Day 72 of 80 — St John

Around London in 80 days

In these uncertain times, I need a lifeline and a horizon so I  have — somewhat arbitrarily I’ll admit — set a date. April 1st will be  my horizon ; my lifeline will be the 80 days separating me from it.
And as I cannot go around the world right now, I give you A Mad Belgian’s “Around London in 80 Days” : eighty impressions of London, eighty stories, places, thoughts from my experience of this wonderfully mad and maddening city.

Day 72: St John

“Devilled kidneys on toast” 
“0x tongue, Beetroot & Horseradish” 
“Braised tripe,Carrots and Mint”  

As I read the menu of St John in Smithfield, I realise just how unadventurous I am. As far as the culinary world is concerned anyway: I have no curiosity for the world of offel and innards, however much some of my friends recommend it.

Yet I love  St John restaurant and its “Nose To Tail Eating”. The place is full of great memories. I was introduced to it by a Clerkenwell expert who knows all of London’s best addresses. So every time I went there I was in great company and the food and wine never failed to impress me.

It’s one of those places that manages to be both rustic and trendy, and it is there that I discovered some great British food classics like the simple-but-delicious “Welsh Rarebit” (which I was surprised to learn doesn’t involve a rabbit).

There’s a lovely French bartender there, with a super-French name like “Guillaume” or “François” and a French accent too outrageous to be true. He knows all about wine (of course). He’ll tell you what to try — and if you’re not in a wine mood, he’ll even pour you a pint.

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