EAT MY GLOBE: TAKING THE BOOKTRADE ON A BINGE
And so it begins.
Although EAT MY GLOBE is not published in the U.K until April of next year, the sell in has begun in earnest and my publishers, John Murray suggested that a good way to show the book trade what it was all about would be to take selected members on an afternoon food tour.
So, on a cold, windy and miserable Friday, I met with a gaggle of assorted buyers and trade journalists for a swift pint at The Market Porter before taking them on a whirlwind tour of some of my favourite places.
The pub served a shockingly bad pint, but made a great meeting place particularly as our first port of call was Mrs King’s Pork Pies where the estimable Ian Hartland gave us a little talk before cutting up a prime large example for everyone to try all the while making sure that real customers were not neglected.
Next stop, around the corner, where the good people of Brindisa had arranged for Master Jamon Carver, Zak to give us a demonstration of fine art of ham cutting before he too distributed fine slices of Teruel and Iberico for our eager group to taste.
If everyone had been eagerly anticipating the first two stops, the next caused a little more concern as we hopped in some waiting cars and trundled off to Aldgate East and Tubby Issac’s Whelk and Jellied Eel Stall, which has been on the same spot for a hundred years or more. It was a first taste of old London for most, but they were all very brave soldiers as I doused bowls of cockles, whelks and, of course, eels with extra special, extra hot chilli vinegar and handed them around for everyone to try. Wonderful stuff although a shame to think with all the parking restrictions in that area now, the owner was doubtful about the long term future of the stall.
There is no doubt, however, that Paul A.Young has a very bright future and, although Paul himself could not be there for our visit, his Managers, Jakob and Brendan looked after us when we bustled in from a blustery Camden Passage and were soon giving us tastes of a rich brownie and handing over little goodie bags that Paul had asked them to make up. We took the opportunity to buy everyone a cup of Paul’s superlative hot chocolate before climbing back into our cars for perhaps the most unusual stop of the day.
I have written about Memhet at Embassy Electrical Supplies before, but now was the perfect time to visit as he has just taken delivery of some of his wonderful olive oil. On top of which he now has a new range of infused oils, some paprika dried in the Sun on the terraces his Cyprus estate and stunning wild oregano from his farm. As ever, Memhet was soon ladling out tastes of oil and olives and everyone was filling their John Murray shoulder bags with ideal Christmas Presents.
All this eating is thirsty work, so our penultimate port of call saw a quick stop at Hawksmoor where Nick Strangeway had created a special EAT MY GLOBE cocktail containing Compass Box Oak Cross Whisky, Jostberry Cordial and Palo Cortado Sherry. Very good it was too thanks to Tim and Noal who did the mixing and, with an added round of Martinis and a few plates of Iberico which we had picked up at Brindisa, it fortified us for the short walk to our final destination.
Where else could we finish a tour of this part of London than Tayyabs? It was, of course, already mobbed when we arrived, but we were shown to the private room and plates of sizzling lamb chops were put in front of us almost before our coats were off. As good as ever and as the food came, I took the opportunity to propose a toast to my new chums and to all the amazing and astonishingly generous old chums who had been so giving of their time and products to make the day such a success.