I grew up as a British citizen, my father was British and I was born in Singapore which at that time was a British Colony. I became a US Citizen on my 18th birthday because I had to register for the draft. I had not been to London for 25 years and a lot has changed since then. London is a very large and diverse city and that has contributed to many of the changes to its culinary strength in the world. We had a couple of highlights on our trip one that my wife had booked and one that I had booked. We stayed at the Grosvenor House Hotel in Mayfair where we had a great suite and access to their Executive Club Lounge. My wife is a great fan of tea. Each trip we try to find a purveyor of things we love to drink and eat. This trip we found an awesome Tea company Simpson Tea, their winter afternoon tea is the best cold weather tea we have ever had. I reached out to them on Christmas Eve and their owner Anna Louise Simpson responded and provided us a way to order it on line. Great customer service even on Christmas.
We will start with my wife's which was a private tour of bespoke clothing capital of the world, Savile Row in Mayfair. Our tour guide was Cindy Lawford who is an ex Pat who has been in London for the past 10 years. Cindy specializes in tours of British Maker history including clothing, hats, shoe and art.
|He has been there 45 years|
Today we were lucky enough to see the tailor's workroom and get to hear them talk of their jobs and their passion for making such well crafted articles of clothing. It takes many years of apprenticeship to become a tailor for one of the bespoke shops on Savile Row, these folks are talented artisans that take the measurements and are in charge of every process of creating the clothing, this process often takes 3 to 4 months to finalize the finished product.
The other highlight was to go into the Military uniform fitting room where
Royalty and heads of state have been coming to get measured and fit for their new uniforms for over 100 years. This room has many historic articles of clothing including a cloak the Queen of England wore to an event in the 50's. it is also used for the storage of the uniforms for the Honourable Corps of Gentleman at Arms. these men come in several times a year get dressed in their uniform and march out together to their venue of the day.
|Military Uniform Fitting Room|
|Awards and Certifications at G&H|
This room is full of history from uniforms some as old as 200 years old. There are pictures of the Royal Family in their uniforms and attire created by Gieves and Hawkes, there are coats from world leaders on display and the Royal Uniform of Honourable Corps of Gentlemen at Arms.
|Guy Hills talking to JoAnn|
St Johns Bread and Wine
|Friendly Kitchen @ SJB&W|
The best way to describe St Johns Bread and Wine is it is diner like with an open kitchen not fancy but serving outrageously great food at an affordable price. This is a busy urban restaurant with no fanfare just a hook for your coat a basic wood chair and table. During the holidays many restaurants encourage folks to have small office parties and there were several tables of 10 folks working their way to Christmas.
|Pressed Meat - Terrine|
We wrapped up the night with some Hokey Pokey Ice Cream which is an New Zealand Dessert it is Vanilla ice cream with Honey Toffee chunks.
I am glad we went to this restaurant it reminded me what the UK was all about traditional well made comfort food served with no pretention.
We also had an opportunity to get some Fish and Chips and some great Indian Food get highlights of that on my Instagram account @topcheftrail