Thursday, 14 October 2010



And a good evening to you from across the Pond after another GREAT DAY in the Mother Country. Tons to get through, but let's start with the most important announcement of all: HAPPY BIRTHDAY MUFFIN PUFFIN!!!!!!!

So first off, the normal update on the Land’s End Challenge – Sammy the Bull hit a milestone today, crossing the 300 KM mark for the challenge. That’s right – I’m still NOT EVEN A THIRD OF THE WAY HOME WITH LESS THAN 2 WEEKS TO GO. Oh well, I really treated it more as “Farewell London” event than a 1 month event, so I still consider myself (more or less) on schedule.

Second, to the Wild Card – Utter brilliance and thank you, brother. Full marks.

Third – to T-Bone – YOU ARE DEAD TO ME. Why, you ask? Actually, in truth, it’s not at ALL your fault, but because I am a totally blameless and perfect child, I simply must go after someone.

Long story short – when you were living in Charlotte many moons ago, I noticed that you were reading a book that looked really cool called “And Instance of the Fingerpost.” I was interested, but it was ~700 pages and looked DAUNTING. However, when I saw it for 50p at a Chester book fair in 2007, I thought “Eh, why not take a chance?” I have since carried that book EVERYWHERE, listening to it mock me for my lack of motivation to cut through it. Last week, however, I FINALLY broke down (translation – it was the only book left on my shelf) and started reading it. I finished it yesterday, and I can now confirm that it is UTTER DONKEY TRASH. Why oh why didn’t you just burn it in my presence back in CLT and tell me how horrible it was? I am scarred for life now when it comes to Restoration England. Oh, the horror, the horror…

But enough of that, let’s skip ahead to the most important event of the evening – PERFECT PUMPKIN’S BIRTHDAY DINNER!!!!!! That’s right, folks – today, 13 October, my beautiful bride hit the big 3-2. Consequently, we needed to go out and celebrate!!!

We started at a small wine bar called Vinoteca (in the meatpacking district of Smithfield Market), where we had a couple of FABULOUS glasses of red (Grimshaw – we started with a South African wine to put us in the proper mood). After that (and after recovering from shivering after sitting at a table beside the door – it is bloody FREEZING here), we rolled down the street to a “to-do” that’s been THREE YEARS in the making. That’s right, baby – Team Taylor had dinner at Smith’s of Smithfield!!!!!

So some back story on this place – we first learned of it with Yazz and Jason back in November of 2007 (Yazz – remember that? It was rammed so we had pints of Meantime and Union before wandering to Dollars Martini Grill in Exmouth Market), and we’d been wanting to eat there ever since. It is ALWAYS PACKED, and reservations are a must. There are 5 floors – 1 for booze and dancing, 1 for wine, 1 for private dining, 1 for casual dining, and 1 for “I make more money than the Sheik and want a massive steak” dining (in case anyone’s curious, we opted for casual).

This place was GREAT. We had a nice bottle of chianti, they mixed the oil and balsamic for us, the atmosphere was terrific, the service good, etc. The highlight, however, was the INSANE GOOD FOOD. Seriously, we had (between the 2 of us): chili squid, duck salad, pork belly, bream over gnocchi, roasted peach with mascarpone and donuts, and vanilla rice pudding. We walked out of there STUFFED (even though I did have some Doritos at home – details…) and thrilled that we’d finally crossed it off the “must do” list in Foggytown.

We’re now back at the flat, and having just finished Skyping with JT’s parents, it’s time to call it a night.

Okay, that’s all the news that’s fit to print. Chat tomorrow!


Sam and (Birthday Girl) Jenny

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