London and other places in England, July 22-August 7, 2002
©2002 GraceAnne A. DeCandido
It was a trip of glories indeed. I find London an extremely congenial city. It has an intensity and energy, like New York, though of course in a particularly British way. We were first in London in the autumn of 1997, and I was very eager to go back.
We are museum junkies. My idea of the perfect vacation combines art, architecture, history, good food, and good shopping in more or less equal amounts, and England has all of that. We planned pretty carefully: we made detailed lists of things we wanted to see and do. We tried to alternate days of heavy museum going with days that we took longer trips or did different things. Our hotel left much to be desired – our travel agent and our airline received a very detailed letter about its shortcomings. We were staying right near Kensington Park, a few blocks from Royal Albert Hall, and a ten minute walk in either direction from Tube stops High Street Kensington or Gloucester Road. Henry James lived for many years on our street, De Vere Gardens, and Robert Browning was buried from a house there. You couldn’t beat the location.
Our very first day, stupid with jetlag and very very tired, we stumbled across da Mario, a pizza and pasta place just around the mews from our hotel, run by Italians so devoted to Princess Diana that her name was inscribed in their marble steps. They had wonderful food, and we ate there a lot.
Wed July 24 was our first full day in London, and it was a wonder. We went out to Shakespeare’s Globe for the entire day, taking the Tube and walking across the Millennium Bridge. The morning was spent in their museum and on a tour. The museum had very cool stuff about the theatre reconstruction research, but it also had sound booths where you could listen to, for example, ten different versions of Hamlet’s “To be or not to be” by famous actors; or perform Shakespeare karaoke by taking a part and reciting your lines against other famous actors. Our tour of the building was conducted by one of the actors, whose energy and enthusiasm made me sorry we weren’t going to see her in performance. She gave us a key to what followed: she said that acting in the Globe, in daylight, means that you can see every face in the audience, every gesture, and of course with the groundlings there are people standing right at the base of the stage. In regular contemporary theatre, of course, the lights keep the actors from seeing the audience at all. The Globe invites audience participation, and not just from the groundlings, one feels very much a part of the action. We ate lunch in the Globe’s fancy modern British restaurant, overlooking the Thames and St Paul’s, and I was introduced to Beechdean ice cream, which our waitress had described as “delectable.” It was.
We saw a two pm performance of Midsummer Night’s Dream, every word intact. In the past year I have seen the opera (with countertenor David Daniels), the ballet (NYC ballet), and the movie (Kevin Kline, Stanley Tucci), so the play is pretty clear in my mind. It was one of the most extraordinary performances I have ever seen. The cast (in pajamas, with a huge balloon of a white moon suspended above the groundlings) was fluid and engaging and funny, with lovely colors and nuances in their performances. And it felt different, with the sun in my face (they do provide funny paper sunshades) and the acoustics so perfect that every word was audible. The benches have no backs, but you could rent butt pillows (He did) or rent or purchase little folding seats with backs, which I did, thinking it will come in handy for Yankees bleacher games in future. We stopped at St Paul’s on the way home, to hear a female rector offer a prayer for Israelis and Palestinians, and for me to light a candle in memory of my dad and TheInfomancer’s mom.
Thursday July 25: The Victoria and Albert may be my favorite museum in London. It is so full of stuff – wonderful stuff. I revisited Tippoo’s Tiger, which is this half-life size automaton of a tiger devouring a British soldier. I bought TheInfomancer a paper model of it, which you can wind up and run. That should be amusing. What caught my eye this visit, in many of the museums, were small things: exquisitely carved ivories, small panels. The V&A had an entire hall of wrought iron. My favorite was a life-size three dimensional model of roses, full blown, half open, bud, in wrought iron, obviously made as a showpiece and simply magnificent. Lunch, as was our habit, was in the museum cafeteria. London museums all have quite nice cafeterias, with real food well-prepared, and always vegetarian offerings. I discovered some very interesting ways to make couscous. The tomatoes and potatoes were especially good. I am allergic to strawberries, but TheInfomancer assures me there is nothing like English strawberries in all the world. We also became part of an online photographic exhibition at the V&A, called Things and You. If you go there, then type in the date of 25-07-2002, you will see a picture of me, one of him, and one of both of us. They appear as thumbnails in the first set. We spent the latter part of the day in Liberty’s and Fortnum & Mason. The former was having a sale, so there wasn’t much there but it was all reduced. At the latter, we bought as much – more actually – as we could carry. Fortnum & Mason is the source for Golden Raspberry jam, for my money the best jam in the entire world, and I bought us three jars. It is what I beg friends going to London to bring back for me. We had dinner at one of their restaurants, a lovely welsh rabbit.
Friday July 26: The month before coming to London, I had obsessively followed the London weather reports, which showed highs of only 70°, and I packed accordingly. This was wrong. First off, 70° in London is warmer and muggier than here in New York. Secondly, Friday was the beginning of the worst heat wave in London in 15 years. There is no air conditioning in London: not in most of the museums, not in most of the restaurants, certainly not in the Tube. We were marinating. We chose well for Friday, though. We took a boat on the Thames to Greenwich, listening to half-baked but amusing commentary from our guide and seeing much history and architecture along the Thames. We also saw the London Eye, a huge Ferris Wheel that moves very slowly. I imagine the view is spectacular, but I declined. At Greenwich, we visited the Queen’s House, a small jewel of a building with a black and white marble floor whose pattern is reflected in the ceiling. The twinkly-eyed, rosy-cheeked guard (all of the places in Britain have these guys, and they always know everything, and are cute as heck) told us the room was used in the movie Sense and Sensibility. There is also a spiral staircase with a blue wrought iron balustrade in a tulip design that is very beautiful.
The Maritime Museum in Greenwich, outside of which is parked the Cutty Sark in drydock so you can see down to the very bottom, is full of ship models, nautical instruments (I love these, all that curlicued brass and knobbery), and Nelsoniana. If there is a British Superman, he is clearly Nelson. We even saw the jacket and stockings he was wearing when he died. In the blazing sun up the shining green we walked to the Naval Observatory, and once there, I even climbed up to the very top, where the skies used to be studied. Then we stood in line to have our picture taken on the Prime Meridian, and got a certificate to prove it. The steep sloping green up to the Observatory in Greenwich was filled with children, parents, teenagers, cricketers, grandfolks. It brought to mind powerfully Henry James’ comment that the most beautiful words in English are “summer afternoon.”
Getting back was interesting. A cruise ship was blocking the Thames, and we had to wait for the Tower Bridge to be opened to let it pass. So our tour boat had to make figure-eights for an hour or so to stay out of its path. Now, it was approaching 90°, so this was not a bad place to be in London right then. Friday night we had tickets for the Proms at Royal Albert Hall, just a few blocks from our hotel. This was Knussen’s operatic version of Sendak’s Higgledy Piggledy Pop! and Where the Wild Things Are. These were done as recital rather than full operatic staging with costumes, and that was too bad. The music was modern, somewhat dissonant, and not at all my sort of thing. But it was interesting. Albert Hall holds the best acoustics I have ever experienced, and it is beautiful, red and gold, with comfy seats that swivel.
Sat July 27: a friend is an Oxford librarian and this year, elected one of the proctors of the university. She was kind enough to provide us with tickets for Oxford’s 800-year-old commencement ceremony, at which we got to see her in her robes and reciting Latin. We took the train to Oxford and made our way to the Sheldonian Theatre, to listen to the vice chancellor explain (in English) about the tradition of Oxford graduations, and then proceed to a wondrous Latin ceremony full of bowing, doffing of hats, to-ing and fro-ing. I loved it. Some dons were clearly quite comfortable in Latin, others mumbled through their memorized parts. Students were introduced by degree and by college, processed outside to don their academic colors and then return. Liz managed a lovely lunch with us at a restaurant called Quod (great fries. Panna cotta and raspberries for dessert) before her afternoon’s work (she had two more ceremonies to perform!).
We went off to the Ashmolean and to shopping. The Oxford Covered Market had a Bridgewater Pottery stand, and I managed to buy only one piece there. The Ashmolean is such a delightful hodge-podge: my favorite thing was a large wooden chest painted by Burne-Jones as a wedding present for William Morris. Oxford was full of graduates and their families, and many people like us who had come for the day. There were large random groups of European teenagers. We saw tattooing on the street, and a cappuccino cart constructed on the front of a motorcycle.
Sun July 28: The temperature continued to rise, and so we chose the British Museum on Sunday, thinking it would be cooler. Well, no. Most of the galleries are unairconditioned, and nearly all of them are stuffy. But we found a small gallery of Native American/First Peoples items that was quite air-conditioned (and funded by an American conglomerate) so we retreated there periodically. The British Library’s Reading Room has been incorporated into the BM kind of like the Temple of Dendur at the Met in NYC: they built a lovely shell around it as you enter the museum, and dedicated it to the Queen. It is still a working reading room, with displays of books by the many who have written them in that space, and a nice interactive computer set-up for searching information about the BM’s collections. We saw the Rosetta Stone and the Elgin Marbles, of course, but I was most enchanted by case after case of jewelry, from ancient to Victorian. These little gold and silver rings and necklaces seemed to have come fresh from someone’s jewel box, and brought one close to those who had worn and cherished them.
We stopped in St Mary Abbot on the way back to the hotel, a Kensington church with a lovely churchyard in full abundant bloom. The air conditioning in our hotel room had stopped working. I basically stood at the desk in the lobby and repeated my request for a different, nonsmoking room where the a/c worked over and over until they gave us one. We had about ten minutes to move all of our stuff before changing our clothes and going off to Rules for dinner. Rules is a wonder: an old club-like atmosphere that serves what I think of as 19th century British food. We had roast beef and Yorkshire pudding and scalloped potatoes and spinach. My Guinness came in a half-pint silver tankard. Dessert was an intense raspberry sorbet – with a bit of clotted cream on the side, of course. Whew. We took taxis all day today. It was Sunday, it was hot, and we loved the drivers, all of whom know where they are going, and drive like wizards. I should probably mention here that I have no sense of direction under the best of circumstances, and in London I was completely flamboozled. Crossing streets was terrifying. However, we read maps and followed the Tube, and TheInfomancer studied streets valiantly, and we did OK.
Mon July 29: If I had known London in July was going to be like Rome, I would have dressed for it. It reached 95° today. We began by going, as did Christopher Robin with Alice, to Buckingham Palace, where we hoped to see the Changing of the Guard. On the vast expanse in front of the palace were gathered hundreds of folks in the blazing sun. We decided not to. We did see a troop of guards, in their furry shakos and redcoats, march out playing their brass. Why they didn’t drop dead in their tracks from the heat I do not know. We instead chose to go to the Queen’s Gallery, a beautiful exhibit space full of treasures in honor of the Queen’s Jubilee. We had to get tickets and wait our turn, so I got to wander through St James and Green Park in search of a rest room (never did find it; used the one at the Ritz Hotel, at the edge of the park, instead. It was, well, ritzy, I must say).
The Queen, being the Queen, has some exquisite stuff, and the gallery thankfully was airconditioned to frigid temperatures. The Queen has a beautiful Rembrandt portrait of a woman and a lot of Fabergé. Some royal jewels were on display, a silver table, an Eric Gill imprint. And at the gift shop (I never pass up a gift shop) I got my mother a tea towel that said “Buckingham Palace” embroidered in gold.
From there we went to Somerset House, which holds three galleries. We were focused, however, on the Courtauld, which was closed when we were last in London five years ago. We found lunch in the tiny Courtauld cafeteria, run by Italians under an arbor, so that I flashed on being in Rome again. Restored by mozzarella, tomatoes, tea and sweets, we viewed some very splendid medieval and impressionist masterpieces. The most pristine Duccio I have ever seen, and Renoirs that reminded me why he remains so popular. The calligrapher and type designer Eric Gill had a stone sculpture at the Courtauld that bewitched me. It was an incised grey stone head called The Magdalene, with red lips and blue eyes, a piece vividly tied to Gill’s stone- and type-carving, art deco, and utter sensuality. It was gorgeous. In the courtyard of Somerset House in the winter is a skating rink. On this blazing hot day, it was a series of sprinklers. Children screaming with delight ran through them, often with their mothers behind, in street clothes, but enjoying the cool soaking nonetheless. We retreated hotelward.
Random English thoughts: there are flowers everywhere: window boxes, huge pots on the steps, hanging from streetlamps, on traffic islands. Once outside of London, hollyhocks and bindweed and violas and wild geraniums. “English garden” – words to conjure with. Smoking. It’s everywhere. Does everyone in England smoke? Sometimes I feel like I will never get the smell out of my hair. London had a Cow Parade, as New York and Chicago have in past years. We saw Art Mooooveau at Liberty’s, and a Celtic Cow. But the Harry Potter Cow in Leicester Square was by far the most magnificent.
Tues July 30: We took the train to Brighton. I have wanted to see the Pavilion at Brighton forever, but even I was not prepared for its interior. The outside is this Eastern fantasy of domes surrounded by lovely English landscaping with lush flowers, but the interior! Dragons on the chandeliers! Gold leaf and crystal! A kitchen the size of my house! Painted flowers on the inside of Queen Victoria’s WC! It just dazzled, and it was great fun. We ate lunch at a place called Ha! Ha!, where we could sit and look at the Pavilion, then we explored the small but excellent Brighton Art Gallery, which combines art, craft, history, and culture. An exhibition on movies that were made in Brighton – complete with posters and film clips – charmed. We walked down to the pebbly shore to see the English Channel, and lo, there was a carousel. Now, I collect carousels, and this was a splendid 19th century model. All the horses had names (I rode on one named in TheInfomancer’s honor) and each had two saddles, so parents could sit behind their child. It moved pretty fast, and the music wasn’t bad.
From there we wandered the Lanes, full of tiny shops (lots of interesting jewelry). We stopped for cream tea and lemon squash at the Mock Turtle, wherein I had the best scones of my life: large puffy ones, full of texture and butter, still warm from the oven, with raspberry jam made, our young server assured us, by his mum. Back to London, to have a quick dinner at Giovanni’s (more about our favorite London restaurant anon) and then meet the impossibly charming children of an online buddy. She and I have been on an online list together for some five years or more, but she lives several hours from London. Her son, daughter, and daughter in law all live in London, however, and meet us for pints at the Lamb & Flag, one of London’s oldest pubs. They pointed out to us the brick inscribed with the name of the prostitute, Emma Bowden, whose territory it was, and filled us with London lore as well as beer.
Wed July 31: We were privileged to visit the British Library today, partly in the company of a friend and colleague who had worked at NYPL for a time. We exited from the Tube to the great Victorian pile of St Pancras/Kings Cross station, and what a glory that will be when restored! We wondered if they will add a Platform 9 and three-quarters. We crossed the plaza in front of the Library, past the huge bronze sculpture of Newton based, perhaps unthinkingly, on Blake’s print. It is known informally as “Newton Constipatus.” (There’s an image on the web site, http://www.bl.uk/) The inviting lobby had an information desk graced with a pot of sunflowers and cornflowers, blazing blue and gold, and a nifty reflective clock behind the desk. The King’s Library is encased in glass stacks, and a wonderful bronze bench in the shape of an open book forms a magnet for picture takers. The Library functions as the researcher’s last resort, so we couldn’t actually go into the reading rooms, but after lunch with Alex and his charming daughter we spent the entire afternoon in the Library’s exhibits, including their Treasures show. Wow. Near a manuscript of the ancient “Summer is icumen in” I listened to a recording of the Hillyard Ensemble singing it; near the case of Lennon/McCartney manuscripts I listened to Beatles songs. There was the quavery recorded voice of Florence Nightingale and an interview with the only surviving officer of the Titanic. A manuscript with emendations in what might be Shakespeare’s own hand. Cool interactive toys. Visit the web site, you won’t be sorry. We went back to the hotel and decided to have dinner locally. It had rained heavily in the afternoon, so we took an umbrella. It didn’t matter. The skies opened when we were about as far from the hotel as we could be and not get back, and we were, brollys or not, soaked completely. We dashed into the nearest Indian restaurant and had an acceptable meal while sitting in our wet clothes and listening to the next table, academics from Kent State in Ohio, go on and on and on.
Thurs 1 August, Lammas (Loaf-Mass; Lughnasa): We took a bus tour today of Salisbury, Stonehenge, and Avebury, which while it was too fast and involved getting up early only to hang around and wait, was the easiest way for us to visit these longed-for places. I have dreamed of seeing Salisbury Cathedral since studying both it and the wonderful Constable paintings in art history classes in college these many decades ago. It did not disappoint. The almost impossibly quaint town (the Industrial Revolution passed Salisbury by, so it preserves its ancient and considerable charm) has also kept the green close around the cathedral, so the view does indeed echo that of Constable’s. It is an active, vital church – we were greeted by a sign that said “Welcome! 1 August, Lammas” and smiling church ladies and gents bursting with information to share. Much is old in Salisbury, but there are also a number of recent pieces and dedications among the sculpture. The excellent cafeteria and shop were run by ladies straight out of Barbara Pym, and I was very sorry to go. I touched the stones of the cathedral and mourned that there wasn’t enough time.
On to Stonehenge. It was a glorious, sky-blue day. I found those stones to be powerful and unimaginably old. The place had the same kind of sacred power I know from cathedrals and other holy places, but darker somehow. I found it a little scary. This was an experience for me unlike any other, and I confess to having trouble finding words for it. I spent my time walking around and gazing, so had little for the shop, and had to leave the silver earrings set with bluestone, the same as the bluestone and sarsen that are part of Stonehenge. Avebury was much different: a series of stone circles in which a town grew up, so we could walk around and actually touch the stones, watch the local black-faced sheep wander, and see how whatever its ancient meaning, generations of folk had made the stone circles of Avebury part of their lives. Once again, we were hoarded onto the bus and taken back to London, passing on the way the Silbury Mound and a possible crop circle or two. We were dropped off at Harrods so I could continue shopping, and had dinner at A Bunch of Grapes, a pub with blessed air conditioning and a smoke-free area. To say nothing of Guinness and excellent fries. We walked back to the hotel from there, a long walk, but a lovely evening at last.
Fri 2 August: All of our outside London destinations were about an hour by train – Cambridge is a nice nonstop ride. And it is a very beautiful town, it seems a bit smaller and more compact than Oxford. We were amused by the some of the punters on the Cam, whose dripping wet raiment indicated just how unpracticed they were at this whole business of messing around in boats. We went directly to the Fitzwilliam Museum, whose lobby is a marble porphyry fantasy. Much of the museum was closed for restoration, but we went through what we could of the high-ceilinged galleries, noting a Rubens St Teresa we had never before seen, and a small, still Gwen John. The kindly and knowledgeable staff sent us on the road through town, so we found lunch at Auntie’s Tea Shoppe, just across from Kings College and St Mary the Great. Kings College Chapel, with its oak screen from Henry VIII and the ill-fated Anne B, its trumpeting angels, and its extraordinary tracery of fan vaulting, gave me another one of those heart-stopping moments, like Salisbury, like Stonehenge. I have waited my whole life to see this. To Be Here.
I talked for a time with one of the gents, telling him how I had listened to the choir every Christmas Eve for as long as they have been broadcasting Nine Lessons and Carols from here – about 20 years, I think. It wasn’t term, of course, so the Choir is off touring now, but I have gazed upon that space, and am content. We walked over to the Cambridge Library for the “Beauty and the Book” exhibition, a small show about book illustration with a few choice gems indeed. We walked through impossibly green quadrangles, hedges of laurel and holly both dark and parti-colored, stands of wild geranium in mauve and rose and bunches of tiny violas that were almost black, so dark was their purple. We took the train back and went to Giovanni’s for dinner. We discovered Giovanni’s when we were in London in 1997. The food is excellent and the staff all Italian, and it is really fun to be there. This night I had pasta with rocket (arugula) and black olives; breaded lamb cutlets served with a puree of fresh mint, lemon, and olive oil (a dish named for Angela Georghiu), a plate of veggies including divine haricots verts, and vin santo, parmesan, and grapes for dessert. We took a taxi back. Bliss.
Sat 3 August: The morning was spent shopping. People we love had asked for things, and I was bound to find them. So it was Harrods, and Harvey Nichols. The latter was new to me, and I found its first floor the most girly retail space I had ever entered: my male companion fled in terror. But we both spent some time on the top floor, a supermarket of very chichi stuff, and I found a rather lovely blend of Ceylons to add to the tea collection. Lunch at the Tate cafeteria, where I drank a bottle of Elderberry Pressé. The first sip tasted like hand cream. The second sip tasted like Spring. And after the third, I thought I could drink this a lot. Then rooms full of Turners, walls full of Constable cloud studies. My feet wore out early, though, so it was back to the hotel to rest and eat some blackberries and cream, gathered from Partridge’s, a local gourmet shop that clearly catered to Americans. It was da Mario for dinner again, because pizza was calling my name.
Sunday 4 August: we lazed around for the morning until going off the Museum of London. We lunched in their cafeteria, dazzled by the snaking overhead lighting that ended in a dragon’s head. London from pre-history until 1914 was clearly labeled, full of historical minutiae, and effortlessly teachable. Pictures and sashes from the women’s suffrage movement, a computer model of the interior of the 19th century Crystal Palace. The growth of Londinium through the Romans, then the Saxons, then the French. A worker tucking away a builder’s sacrifice of grain and a chicken in a corner of his structure, perhaps a half-forgotten practice but still followed even when its meaning was near lost. The museum’s garden, dripping in the rain, displayed when various cultivars were introduced to London and by whom, some of whose families were still selling flowers and produce to Londoners to this day. Dinner was a real treat. Cheneston’s – an old variant of Kensington – was right around the corner from our hotel, with gaslight out front, dark oak and leaded glass windows within. We had a perfectly splendid meal: salad, lamb, raspberries, one of those molten chocolate wonders for TheInfomancer. It felt very good indeed.
Monday 5 August: We spent the morning at the National Portrait Gallery. There were two special exhibits there: “She-Bop,” a small show of women in rock&roll, and “Beatrix Potter to Harry Potter” a wonderful series of portraits of famous children’s authors, with quite a splendid catalog. Noel Streatfeild was a woman! Michael Bond looks like Paddington! There were a few actual manuscript pages of Harry Potter, and a few actual manuscript pages of Pooh, specifically, “Sing Ho! for the life of a bear.” We sailed through the rest of the portraits. He thought the Elizabethans had the best outfits, but I really enjoyed the modern portraits best: Germaine Greer, Ian McKellen, Dorothy L. Sayers, the Queen Mum. After a quick lunch in the cafeteria (I plied him with Victorian Lemonade, a fizzy bottled concoction with ginger, as he was getting snurfly) we went across to St Martin in the Fields for a lunchtime concert. Three American choirs from Illinois, mostly teens and mostly girls, performed. Some were pretty good, some were very good indeed, and all of them sang with spirit and enthusiasm. It was wonderful watching their faces, many of them were blissed out from the very act of singing. I didn’t quite do the National Gallery justice after that. But I saw some old friends: the Arnolfini marriage portrait, the Wilton altarpiece, the Lippi annunciation, and the Leonardo cartoon. We hung out at the hotel for a few hours before dinner at the Bombay Brasserie-really excellent tandoori chicken and various breads and condiments. TheInfomancer had a fish curry that made steam come out of his ears.
Tuesday August 6: We spent the morning on Marylebone High Street at the Bridgewater Pottery shop. I did not buy everything, but I wanted to. I love Bridgewater’s satisfying shapes and winsome patterns. Since coming home, I have found a few more places in the US that carry parts of the line, so maybe I won’t be quite so desperate next time. We took the train out to the Gardens at Kew: broad, green, lush, calm. We visited a couple of the greenhouses, saw some splendid sunflowers, and enjoyed a huge display of blooms in every possible variant of yellow. There was a unicorn sculpture atop one of the gates that we took home in a picture; I spent a lot of time in the gift shop, which had delightful and unusual things. Dinner was a last, lovely meal at Giovanni’s.
Wed August 7: We spent the morning, after packing, in Kensington Gardens, walking around in the soft summer day, and seeing Kensington Palace from the outside (and visiting the shop of course) although we didn’t have time for the tour. We had a last lunch at da Mario and went out to the airport. At Heathrow, they don’t post your gate until about an hour before the flight, but it is OK, because Heathrow is one vast mall. If I had known there was so much shopping there, I would have gone out earlier! As it was, I did a little damage at the outposts of Liberty’s and Harrods.
On the plane, there were envelopes to collect whatever odds and ends of foreign change you still had, which they give to charity. It was A Very Long Flight home. I cannot read on airplanes, but I was somewhat comforted by my spiffy new earphones, which tune out the sound of the airplane through some electronic magic so you can actually hear what you are listening to. I like the little individual screens, too. While I didn’t want to see any of the movies, I loved watching the path of the plane, displayed for us with altitude, speed, etc. I had brought us dinner from Partridge’s on Gloucester Road, knowing the airplane food would not be worth eating. I also bought a package of Eccles cakes. On Thursday morning at home I heated them up and served them to all. They are small buttery cakes filled with currants, bursting with flavor. So I had a final taste of England on my tongue, safe and sound in our own kitchen.
Home again, home again, jiggety-jig.