Thursday, April 09, 2009

Tasty Reunion in London

We've just returned from a four-day jaunt down to London. With this being Easter Week, there was a very noticeable presence of foreign tourists visiting Britain's capital city, many of whom were Americans. If we are currently in the midst of a world-wide economic recession, it wasn’t evident from the amount of business we witnessed being conducted in London’s pubs, restaurants, and other miscellaneous establishments. The weather really cooperated with us while we were there and I came away with a wide variety of photo images that shall be added to the stock library.

One area of the city which we did purposely avoid was Westminster. Tamil protestors from Sri Lanka, along with their supporters and other residual protestors still in town from the G20 Summit, staged a major multiple day demonstration around the Houses of Parliament. While I am an accredited member of the press, this was one photo op which we prudently avoided.

The visit to London was not all work and no play. The real purpose for Sarah and I being there was a reunion with my younger brother Sean and his wife Laura. Sean is a naval officer currently assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt. The ship paid a courtesy call to these British shores, on its homeward cruise following a seven-month deployment in the Arabian Sea and Persian Gulf. While we provided Sean and Laura plenty of room to get “reacquainted,” we thoroughly enjoyed the time spent with both of them.

Something else that Sarah and I thoroughly enjoyed while in London was a hamburger. Except for our return visit to L.A. in 2007, when we made a direct beeline from the airport to Bob’s Big Boy in Toluca Lake, I am very sorry to say that we have disappointedly not had a proper hamburger since relocating to the UK five years ago. That is, until this week.

Located on the very proper Kensington High Street, in the equally very proper London neighbourhood of Kensington, is a very proper diner called Byron Proper Hamburgers. As the name implies, the proprietors take great pride in serving proper hamburgers. After just one bite, I immediately knew why they were this year’s Best Cheap Eat winner in The Observer (newspaper) Food Monthly Awards. Consisting of aged Aberdeen Angus beef, Monterey Jack cheese, and the simple toppings of a sliced tomato, lettuce, and red onion, served on a perfectly proportioned freshly baked bun, this was a very delicious and very proper hamburger that was easy on the wallet to boot. On our next visit, I may just try one of their chocolate milkshakes, instead of the bottle of Sierra Nevada ale (imported directly from California) that I had. Please visit their very proper website at to read more about their story.

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