The park signage reminds me that certain roadways are pedestrian priority and dogs must be on leads. The chocolate brown Labrador bounding ahead of me ignores the sign prohibiting dogs from swimming in the adjacent pond. Diving in, oversized paws dog paddling with great abandon, he returns to the running path shaking his coat enthusiastically. Thanks, doggie; now I’m awake.
There are many pie miles to log in just a few short days. The British love pie, more savory than sweet. We may have a renewed enthusiasm for lard crust in the states, but the barkeep at the Mall Tavern in Notting Hill assures me that suet laced crust is the norm here. The pie arrives piping hot and oversized. Tucking into the crust, I am relieved to see that it is not filled with two dozen blackbirds.
My pie travels continue along the back streets of Covent Garden and through London’s West End. There are more than enough options and proclamations to satisfy. In an effort to save room for puddings, it is critical to exercise restraint. I also have a dinner date with my scholarly niece Katie, a bonafide Anglophile who now calls the UK home. Katie is impervious to the early autumn chill in her lightweight jacket. I am comfortable in a winter parka and woolen scarf. We queue for a highly coveted table at Dishoom in King’s Cross. The man in front of us is applauding the work efforts of his girlfriend, punctuated with a hearty “Good job, you!” Brilliant.
On Friday, I have an important date with one of London’s foremost pie artists, Jo Harrington. We agree to meet at a popular London cake spot, Porschen’s in Chelsea. I am proud to say I can still navigate the London tube system, remembering to mind the gap.
Good job, me.