Tuesday, June 5, 2007

To London

The entire Agritelley clan plus two made the pilgrimage to Wimbledon this year to attend the tournament. If you are a tennis nut like us, this is Mecca. Despite a rain out day we did see 2 full days of tennis and loved every second. Sitting courtside and watching the likes of Layton Hewitt, Tim Henman, Carlos Moya and Mark Philappossas, Lindsay Davenport and Jennifer Capriati was an incredible thrill.

In tow was our brother, Bucky Barrett. Bucky and yours truly had the opportunity to do an hour radio interview on the BBC in Liverpool with Billy Butler, an early British rock & roller. He asked about Bucky’s time with Roy Orbison and the release of my recent cd project. We spent most of the Liverpool day touring the Beatles sites with a certified Beatles tour guide. Stood on the stage at the Cavern, the Beatles first major club gig.

London is not necessarily known for being one of the centers of fine cuisine and drink but we at a few outstanding places. The culinary highlight of the trip was J. Sheekey’s restaurant in the theatre district of London. Noted as one of London’s finest seafood restaurants and it certainly lives up to it’s reputation. Great wine list to accompany the great international cuisine. Finding this is not easy but ask ANY cabby in London and they’ll know. Bit of trivia: cabbies in London train for 3-5 years before they are allowed to drive their own cab in London.

We also dined at a great little French bistro called Lou Pescador. Another fine seafood establishment with a definitive French flair. The owner is happy to amuse and abuse you while you make your selections. A fun evening.

A shocker was the show Jailhouse Rock. Musical adaptation of the 50’s Elvis movie. It was incredible. Half way through the show I had to remind myself I was not listening to the King!

Forget even seeing a bottle of California wine on the list. This is a GREAT time to explore the European wines. Great selection of French and Spanish wines with great prices. Highlight at Sheekey’s was a ’97 bottle of Chateau Cantenac Brown Margeaux. A spectacular wine to go with a great meal.

Hardest part of the dining experience is the early evenings. Most places roll up the sidewalks at 11pm. Pubs and wine bars close and pack up for the night. A tradition firmly embedded in the cast system where they workers needed to get home so they could rise for work the next day and not stay out all night drinking. Some traditions need to die. This is one of them!

London is a great city that is easy to get around and offers so much that 8 days is just not enough.