Sunday, April 18, 2010

Day 6: London (continued)

London is just gorgeous. The skies are clear blue—in spite of the debris-laden air keeping the planes grounded—and the temperature is warming. We walked to the Victoria & Albert to see a quilt exhibition. I was a quilter for many years starting in Berkeley in 1974 and lasting until the early 90s in North Carolina when I decided that I wanted a quicker turn-around from conception to realization than hand-made and hand-quilted projects allowed. So this quilt exhibition was a connection with my past. And it was splendid.
All of the quilts were British, most were quite old with a few judiciously chosen new ones. All were in superb condition and were a thrill for me to see. My favorite was made for a child’s bed out of various colors of silk, with a thick batting which created a nice depth in the quilting. It was made by Priscilla Redding sometime between 1690 and 1720. She had made a note of it in her tiny journal which was also on display.

We ate dinner at a Chinese restaurant called Hakkusan which I found listed in a book which Franz and Michelle had give me for Christmas called The Fortune Cookie Chronicles by Jennifer 8. Lee. One of the stories involved the author being asked to find “the best Chinese restaurant in the world.” And Hakkasan was one of her final contenders for the title. It was superb. We had the dim sum platter, jasmine tea pork ribs, fried aubergine, and a lamb salad which was to die for. The lamb was cooked in a garlic sauce and the dish was multiple layers of lamb, Asian pear, mango, and green papaya pickle with some of the sauce dribbled on top. For dessert we had a coconut rice pudding with a mango “yolk” in the center and a chocolate extravaganza called Chocolate Textures. We were so happy.

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