On to Liverpool House

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Pappy getting his sticky toffee pudding.

Last night the four Coopers of London sacrificed their stomachs once again to go celebrate Pappy’s 75th birthday. Don’t worry, all four of us had worked out at the Club Sportif MAA in the morning, we were ready to eat once again.

Thanks to my sister in-law Karen who had organized this little soirée at Liverpool House in little Burgundy, the menu was set and all we had to do was pick some good wine to pair the meal and presto, the food started to arrive.

We started with a veal tartar accompanied by a nice salad and some mozzarella made in Québec. (I don’t have pictures of those apps because, well, we ate them too fast!) Then we were presented with a nice plate of fresh seafood comprised of oysters (Laura had all mine), crab legs and stuffed sea urchins. Again, no pictures, I was too busy eating and drinking…

The main course came and it was absolutely delicious. Spaghetti lobster (I have had this dish many times at Liverpool House’s sister restaurant, Joe Beef), a nice piece of porterhouse, homemade gnocchi with chanterelles mushrooms and to top it all off, arctic char stuffed with welts. All of it was AMAZING!!!!!!

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Nanny showing us her skills at ”How to properly get the meat off the bone!”

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Spaghetti Lobster. One of my favorites.

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The Arctic Char. The sauce was soooooo good. The fish melted in our mouths.

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Nice cut of porterhouse. Cooked to perfection.

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Whatever was left of the gnocchi and chanterelles…don’t worry, we ate it all.

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La Famiglia!

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Patrick demonstrating his ”Hockey Flow”.

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Happy Pappy!

For dessert, (again no pictures, went too fast and I was too busy stuffing my face.), we had some sort of pistachio cannoli, a Rhubarb tart and sticky toffee pudding.

We had never been to Liverpool House but I knew it wouldn’t disappoint. I like the ambiance at Joe Beef and the one at Liverpool House is pretty much the same. Great food, great vibe and we had a lovely evening catching up with the Coopers from Ottawa and Vermont.

 

Another Restaurant Off the Bucket List

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One of the 5 desserts, the Maple cheese cake soufflé pudding chaumeur.

Before I explain how the Cooper family got there, let me explain what this restaurant is all about. La Cabane Au Pied de Cochon is the famous chef, Martin Picard’s, dream and baby. Chef Martin Picard opened restaurant Au Pied de Cochon in Montreal, in 2001. He was the first to serve ”Poutine au foie gras” and he was one of the first chefs to say, ”let’s use local Quebec products and create a rustic cuisine du terroir. Peter and I have been there many times and I think we also brought the kids there a couple times. After all, us Coopers like to eat! It’s one of the many activities we enjoy doing as a family.

8 years ago, Martin Picard fulfilled a dream of opening his own sugar shack. He believes that maple syrup is a national treasure and should be used as much as possible. When he bought an old sugar shack, he also started a TV show on Télé-Québec titled, ”Un Chef à La Cabane”. This weekly tv show explains how they decide on the menu, how they tap the trees and produce the maple syrup, how he keeps the pigs and chickens around the cabane etc… Of course, both Peter and I watch it from London using our slingbox that is hooked up to Sarah’s TV in Montreal.

Now, back to us and how we got there. First, you must understand how hard it is to even get a reservation for this place. My sister and Ben’s sister Andréanne have been trying to get there for 3 years. The Cabane is only opened in the spring during sugar season. On the Au Pied de Cochon restaurant website, you get the one day in December where you will be able to go put your name down and the number of people for your reservation at La Cabane. If you get selected, they let you know by email and give you a date. Only then can you call them back and say, yes I can make it on that date at that time. It’s complicated and Andréanne got the call and she did a fabulous job of getting April 20th for the 5:30 serving since that was the only date she could get for her brother Ben. At that point, we were not even in the picture. This was decided back in February.

Couple weeks ago my sister called. ”Hey when are you arriving in Montreal?” Me: Sunday the 16th why?” Sister: ”Well we have one spot for you at the Cabane if you want it, someone in our group cancelled.” She did not have to say which Cabane. I knew which one she was referring to and I jumped on it. Peter and the kids were jealous!

Last Saturday we are in London, chilling, when my sister called. ”Hey, could Peter change his flight? we have another spot that just opened at the Cabane?” We looked and changed Peter’s flight.

Tuesday night I am sitting at home in Montreal, Thing 1 is studying at kitchen table and Thing 2 is writing an essay on the couch. My sister calls, ”Okay, something came up and we have two more openings for Thursday night. Do your kids want to come?” I asked the kids and there was a resounding YES!!!

So, last night we had a 15 course Cabane à sucre dinner that was to die for. Here is what we had.

 

 

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Salmon in the home made smoker. There was actually an episode about the making of the ”Fumoir”.

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This year, Chef Martin Picard spent some time in Asia, so he incorporated some Asian twists to the Cabane food. People behind Sarah and Peter are preparing the Asian/Maple food. It was all yummy.

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Moi and Thing 2!

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Cousins from both ”cheeks”!

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Of course we started with cocktails. Mac has the Orange Julep. Perfect blend of gin, vodka, cointreau, orange and of course, a dash of maple syrup. 

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Most of us had the Cabane cocktail. Gin, champagne and maple syrup. It was AWESOME! Not too sweet and the perfect amount of bubbles. Peter had the Mojito.

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These are little tin cheese squares infused with liquid foie gras. To die for!

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Maple ramen noodle soup with, yes you guessed it, Foie gras.

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Every Cabane à sucre meal has to have an egg component. In the paper roll was egg omelette stuffed with baloney, accompanied with beans, and in the can is a combo of cod and potatoes. 

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Of course, eggs are served with pancakes. These were cooked in duck fat. 

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The set meal is 14 courses but the waiter suggested that since we were a big group, we may want to try the ”Tourtière du Shack”. Basically, pork pie on steroids. Topped with Oka cheese and morsels of …..you guessed it, FOIE GRAS!!!!

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After we moved on to these dumplings filled with salmon and crab and a dash of maple syrup.

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This lovely almond paste ”cake” was filled with yummy maple smoked salmon. This was our last entrée. 

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For the main course we had stuff Patte de Cochon on a bed of barley risotto on the left, on the right we had chicken stuffed with pork on lentils, (yes they gave us some greens), and below was a palette of beef. That was my favorite of the three mains.  

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Then we moved on to the desserts. We had the soufflé pouding chomeur (Pictured at the top).

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These look like logs but they are actually ”chocolate logs” that I had to crack open with a mallet. Not a huge chocolate fan but I have to say, it was delicious.

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Can’t go to the cabane without having ”tire sur neige”, or in this case, tire on this huge cold block of sea salt. When the waiter comes with it, he says to really ”scrape” the ”tire” of the salt. OMG! I have died and gone to heaven. 

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Then of course, we really needed another dessert … they also served us this stuffed choux of cream and maple syrup goodness. I did not even have any, no room. You may have noticed the metal containers in the photos. That is for all the leftovers they encourage you to take. We all left we two to three.

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Last but not least, we were given a shot of hot sake with a blend of maple syrup. Roll me to the car please…

This restaurant outing was not in the cards this year at all. It was a total surprise! Thank you Lyne (and Andréanne) for thinking of the four Coopers. It was a lovely evening and now I can check this place off my bucket list.

 

 

A Visit to William Turner Country

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Yesterday morning I met three other ladies from my CWC (Canadian Women’s Club) group at St. Pancras train station and on this lovely sunny day, we took the train to the seaside town of Margate.

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Margate is where painter William Turner went for inspiration. It’s a beautiful and quaint seaside town.

Margate is also where you will find the Turner Contemporary Gallery and at the moment, it is featuring an exhibit titled ”Entangled” about arts & crafts entirely made by women. Small exhibit but worth the train ride to the seacoast. I really enjoyed it. Especially the many handmade tapestries with different mediums. Most of the creations were made from recycled materials.

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Various fibers to work with.

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The canvas on this panting has stitched lettering. Amazing.

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This picture doesn’t do this tapestry justice. It looks vibrant and lush in person.

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On our return trip, the train went to Folkstone before turning back to go to London. It was a little longer but along the way we saw scenes such as these. These are NOT my own pictures. I borrowed these from the web to show you how beautiful Kent is.

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Fields of yellow flowers in valleys.

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Lush green and yellow hills and valleys.

Simply beautiful English countryside. Too bad it’s 90 minutes by train outside of London… but worth the trip.

Wednesday Morning

Most Wednesday mornings, I leave our mews in South Kensington around 7:15 am and walk through Hyde Park and head North East to Regents Parks’s Clarence gate. (If I’m training for a race I run there).

Once at my destination, I meet a group of women from the Canadian Women Club of London, there could be anywhere between 5 to 10 of us on any given Wednesday. We also have two British ladies that we have picked up along the way… I usually get there just past 8 am and at 8:15 on the dot, Lois, our leader from P.E.I., starts the walk.

From Clarence gate we walk for an hour through the park. Lois takes us on various routes. Sometimes we see the camels when we walk at the back of the London zoo, sometimes we go see what’s new in the ”Secret Garden” and sometimes we take the path to go see the various sculptures being exhibited throughout the year.

We meet every Wednesday throughout the year, rain or shine. Even when Lois leaves us in the summer to go to her beloved P.E.I. cottage. We walk for an hour and in that hour we usually walk just over 5 km, (I should know since I always have my Garmin/GPS watch and track this), and then we stop for a coffee at Benugo café in the park. We chat, catch up for about 45 minutes and then we all leave, each in our own direction and go on with our day. It’s a great way to start the day and if I have nothing else to do that day, I walk home, and by the time I get home I can at least say I have walked seven miles.

This morning was another lovely walk and I couldn’t help myself. I had to take pictures of the many beautiful trees and flowers we encountered along the way.

 

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May is just around the corner and I can’t wait. That’s when the rose garden is in full bloom. I will post more pictures then.

Another Beautiful Day!

We seem to be under a ”sunny spell” as of late in London. It’s rare to get three to four days of sun! Especially this time of the year.

This is helping me get out of a funk, shake off the winter blues and go for a run in the park.

I can’t help myself. I must stop and take some photos along the way. The park is in bloom at the moment and this is probably my favorite time of the year in Hyde Park. As you will see, the Royal Gardeners have been working hard all winter.

Happy Monday Everyone!

Hydepark

 

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