After last week’s dashing about from pillar to post, I dedicated this weekend to seeing friends and family, exercise and beating my flat into submission. I had a lovely long lie-in on Saturday, before waking with a jolt at 0930hrs, casually glancing at my phone and realising with horror that I had booked myself into the gym at 0945 with my trainer. So that was fun.
Happily the gym is five minutes from my front door – if I drive, which somewhat negates part of the exercise thing, but the point is that I made it and spent the required thirty minutes lifting weights. And grunting like a pig in labour.
Next on the morning’s activities was meeting Miss P and godson no 2 – Edward – at the Soho Hotel, as I had kindly been invited to take a child or two to the hotel’s inaugural Children’s Summer Film Club screening of How to Train Your Dragon, 2.
I am also now the proud owner of my own loom band, thanks to Edwards advanced skill in making them
Whilst Edward was beside himself at the ample provision of brunch – fruit skewers, mini burgers, pizza, and the arrival of popcorn and ice cream in the cinema, and kept rapt by the film, I’m afraid I sloped off before the end to meet a friend from New York, over in Europe for couture last week, at Fischer’s, Corbin and King’s new place at the upper end of Marylebone High Street.
As at The Wolseley, Corbin and King’s evergreen London landmark, Fischer’s styles itself on a Viennese cafe, with a menu ranging around cured fish, salads, schnitzels, sausages, brötchen and sandwiches, strudels, biscuits, ice-cream coupes, hot chocolates and coffees with traditional tortes mit schlag.
As it turned out, my friend was late, but no matter. There is a glorious New York-style bar where I sat with the papers and a large Americano, and enjoyed a very rare hour to myself with no conversation, interruptions or stress. (So thank you Sogole, that was an unexpected pleasure.) And thank you to the beyond charming front of house, who couldn’t have been more patient, or happy to accommodate us.
Lunch itself was even more enjoyable – the Austrian-inspired menu is not a place to linger if the state of your thighs is a concern, but everything sounds delicious. In the interests of research I chose Austrian Grosti, (as opposed, say, to the pink grapefruit or the goat’s yogurt with granola).
One of their breakfast specialities, Grosti is paprika fried potatoes and onions, bacon and a fried hen’s egg. (Although I took the vegetarian version, with mushrooms.) Here it is made perfectly, the potatoes both crispy and melting, well seasoned with lots of pepper, as well as the paprika, with my eggs done just as I requested – I abhor runny egg white.
S had the exemplary eggs Benedict, and I ordered a side of spatzle (tiny egg noodles, usually made with a special ricer which drops the spatzle into boiling water where they cook in a minute) just to see if they are as good as the ones I have eaten in Innsbruck. They are.
Although enough with the hen’s egg – I think we all know that, unless ostrich/quail/goose/duck is specified, we are going to be given a splendid egg from a chicken. It’s up there on the irritation front with ‘pan-fried’.
I tried to burn one or two of the potatoes off by taking a smart pace home through Regent’s Park – one of the many advantages of living on my side of Camden – it only takes thirty minutes to walk home, almost entirely through the gardens. (I’m still wearing a FitBit pedometer, and am always keen to rack up the steps.) I spent the rest of the day alternately reading and organising my flat, before getting sucked into the horrors of email, and missing my friend Henry’s birthday celebrations at Belgraves. (Sorry, darling – the work mountain won out.)
I woke early on Sunday, getting a batch of soda bread in the oven first thing – I’m experimenting with different versions, and then a simple lunch at Lemonia, an old family haunt in Primrose Hill, with my mother and sister, before spending the rest of the day in exactly the same manner as Saturday…
Fischer’s 50 Marylebone High Street, London, W1U 5HN. Telephone: 020 7466 550 www.fischers.co.uk
Lemonia 89 Regent’s Park Road, London NW1 8UY, Telephone: 020 7586 7454 www.lemonia.co.uk
(Each visit was booked privately, and neither meal was comped.)
The Soho Hotel Children’s Summer Film Club
Buffet at 11.15am, film starts at midday. Tickets: £20 per person.
Includes kids and adults buffet, popcorn, ice cream, drinks and snacks and a glass of Prosecco per adult.
Style Notes: Whistles Ali Heavy Frame Sunglasses