Sunday, May 18, 2008

Moroccan in London

After yesterday's confused and impassioned musings, I thought I'd go back to something fun and light today, and always on the menu - food!

One of my favorite memories with William on our 2006 trip was of eating at a Moroccan restaurant we stumbled across on our last night in London. I really wanted to take Sam, Kyla, and hubby to this same restaurant. I didn't know the name or location of the restaurant but thanks to Google and Mapquest I managed to track it down before we left on last month's adventures. It was a place in Covent Gardens just off of an unusual meeting of streets called Seven Dials. The restaurant was called Souk Medina.

Arriving in London and meeting up with Sam and Kyla midday and famished, heading off to eat here was the first thing on the agenda. Finding it online was easy and I thought finding it in real time would be even easier, as I remembered exactly where it was once I had my bearings. Unfortunately it was complicated by the fact that, unbeknownst to us, there was more than one Souk Medina, both oddly within a few blocks of each other, and we were given directions to the one William and I did NOT go to originally. I got confused and we all went around in circles for about an hour each of us getting more and more exhausted, hungry, and crabby. If I had only walked down the street I was sure it was on, I would have immediately found the quietly marked entrance to the restaurant. But I was left uncertain by the insistence of several helpful people that this was NOT the location.

All is well that ends well, as they say, when we finally did find the second (smaller) location.

We arrived about fifteen minutes before they were open for the day. So we waited outside. Hubby was a little nervous about the hookahs. "Do they really smoke these?" he kept asking. I don't know if they do or if they're just decorative. William and I did see a group of young men smoking one in a train in Paris two years ago.

Still waiting. Sam was a bit suspicious of whether he was going to enjoy this. Check out the beautiful tile work on the wall and table.

Because we arrived for such an early lunch, we had the restaurant to ourselves for most of our meal. Here's Kyla - or should I call her Little Miss Muffet, sitting on her tuffet? - trying to make sense of the menu.

She was pretty excited about the whole thing once the ordering was complete.

Other people, not so much. Hubby was exhausted and took advantage of the low couches to catch a few winks before and after the meal.

We were too busy eating when the meal came to take any photos of all the wondrous dishes. Despite Sam's apprehensions, he enjoyed it all. We all enjoyed it immensely. Sam even seemed excited by the bottled water at each table. And after watching our waitress hold the silver tea pot high, pouring a long, thin stream of hot, sweet, mint tea into our thin tea glasses far below the spout, he had to practice doing it as well. The tables, as you can see, were simply large loose metal "trays" atop a base. Eventually we filled our table to overflowing with dishes. It's a wonder we didn't knock anything off. We ordered two complete "sampler" meals, one vegetarian and one meat. To my surprise, the kids enjoyed the vegetarian one the most. Sam was particularly impressed by the hummus. Really? He's never had hummus before? We have it in our refrigerator on almost any given day.

Even the bathroom was cool. I want a copper sink! Or is it brass?

Morre hookahs made a decorative display in a small arched wall inset. And check out the cool star lamp. The restaurant that William and I went to was rather large and grand, with many rooms that sprawled in different directions. This restaurant was small and cozy, tucked into a rather unimpressive side street, but no less charming or unusual inside.

And more cool lamps. Our waitress was very nice and helpful. And pretty. I didn't mean to "smudge" her in this photo, but let's pretend I did it to protect her anonymity or something. Nothing to do with being a bad photographer, nosiree.

Fortunately she was a much better photographer than me that day and ended up taking the only* photo of the four of us that we remembered to take on the entire trip!

*Turns out Kyla has one more of the four of us in front of the Louvre. I'll have to get a copy of it.


Blogger Connie Carpenter Macko said...

okay. this clinches it. we must somehow be least in some cosmic sister kinda way. (hope that's not TOO weird!)

You took a picture of the bathroom. I LOVE THIS! It has always been a running joke in our family that we visit the restroom when ever we travel, where ever we are because "we haven't seen it yet" My husband has learned that it really is necessary for me to do this genetically. (Vegas bathrooms are all the rage - I highly recommend) when I took my camera into the ladies room at 'The Curtis' in Denver I got odd looks... but they had a mirror ball in there for pities sake! What's a girl to do!?

5:06 PM  
Blogger Belita Rose said...

Okay I'm now officially jealous! I've been trying to be a grown-up and be happy for you all that you had the opportunity to go on this wonderful trip, but now the child is rising up in me and saying "I WANT TO GO! I WANT TO GO!!!"

5:28 PM  

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