Author: Luisa Perkins
•10:55 AM
(If you don't, then see the post just below this one.)

On our last trip to London, Patrick and I met Carmen at the fabled St. John, Fergus Henderson's shrine to creative traditionalism. I'd read, used, and loved Fergus's fabulous cookbook, Nose to Tail Eating, and I couldn't wait to see what he had in store for us. Imagine my delight when the waiter announced that the special was a Roasted Pig's Head (meant to serve two).

I ask you: How could we pass up such an adventure?

After our lovely appetizer, Bone Marrow and Parsley Salad, Carmen snapped this photo of our brown and crispy piggy, and we fell to eating. The meat itself was delicious, but Patrick ate a bit too much of the rich fat and ended up having a bad sense memory of the experience. But I loved it (even though I'm pretty sure I ate an eyeball).

We're going to London again in April for the opening of the new musical Gone With the Wind (P's client, William David Brohn, is doing the orchestrations). We're planning a side trip to the newly renovated spas at Bath, complete with visits to Stourhead and Longleat. Patrick has never been to Hampton Court Palace, so I must take him. But I'm hoping he and Carmen will consent to a return trip to St. John. For Patrick, it will be a palate-of-the-mind cleanser; for me, it will be another exciting pilgrimage to one of the high priests of English cuisine.
This entry was posted on 10:55 AM and is filed under , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

20 comments:

On 12/1/08 , Maddy said...

Well you are adventurous! [in so many ways!]
Cheers

 
On 12/1/08 , Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Speaking of British chefs, Jamie Oliver starts a new series based out of his organic garden today on the Food Network.

That trip sounds wonderful. Before I went to that area (around Bath, etc.) I read Edward Rutherford's Sarum. I've had mixed feelings about Rutherford because he can be sketchy (well, who wouldn't be covering 1500 years of history in one book), but I rather enjoyed Sarum the most of all of his books.

The photo and description in this post are wonderful!

 
On 12/1/08 , Jenna said...

Sorry, dear. You lost me at bone marrow and parsley.

You're going to London in April?! Very cool. Patrick has the greatest perks!

 
On 12/1/08 , Anonymous said...

While you and I share many of the same food tastes, you had to know that the picture at the top was sure to, well, gross me out. Sorry about that. I've never written much about the things I've eaten, no matter how amazing they have been; good food, like excellent music, moves my brain into non-discursive thought. Melissa

 
On 12/1/08 , Kimberly said...

Ditto to Jenna's comment.

And I add, with no small amount of envy; "No. Fair."

 
On 12/1/08 , sirdar said...

Ok...I can honestly say that I have never had a pigs head before. I've had head cheese, but not the actual pig.

Sounds like you are going to have a wonderful trip.

 
On 12/1/08 , rjlight said...

You are a brave woman. I can't eat anything that's looking at me and in Spain so many things were.

 
On 12/1/08 , NH Knitting Mama said...

YUM YUMMY YUM... describe away!

 
On 12/1/08 , deb said...

never had the whole head but did eat pork cheeks when i was in germany this past october. amazing. we're trying to recreate the experience here at home, but hog jowls are much more readily available in georgia than pork cheeks.

 
On 12/1/08 , Annette Lyon said...

Freak, woman. What a amazing, full life you lead! I went there for a couple of days when I was all of 10. It was not nearly enough--and that was before my love blossomed for English literature.

I could go for weeks on end and not have enough of it.

Enjoy your trip--and be sure to snap pictures of any food adventures you have along the way.

 
On 12/1/08 , Tristi Pinkston said...

If I were to be "faced" with an eyeball, I would honestly die. I just know it. Let's not test it out to see.

 
On 13/1/08 , coloursofdawn said...

An adventure indeed, and one, I would have left out of my itinerary. I credit you for your ability to try such exciting cuisine. I hope you enjoy the next experience as much.

 
On 13/1/08 , painted maypole said...

i'm not sure I could eat that. but then, I take whole crawfish, break them in two, pull the meat, and eat it. So really, what's so different? Let's put it this way. I would never order it or pay for it, but if someone put it in front of me and said try this (and I trusted them) I would

 
On 13/1/08 , newnorth said...

ummmm WOW. now I can't stop looking at that picture.

 
On 13/1/08 , Josi said...

I can't believe you ate that. We went to London about 5 years ago and didn't do our homework so we didn't know where to go and what to do. We did the obvious stuff, of course, but didn't get into the details like this--have a great time (but you will never get me to be quiet so insane, I mean adventurous, in my eating.)

 
On 14/1/08 , Syar said...

I kinda wish I had a more discerning taste in food. Or anything really. I'm such a mongrel. I listen to anything, I watch anything, I read (almost) anything and I eat anything. That last one however, stems from the fact that my family doesn't like to feed me so I forage and scrounge when I can. My rule is eat now.

Yep, it's a pretty simple rule. I hope it expands once I get my first paycheck or something because all your food descriptions sound heavenly.

 
On 14/1/08 , cablegirl said...

I'm willing to give anything a go and I typically wouldn't have a problem with eating any animal part, but tell me, was the pig's head looking at you? I have issues with my food staring me down before I dig in. lol

 
On 14/1/08 , Brillig said...

You've made me drool.

NOT for the pig-head, silly. That bit I could have, um, lived without.

But the London (and surrounding areas) mentions? Nearly makes me cry with longing. I mean that completely literally.

(But, uh, just how pregnant will you be in April? Hahaha. Have fun with that...)

 
On 15/1/08 , anjmae said...

Aaaah, London. Most people who visit London come away with a sense that there is no good food to be had there, unless it is Indian. So, happy eating, and take me with you some time.
The pig's head? I cannot abide pork, let alone its head...but a lovely shot nonetheless...

 
On 15/1/08 , Adriana Velez said...

I keep reading about Mr. Tail-to-Snout and so I'm glad now to know someone who has eaten at his restaurant. Someday, hopefully, I will too.

Have a great time in London and say hi to Carmen from us.