Packing a summery punch, Peach Pimm’s is a twist on the classic quintessential summer cocktail.
Has it really been only a month since I was jet setting across the Atlantic to London for a week of sightseeing and eating my way through a new city? This isn’t a “OMG it’s only been a month?!” type realization but more of “it’s only beeen a month? It’s seems so long ago!”.
I don’t know exactly what that has to say about the rest of July since we got back but here we are now, into August, the dog days of summer and if you ask me I’ll go back to the 1st of July happily settled into our summer vacation. Just this time bring the pug along, add a few more days and no summer cold to hit in the middle of the trip.
Since time travel still isn’t actually possible, I guess I’ll just have to revisit the trip through memories and photos and tell you guys all about it. You up for it? Good, since we are going to be here for awhile why don’t we start with a drink?
There were many many things I was looking forward to on our trip to London, attempting to get tickets to the Harry Potter play (success), a proper afternoon tea (satisfied to the max), a delicious Sunday roast (and check) and finally enjoying a glass of Pimm’s at each pub and bringing home as many bottles as a good (double check).
Pimm’s is as quintessential as you get as far as summer drinks in Britian. If you still aren’t very familiar with the drink it’s made with Pimm’s No. 1 a gin based liqueur of fruit and spices and lemonade then garnished with cucumber, mint and strawberries. I should add that British lemonade is not American lemonade – it’s basically what we think of as sprite.
It’s perfectly refreshing and easily sippable on a hot day – maybe a little too easy if you get my drift ????. So one would think after having one practically every day on our trip I would be over it? Nope! I love the original but I also love playing around with new versions and it is peach season after all.
I’ve stuck with the basic Pimm’s formula of 1 part Pimm’s and 3 parts lemonade (aka sprite) and then muddled in some fresh ripe peaches for an extra summery kick.
You end up with a gorgeous color to the drink, an irresistible aroma and once again easily sippable. This drink is simple enough to make for yourself or a big pitcher to serve to a crowd.
Let’s get sipping on our drinks now and then continue on to read about our trip to London and some must sees and eats.
Let’s talk London shall we? I’ve been looking forward to this trip for some time, not just for the many reasons I listed above but also because I’ve loved British history and culture for a long time and it’s just taken me so long to finally get over there to visit.
Like many of our vacations we always kick off the trip with a food tour in the beginning in order to get a taste of the local food and see some less touristy sights. Since we loved our Eating Rome so much two years ago, I immediately went back to book their sister tour Eating London. They offer two tours, a Twilight Soho Food Tour and a daytime East End Food Tour. The East End piqued my interest the most with influences of Jewish cuisine, Bangladeshi and French Cultures. The East End of London has a rich culture as first a home to Jewish immigrants, stories of Jack the Ripper, home to Old Spitalfields Market and of course the famous Brick Lane where you can fill your bellies with every type of curry.
Did I mention the street art? Simply incredible.
Plan to start your tour on an empty stomach because you will fill up by the end of the 3+ hour tour. There’s plenty of walking to offset the eating but all that walking is really to take to you the next eating destination. I don’t want to list all the stops because who wants to spoil the surprise on the tour, am I right? I will however share a few of my favorite highlights. For starters, I am not nor have I ever been a person who said “ooh let’s go for Indian tonight”. I can handle some spicy foods but not much – of course touring East London meant a stop over on Brick Lane. The food at Aladin Brick Lane restaurant changed my mind forever, it was full of flavor and spice and yes some heat but it made me realize I’ve been missing out on a delicious cuisines for a long time.
My top spot on the tour was at Beigel Bake – I was unsure at first. You want me, a New Yorker to eat a bagel in London? I was convinced of the salt beef on this bagel. Salty, fatty with a nice chewy bagel.
We also stopped for Fish and Chip’s at Poppie’s, had some incredible French cheese and some sweet treats were included also. All in all this tour goes on my top recommendations and a great way to kick off any vacation.
We had a lot planned in our trip for a short period of time – London is a big city with a lot to see. The museums are free but the attractions you must pay for and our list was long. I wish I could say we did it all but unfortunately we did not. We did make it to Churchill’s War Room’s – absolutely worth it but plan on setting aside a few hours to really take it all in. The same goes for Westminster Abby.
Sadly we only made to the National Gallery and as much as I love the concept of free museums it was extremely crowded and a bit overwhelming to take everything in. We barely made it through one floor before deciding there were too many people around to really enjoy ourselves. For a fun attraction go for the London Bridge experience, it mixes history with horror with a silly way to pass an hour and a half.
This city girl does like to get out of the city though and so we booked a day trip to see Stonehenge and the ancient city of Bath and as well as a day trip up north to York. Both cities have rich histories and I absolutely recommend dinning at the House of Trembling Madness at York. A beer store on the bottom and a fine pub upstairs, all located in a building that has been standing for hundreds of years.
Back in London, street food as a plenty at the Borough Market and Portobello Road Market. Make sure to include plenty of time to see both and walk the entire length of Portobello Road. I also suggest giving yourself a full or half day to see Greenwich. There are more opportunities for street food and if you are up for the walk make your walk to just the outside of the Royal Observatory to find the secret Greenwich Meantime Line. A quick bus trip will take you to Meantime Brewery. Their brews are located all over London but on Thursday nights they offer up a tour (for a fee) and you can get 6 ounce samples of all their beers on tap, plus a tour of the activity brewery.
If this isn’t enough to convince you to jump a plane right now for a holiday, I’ll just leave you with some of my favorite photos of our trip.
I was provided with a free tour of Eating London East End Food Tour, as always all opinions are my own.