Grace Kelly at the V&A

Josh is taking a 3 day cooking class this week.  He hangs with the kids after the class which is really nice but the best part is the amazing goodies he brings home.  Totally impressive.  I love how into it he is.  He brings his bags home and then goes through each one with me on what he made and I get to taste.  I love it!

66925_image My friend is in town this week so I got to spend the day with her yesterday which was great.  It is a treat because I am not so sure we have been able to do this in NYC in a very long time.  We kicked off the day at the Victoria and Albert Museum.  Currently there is a Grace Kelly exhibit.  Pictures of her, clips of her movies, all the clothes that she wore, the sunglasses she wore, the bags she carried, the lapel pins she wore and even the tiaras.  It is really worth seeing if you are in town.  I believe it runs until September.

On the way out, we stopped in the Fashion Galleries.  A collection of clothes, mens and womens from the 18th to 21st century.  Each designer is named and the date.  They are organized by country.  Really focuses mostly on the 20/21st Century.  There was even a Juicy Couture pink velour jump suit.  It was fun because some of the clothes we remembered and actually wore those styles.  Funny enough, Emily was there in the afternoon seeing the V&A's permanent photography exhibit which she says is worth going back to see.  

Afterward, we strolled down to Harvey Nichols.  Starting at the top where there are a variety of places to eat lunch around their food market.  Harrods was the first in line to create a marketplace and everyone else followed. 

I really like the open room of Harvey Nichols with all the natural light steaming in.  I held myself back from buying anything here except for a cup of coffee at one of the bars.  We walked through all the floors.  Harvey Nichols is probably the best comparison to Barneys New York.  Well curated lines from all the world, young and seasoned. 

We grabbed the tube and headed out to Notting Hill.  An adorable neighborhood with a bunch of shops and places to eat.  I wanted to take my friend to the original Ottolenghi which is one of my faves.  They have expanded into a few areas since I was here last.  Not only is the food delicious, the choices are endless and I love the way they display the food.  Large white plates of different salads stacked at different heights in the middle, mouthwatering desserts in front and homemade goodies from crackers to jams to individual lollipops in the middle.  In the back there is a small communal table which appears to always be filled.  We had to wait for a seat at 2 in the afternoon.  I might have to go check out the other locations.

The options for lunch are a 2-3 helpings of the different salads of the day or a main and 2-3 salads on the side.  I started with an Italian lemonade.  Tart and refreshing.

For the main I had a saffron chicken salad with sun dried tomatoes, pieces of apricot, basil and mint.  The first side was a mixture of beans with fresh figs mixed together with roasted red onions and tarragon.  The second was a mixture of beets, goat cheese, red onion, hazelnut oil, hazelnuts and pea shoots.  All good.  The only one I didn't love was the beans because at the end of the day, I don't love tarragon.

We contemplated going through the stores but end up strolling into Melt.  A chocolate shop with ice cream and places to sit too.  Love the name.  The merchandising was clever.  The front table had wrapped square chocolate lollipops made from different cocoa origins.  On the side of the store is all the different chocolates they make there with the types written above. 

We thought this saying was hilarious over the chocolates.  Chocolate makes everyone smile – even Bankers.  These days, I guess they feel the same way about bankers in London as we do in the states.

Made my way back home to put down the variety of things I ended up buying through out the day.  Like the new Ottolenghi cookbook.  I got the first one two years ago when I was here.  I met up with Emily and Josh.  Emily wanted to go see an exhibit at the Tate Modern not realizing it was closed at this hour.  I sort of figured it was closed but went along for the ride anyway.  We walked the waterfront and realized it wasn't happening and started to make our way back to Notting Hill for dinner. 

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