Gwendolen Minks, Staff Writer
As a big fan tea and different food choices, I was extremely excited to go to London and experience all that it had to offer in culinary. Granted, I know it’s very much a stereotype that the British only drink tea, but I would be lying if I didn’t say that they have the BEST tea. It was a goal of mine when I got there to try having an afternoon tea and enjoy the luxury.
For my special evening, I went alone to this cute, French cafe on a corner near our hotel in Hammersmith. I got a mixed-berry tart with whipped cream and a pot of English Afternoon tea. It was all delicious.
Another food goal of mine was to try fish and chips. I will always be disappointed in America’s version of fish and chips, as our fries are too plain and the breading becomes soggy too easily when spritz with vignette. In the U.S., we worship tartar sauce too much. If you need a bowl of tartar sauce for your breaded fish, then your fish isn’t worth it.
I had fish and chips for two nights in a row because it was that good! If you ever visit London, you must try fish and chips, you won’t regret it.
Sadly, the one food goal I didn’t achieve was trying English crumpets. Maybe I didn’t expand my restaurant choice horizons enough to find them, but luckily, I was introduced to a wonderful substitute, scones.
On one of my breakfast adventures, Leigh Kolb introduced me and my roommate Carson Mowery, to scones with this butter-like substance called clotted cream. Now, when I was a kid, I will admit that I tried to eat butter out of the tube thinking that it has to taste amazing if everything it is put on taste great. Spoiler alert, butter isn’t great by itself. You can imagine that Leigh saying she wanted me to try clotted cream brought back memories of my poor life choices with butter, but I figured, when in Rome, and tried it anyways.
I’m so glad I did! It was the texture of butter, but very sweet. Now mix that with a warm, flaky chocolate scone and you are in heaven. That is the type of stuff that I would eat out of the tube (FYI, I do not eat creams or butters out of tubes, I’m an adult now and that’s not what adults do).
I’m obsessed with The Beatles. I love their music, the popularized merchandise of their faces, and I’ve seen several movies that they have either starred in or were about them. Everywhere I went, I saw Beatles! I was in the motherland (even though I wasn’t actually in Liverpool). I knew from the first night there in London that I had to get some form of Beatles memento for back home. I got lucky and stumbled across a brochure for a Beatles shop in Baker Street. It was right across the street from the Sherlock Holmes museum so you can imagine how pumped I was to go. Now, I didn’t blow all my money on Beatles Merchandise there, but I did treat myself and got a little Yellow Submarine Hot Wheel in its original packaging from their 50th anniversary collection for only 16£.
They had shirts, signed autographs, pillows, art decor, and even Beatles-themed umbrellas, I wish I could have bought it all. I chose the little Hot Wheel because The Yellow Submarine was the first album of The Beatles that I owned and I remember when I was kid playing “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” non-stop. It just felt right and I’m extremely thankful that I got to experience that important side of my life. When it comes to my life with the performing arts, I, like many other artists, admire the work of The Beatles.
Why I wanted to go to London
London was a bucket-list trip for me. I’m someone who lives for experiences so you can imagine bucket-list accomplishments are my bffs. London is a city-area and different from the Missouri countryside I grew up in. How people interact with one another is also different. In Missouri, it seems like everyone knows you, but in London, you have to keep to yourself and you are more on your own.
I liked the independence the most, since I love the times I have by myself. It was really different, especially since most places were in walking distance. It was a nice change of culture and scenery. I also think that they appreciate the arts more, and as a person who is very active in performing, it was great to experience museums and the Shakespeare Globe in all its glory.