Skyfall @ The Barbican

Hubbie nudged me, “Do you have a pound?”
Of course, here you are.
Oh, he wanted to buy a poppy. I must buy mine too. These poppies on sale is another reminder that winter is fast approaching…

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Anyway, hubbie & I decided to have our Sunday lunch at The Barbican today.

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I had cold poached trout & three salads…

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And Hubbie had pumpkin risotto with pommes dauphine…

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When I compared my plate with his, a pang of regret gave me a real body blow. His nosh was so much more in tune with this cold weather. I should have forgotten about a “5 a day” nonsense and gone for some stodgy dishes laden with comforting carbs. Bu**er!
To be 100% honest, the foods at The Barbican, it doesn’t have a good track record in my book. The last time I had their roast chicken and found it very dry & flavourless.
So, how did their cold platter perform this time? 4/10, I am afraid. The salad was under seasoned and devoid of any flavour. The butternut squash was very under cooked and tough. It should have been roasted properly in order to bring out its sweetness. I could imagine that they didn’t want the pieces to be too soft as it would have to be dressed & mixed. Still, what is the point of a pretty presentation if the result was only going to be tasteless & tough to eat?
Anyway, I only chose the salad because I didn’t want those bread crumbs & pommes dauphine to deposit themselves on my hip & thighs. What a pain to be a woman…

Our true reason to be at The Barbican this afternoon was to watch a new Bond film Skyfall.
The film was just released last Thursday and I was dying to see it…

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How did I find it?
It was brilliant! All the elements of the classic Bond film were there.
As a child, I used to find many of the Bond films rather kitsch and unconvincing. And the past Bonds, especially Roger Moore, they were too much of a ladies man. ‘Oh James!’, every time Bond Girls gushed with their misty eyes, it definitely induced me to cringe, I remembered…
However this Bond, he was less of martini and more of bullets & punches. And all those action scenes! It was gripping from the beginning to the end.
Well, I mustn’t reveal too much, must I? Anyway, it was very entertaining & highly recommendable. Daniel Craig is not my pin-up kind of guy. Still, his just about right amount of swaggering makes him a very good James Bond.

After the film, we had another latte & cake at the cafe.

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A slice of red velvet cake for me & carrot cake for him.

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I was always curious about this red sponge which I encountered a few times in the States however never had any opportunity to sample it.
Mmmm… It was very sweet. The frosting on the top was also very sugary. I don’t dislike it as a cake. However, my disappointment was not finding any particular flavour in the sponge. What coloured the sponge was still mystery to me…

I must admit that I do like Barbican Centre.

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The same as Royal Festival Hall, it has a groovy kind of retro vibe through out.

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And I find it rather cozy & charming…

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Candy by Robbie Williams

Do you remember the day I & Mr.B encountered filming at Spitalfield?
Recently, my friend’s flat was used for Tulisa’s new music video, which reminded me the event in August.
By the way, there is a scene which Tulisa sings on the rooftop overlooking the London skyline. However, on the very day of filming, a guy threw himself from the rooftop and died. The police duly closed off the area for a forensic investigation and the crew had to find an alternative site very quickly. OMG.

Anyway, this is the video they were filming at Spitalfield…

 

For some unknown reason, the video doesn’t load…why? If the same thing happens to you too, please watch it via this link.
The woman in the video vaguely, just vaguely resemble Kristine Stewart, don’t you agree?

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Fox & Anchor @ Smithfield

The weather has changed, most definitely.
I went out to buy buttons from my favourite haberdashery in West End this afternoon. And the chilliness in the air was pretty invigorating. Yap, I don’t mind cold weather as long as it is not windy or wet. I love being able to put my arms through my treasured cashmere jackets & wool coats. I also love my leather gloves & fluffy warm scarves.
Mmmmmmm…how glamourous…

Anyway, my friend Alex, Hubbie & I had a sumptuous dinner at The Fox & Anchor in Smithfield.
They are a pub as well as a boutique hotel. In theory, you can crash out on their plush four-poster bed if you are too plastered to climb into a cab. However, the bill which will be presented the next day may leave you with more than just a hangover…

The dining area was right next to the bar and rather cramped…

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We knew that their portion would tend to be always on the generous side. So, we decided to share starters instead of ordering them one each.
“Foxes” scotch egg & curried mayo…

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They were served piping hot. I normally don’t eat scotch egg or pork pie sort of nibbles due to their rather unhealthy image – high in salt & saturated fat…etc. However, this scotch egg was very tasty & moreish.

We also ordered mussels in Cornish cider cream…

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The mussels were plump and the sauce was rich & buttery. Mmmm…it was yum.

Then, here came our main course.
Hubbie ordered fish & chips. He is very predictable when it comes to ordering food. Nine out of ten occasions, he orders fish & chips…

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It came with mushy pea. At least, he doesn’t eat his fish & chips with ketchup. Thank god…

My main was beef & ale pie. I also ordered some chips & pea with bacon.
Alex had steak & chips…

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The crust was crispy and buttery. And the stew was wholesome & warming. The meat was so tender. It just melted in my mouth…

Then, here came a dessert time!
I couldn’t walk away without eating their Eton mess…

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What a pretty sight to behold!
So pink & so girly. I find Eton mess so comforting. So bland yet so moreish…
Hubbie invaded my pudding with his teaspoon time to time. I thought you were on diet, darling?

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Frankenweenie @ Odeon, Leicester Square

Last sunday, I was given a rare opportunity to attend a crew’s premier of Frankenweenie, a new animation film by Tim Burton. My chum Letizia’s husband, Peter, was working on the film as a cinematographer and he invited me, Fei and a few of his pals. I was so excited because Tim Burton was definitely one of my favourite directors.

The premier was from 10AM so we decided to meet up at 9:15.
An excitement in front of the Odeon was palpable…

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For the crew, it was the first time to get together since the filming was wrapped in March. Their animated chatters mixed with lots of hugging and shoulder-patting resembled a happy school reunion.
Around 9:45, we entered the cinema, picking up a pair of 3D glasses at the entrance.
Then guess who I met?…

Mr.Tim Burton himself!
He looked rather tired but very smiley and friendly.

Once we settled down in our seats, he and the producer came on a stage.

The speech, especially by the producer was very emotional and moving.
For 2 years they were working on the project. And it finally made it to a silver screen. Very well done to them and their dedicated crew.
The film itself was absolutely wonderful. I was gripped from the beginning to the end. I mustn’t divulge too much as I don’t want to spoil the fun for others. However, I shed a tear or two at the climax…

All happy after the premier…

After the film, we all realised how hungry we were so we headed to the nearby The National Cafe in National Gallery.

I had their fish of the day…

The fish was flavoursome and succulent. The grilled potatoes were laid out on a bed of puree (I wasn’t sure what it was though) and it was seasoned just right, no less or too much. I enjoyed every mouthful.

After lunch, we briefly joined the crew for another drink.
Then, Letizia, Fei & I decided to leave Peter to hang out with his chums and to have tea & cake.
We wandered through very crowded Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus and ended up in Fortnum & Mason. Eventually, we managed to get a table at The Parlour on the first floor.

Fei & Letizia. They looked buoyant with a thought of eating cake very shortly…

Oh, I love Letizia’s silk blouse! The print is so cool. A bird with a gun. I know it’s so inappropriate & so cool. Unfortunately, the blouse is the last season’s and no longer available. So sad…

Comparing what they were wearing, I was with a plain grey Topshop T-shirt. I wish if I made more of an effort…

Then, what we all were waiting for had arrived to our table. Cakes!
Mine was a piece of Black Forest gâteau. It was a massive serving and I couldn’t finish it…

At 3:30PM I had to abandon a bubbly company of the ladies and to scurry towards Regent Park since I promised Hubbie that I would accompany him to the Frieze Art Fair.
Phew, a very busy but wonderfully fulfilling day it was!! Thank you all XX

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In bed (with a box of Kleenex)

Ugh! I must have picked up some germ at Royal Opera House!!
I have been suffering from sore throat & stuffed nose since yesterday morning.
It is so infuriating that I have succumbed to this pesky shi**y virus just before I am leaving to Paris this Friday. The cold must go by Thursday evening. It is an ORDER!

So eating some hot food and taking to my bed was the best cold remedy, I thought. I duly prepared a bowl of soup and tucked myself in bed. It is so boring to be sick, isn’t it? I really loathe it. I feel like being left light years behind from the rest of world.
Out of sheer boredom, I scanned iBook store and ended up downloading “No Easy Day” by Mark Owen…

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The book is an extremely easy read. Most of the time, the pace of the story unfolding page after page makes the book unputdownable (the part when he was describing his specially calibrated ‘hot’ weapon was a bore since I didn’t know much about firearms). So far, I’ve found the book as a tale of gung-ho guys with a super human stamina & a zest for adventure.
Like any existing memoirs by ex special forces soldiers, this book does not reveal any sensitive information. The information such as how our modern day’s intelligence harvesting works, or how many blunders have occurred so far by misinformation which costed human lives…etc. I suppose any information which makes it on to the pages of the books targeting a mass market are not sensitive at all. There must be a bunch of lawyers with a blue marker who are ready to cross out any details which may embarrass or incriminate the past & present governments before the manuscript even makes it to the printer.
However, the point the author, Mark Owen, argues is that the story released by the Obama administration regarding the killing of Osama Bin Ladin is inaccurate, is very intriguing. I remembered watching his interview on TV prior to the release of the book. He did not divulge what was the discrepancy between his recollection and the government’s. Obviously, he wants us to buy his book and to find out by ourselves. Therefore, once I finish my porridge, I am gonna retreat to  my warm bed with Mr.B & a hot water bottle and carry on reading the book in order to find out what the fuss is all about…

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