Jun 17, 2010

Windsor Castle Eton Mess - With Vanilla Ice Cream!

On a recent trip to London I met up with my dear friend Mary whom I had not seen for over 10 years. The welcome was as warm as I could have wished for .... mid morning chocolate biscuits and English tea at her apartment followed by a super lunch at the local pub (more of that in a minute!), a walk in some beautiful gardens and then back for afternoon tea with cake and hot cross buns. Just as well that when I did leave, I had plenty of time to catch my train - I was so full I couldn't possibly have run!

Catching up on all our news, we recounted stories and reminisced about 'old times' (we used to work together in the same office in Regent Street many years ago). Our conversation was interspersed by the delightful play of Mary's new Bengal kitten, Chloe - searching for her ball and then chasing and playing with it, scampering here and there, quick as a whip. Chloe is without doubt the most adorable kitten I have ever encountered, with incredible, big, blue eyes. I challenge you to view this short video clip and disagree!

Chloe's Big Blue Eyes

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When lunchtime arrived, we went to a local pub taking Chloe with us. The 'Windsor Castle' is a characterful, old pub and one of the most celebrated in London. The staff are friendly and helpful - everyone of course adored Chloe the moment they saw her - and the manager even came over personally to say hello. The food ... well, it was delicious.

After our main course (I had a lovely goats cheese salad), Mary insisted we have a dessert. I was too full I explained! So Mary suggested we share a dessert. Well, we had no idea that the pub has always been a favourite with Old Etonians (I learned this after our visit), so it was by pure chance that we opted for the 'Eton Mess' from the dessert menu. It turned out to be one of the pub's specialities.

Now if you've never had an 'Eton Mess' before, this is an English, 'fun' dessert for summer. It is derived from a well-known strawberry and cream dessert traditionally served on 4 June at Eton College in England when students picnic on the playing fields after the prizegiving ceremony.

The standard 'Eton Mess' recipe calls for broken meringue pieces, strawberries and cream - here is a very quick and easy Eton Mess recipe from the BBC.

However, at the Windsor Castle pub they take this dessert to another level, adding a scoop of vanilla ice cream along with some fresh, forest fruits. Ice cream and fruit - it was just as if it was meant for me! Served in a tall ice cream glass, the Windsor Castle pub's Eton Mess was topped off with sliced, fresh strawberries and fresh mint leaves. Score? 10 out of 10 - it was superb.

Chloe in 'Windsor Castle'

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