Serena Jayne Moriarty (01/10/2008)
Serena Jayne Moriarty (pictured below with Giorgio Locatelli), who won CookIt! in 2008, reports from her first prize trip.
On 23 August, my family and I set off on our wonderful trip to London. We had first class train tickets all the way, which was extremely nice because the rest of the train was packed and people were exploding out of the doors. When we got to Victoria we took a taxi straight to our lovely four star hotel, it was nice pretending to be rich for a weekend!
We set off from there to Leicester Square where we had delicious lunch in a yummy creperie, yum, and then went to meet Jenny Linford and Jane [Suthering] at a gorgeous cheese shop to begin our tour. We sampled cheeses, yum yum, then walked here, there and everywhere to an array of wonderful shops and patisseries and got to eye-up all the wonderful food. It was all veeerrryy nice looking. We would have gone to divertimenti, an awesome cookware shop, afterwards, but Jenny had forgotten the vouchers. It was actually quite a good thing because my brother's legs would have snapped off if he walked any further, so we stopped at a cafe. then walked back to the hotel, which was just round the corner.
That night we went to a gorgeous little Chinese restaurant that Jenny recommended. It sold some really strange stuff, like sea cucumber. But we stuck to slightly more normal food. Mmmm... we ate duck pancakes and deep fried squid and 'seaweed' which was obviously not seaweed, but very tasty, and a mountain of other wonderful food. We then waddled round the corner and got another taxi, London was very pretty at night.
In the morning we went down to breakfast at our hotel, and it was a 90 item buffet! Obviously I didn't eat 90 items, but I was probably very close. Then we set off to the science museum, because my brother was getting a little cranky, so that cheered him up a little, and we saw a 3d movie which was really cheesy, but bearable. After that we went to do a little bit of shopping. Yaaaaay! And I got a huge berry tart (picture above
) which was amazingly shiny thanks to the glaze. I got cream half way up my face. Ha-ha.
We then went to Harrods, which was huge. HUGE. We probably spent hours in there. The food hall was amazing. They had caviar bars, and oyster bars, and hundreds of chocolate stalls. It was awesome. There were hundreds of floors and almost got lost. And there was a lady singing opera really loudly. I don't think my brother really liked her.
Serena Jayne and her brother enjoying room service
When we got back to the hotel we were kinda hungry, but we were going to have a huge meal at Locanda Locatelli (an amazing expensive restaurant that we had a three hundred pound voucher for!) so we thought we'd just have a small snack from room service. But when it came it was gigantic! So much for a snack, I couldn't eat it all if I tried, so I didn't try.
At around half past eight, we walked round the corner and into the restaurant. It didn't look like much on the outside, but the inside was gorgeous, it was really quiet when we stepped in the door and everyone looked really posh. Giorgio Locatelli greeted us and said we could make as much noise as we liked. But we didn't.
It was amazing there, like a dream. The waiters treated us like royalty, filling up our glasses with more water every time we took a sip, and asking us how the meal was after every course. And pulling our chairs out for us. Giorgio took us round the kitchen and showed us every single part of it, and introduced us to some of the chefs, and took us into the fridge (it was a mighty large fridge), and into the wine cellar. He showed us all the machines and how they worked and helped us vacuum pack a borlotti bean. It was amazing. Giorgio Locatelli was really nice to us, and I'd always wanted to meet him. So it was like.... wow.
Our meal was gorgeous. We had four courses, a starter, a pasta course, a main course, and a dessert. They were all so delicious. mmmm. I felt really posh there. It was the best meal I've ever had, and probably ever will have. After we ordered our desserts we got to go into the kitchen, which was in full swing, and make them ourselves. It was amazing! We left happy and huge, and we rolled back to the hotel.
On Sunday we did a little more shopping, after another huge breakfast. We went to Selfridges and ogled all the kitchenware. They had cake tins in the shape of castles. They were sooo pretty. Jenny left the vouchers for us and we got a taxi to divertimenti where I spent my hundred pound voucher on some really awesome stuff. I got a set of bowls in a rainbow of colours and in all sorts of different sizes, a heart muffin tin, a tartlet tin, gold and silver food colouring, a bright pink spoon and some chef rings to make pretty circular desserts.
We got to the station a little early and went to yo sushi for some lunch. Then got on the train and headed home. I didn't think it was possible to eat so much food in one weekend. It was such an amazing experience though. And one I'll never forget.
Thank you to everyone who made it happen. I love all of you guys.
Author: Serena Jayne Moriarty Email: