Sunday, November 25, 2007

Little Thanksgiving

I haven't celebrated Thanksgiving since moving back to London 5 years ago. Now that my mother has moved back too, and we are missing the old life even more, we decided to follow up some leads, knowing that someone must cater to the large community of American expats here.

So we went to Christophers American Bar & Grill in Covent Garden.

3 course traditional menu - £38

Begin your Thanksgiving celebration with Christopher’s Cranberry Martini - £8

Roast corn and sweet potato chowder

Warm tomato tart guacamole cream, cilantro dressing

“Grand Central” oyster and scallop pan roast

Traditional ‘Waldorf salad’ smoked duck, walnut oil dressing

Slow cooked ballottine of Norfolk Turkey corn bread, hazelnut and Michigan cherry stuffing, cranberry relish, buttered beans and creamed potatoes

Missouri roast rump of lamb, Avocado tamale, dried tomato & cilantro dressing

Roast Salmon with apple, pecan & wild rice griddle cake
Sauteed baby spinach, Californian raisin and pecan brown butter

Pumpkin pie bourbon cream

Blackberry and apple cobbler blueberry ice cream

Chocolate fudge brownie raspberries, vanilla ice cream and hot chocolate sauce

Apologies for not taking the photo before demolishing half the plate!
Waldorf salad with rocket leaves, sliced celeriac, smoked duck slices, golden raisins, and warm walnut oil dressing. Very cosy eating, that!

Missouri lamb rump in a sundried tomato and cilantro (coriander leaf) sauce, with an avocado tamale. Again I'm sorry I ate half of it first :) The medium done lamb was melt-in-your-mouth, mmmmm....

Spiced pumpkin pie with bourbon whisky cream and a sugar wafer. Just the right size dessert.

All rounded off with looseleaf (!) peppermint tea and dark chocolate truffles :P

Mum trying to figure our her new phone camera

Me going strong on the rose wine

We had a wonderful time there and wish we could go for Christmas too (if public transport is working on that day). The service was wonderful, attentive, precise, efficient - the table was even scraped between courses with a brass scoop - something I haven't seen since the Flying Dutchman on the Kemah waterfront in Texas, where we ate things like beef wellington and soft-shell crab.

At Christophers, we forgot we were in London, felt very homey, comfortable, and happy. The sort of happy where your heart rises for a moment. Neither of us have felt that in a long, long time...


nikkipolani said...

Hey, that brass scoop is called a crumber - I know because I've got to find one. Roomie wants to get it for her mom for Christmas. When you first listed the menu, I thought you were listing what you ate! Sounds scrumptious. Good thing I am planning lamb tonight or I would have to run out and get some (sorry, very susceptible to food suggestions here).

L B said...

Oh, Happy Belated Thanksgiving to you & family.. *sigh* I missed all that too, but not as much as you, I am sure.. Aww...

Guyana-Gyal said...

I went to a Thanksgiving dinner was an American girl living in Jamaica. Oooh, the food was heavenly. I liked what she did to the sweet potatoes, and I forgot to ask, darn.

Say hi to your mum!

Guyana-Gyal said...

hahaha...I mean, it was at the home of an American girl living in Jamaica...

Beenzzz said...

The dinner looks so delicious! My mouth is watering now....

Olivia said...

Nikki - now where will you find a crumber, I wonder? Well I shall email you a few ideas.


LB - what holiday feast is your favourite then?


Guyana Gyal - LOL I didn't spot that until you corrected yourself, and that was a good laugh!


Beenzzz - I am sure your large family get together was wonderful and filled with tummy food.

Jahooni said...

Great pictures.. of the food and you! hee hee

made me hungry just looking at it! Yum..

Christopher said...

I had a wonderful thanksgiving too with my family, especially my Grandma and Great Aunt. We spent lots of time talking about deceased relatives and they were stunned at my memories of being really little and details about get togethers and such. Of course they all told me that even as a little kid, I was a little shit so I just smiled. You look gloriously gorgeous in your picture...such a lovely girl you are my dear!

What is this Christopher's you speak of? I guess only greatness comes from a place like that:comfort, etc...I had my bi weekly gathering of friends over and made a huge pot of Thai curry that I always make, with some pot stickers and jasmine tea. If I don't make curry once a month, people bitch. But I have always loved the bonding that goes along with cooking for people..the conversation, the smells, the cocktails...


The Moody Minstrel said...

That was agonizing...

I'm sure there must be some sort of U.N. or E.U. regulation against a post like this!

Thanks for sharing, m'lady!

lunaliar said...

Beautiful! I don't mind the half-eaten plates, but I didn't see if you mentioned any cornbread. You can't have a proper Thanksgiving meal without cornbread!!!

Glad you enjoyed it!

Flighty said...

It's good to see that you had such an enjoyable time!

Olivia said...

Jahooni - hey, so how was your holiday?


Christopher - you make my day with your comments. How dare they tell you evil things? But I am glad you were able to reminisce with your family. Sharing memories is so special.

I am impressed by your biweekly dinner parties. Well done, Kissy! There is nearly nothing as wonderful as hanging out with friends AND eating yummy food!


Dear Mr Minstrel - I am so very sorry to have caused you such anguish today! I shall endeavour to never repeat the offense!


Luna - goodness me, thanks for reminding me. We did have cornbread! A selection of sliced breads were brought around as a pre-appetiser, and most people chose the cornbread. It was tasty and spicy witht the chili flakes BUT it was not fluffy, it was dense...why? Almost as though it collapsed.


Flighty - totally looking forward to the next spoiling!

lunaliar said...

Thank goodness the folks at the restaurant had the decency to serve cornbread. It was probably dense because they used too much milk, which will make corbread soggy in the middle, much like polenta if you don't cook it properly.

AmitL said...

Hi, nice to read about the Thanksgiving events.It's something new for us,who celebrate Indian festivals,whenever I read about it.I remember reading about Thanksgiving in the Dennis The Menace comics,Enid Blytons,Charlie Brown,etc.

Here's wishing you a great December:)

Olivia said...

Luna - yes, it was like polenta!


Amit - I suppose I should have given a little background on Thanksgiving.

So did you celebrate Diwali?

BTW, Enid Blyton is English so she wouldn't have cared much for Thanksgiving!

Um Naief said...

wow!! what a menu! everything looks delish!! the chowder really sounded wonderful. i can only imagine how good it was. everything really.

so... were americans working there or brits? i'm assuming brits. were there a lot of expats there that day?

we didn't do anything for thanksgiving this year... altho, we did go to a bbq at a friend's house and it turned out to be great fun.

glad you enjoyed your holiday dinner, and glad it made your heart rise.

ML said...

I love your hair, Olivia!

What a great feast! I'm drooling here.

Dan said...


My stomach is growling and it's still 3 hours before dinner! HELP!!!!

s.j.simon said...

lol. did you know that chocolate was banned in switzerland for many years. read this

Olivia said...

Um Naief - actually, the staff were mostly Italian or Polish (lots of Poles immigrate here now), and the maitre d' was French!

i am glad to hear you did something with friends for Thanksgiving.

Nabeel said...

the dessert looks yummy .. i have a sweet tooth now. Recently i've been having some extra ordinary and fine deserts at various conferences and restaurants.

Nabeel said...

And of course, a beautiful picture of you. Your lipstick matches with your necklace :)

Palm Springs Savant said...

lovely photos...for my Thanksgiving dinner I made a Waldorf salad for the first course. I have to remember to make those more often...

your Mum looks so sweet!

Olivia said...

Nabeel - YAYYYYY, are you back to blogging now??? I missed you and Sugarlips.

You're right, you can't end dinner without a good dessert ;)

PS I don't wear lipstick.


Palm Springs Savant - Believe it or not, I'd never had a Waldor Salad before. I think I like it...

And yes, my Mum is very sweet :)