragon (on my plate) was my favourite, but the smoked salmon with butter was a close second!

The cakes layer had a chewy chocolate and nut thing that I didn’t care much for (difficult to eat), but I loved the strawberry tart and the cake with marzipan around it, so much so that I did accept a second piece of it! I finished my meal with the two raisin scones with jam and clotted cream.

For tea, I chose their Wolseley afternoon blend. It seemed really pale in the cup, but had a good strong flavour that paired beautifully with my food.

Service was stellar and attentive all throughout the meal. I had asked for water and every time my glass was empty, it would magically fill up.

My celebratory afternoon tea at the Wolseley was even better and more special than I could have hoped for. It will be my fondest memory of my brief trip to London.

I then decided to go check out Piccadilly Circus. On route, I checked out a menu that reminded me of something I wanted to share that has surprised me. Look at the coffee and tea prices.

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Coffee has been consistently cheaper than tea. I wonder if that’s because you get a whole pot of tea?

I passed Fortnum & Mason, but wasn’t tempted to go in.

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So strange to see a Mexican bank here in London.

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Piccadilly Circus was hopping and there were buskers…

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Until it started to rain. My rain coat is great!

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I wanted to go check out Soho, but it really started to pour, so I headed home. Piccadilly Circus is on the Bakerloo line, so I didn’t have to change trains again until Queen’s Park. For some reason, even though the Bakerloo line goes much further, you have to do it in two trains. Kind of a pain when I’m only one station from Queen’s Park.

It was an awesome last day in London! Now, I am trying to work up the energy to walk the 20 minutes round trip to the nearest pub for a final pint…

I will do a sum up post of London later, as well as a write-up about Oyster. I don’t think I’ll do much tomorrow since I’ll have my luggage with me.