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food, travel, food culture

Once upon a time…a “complicated relationship” with food

This is a “personal” post – in case you’re curious to know a bit more about the woman behind the blog. The information here is, for once, NOT fictional…although it’s to take with a pinch of salt (and irony).

please sir i want some more

When I came back to London in late 2010, after more than 7 years, I wasn’t expecting much in the food department. My latest memories were of greasy fish & chips and limp sandwiches (plus other memories of semi-rotten food and the dirty counter of the café’ I worked for in one of my English- learning summers…the kind of memories you just want to obliterate to be able to eat out again).  It also helped that, at the time, I was absolutely broke (as you can imagine, the dirty café didn’t pay much) so dining options were pretty limited. I am sure you could find some great, great restaurants in London circa 2002, but I didn’t come anywhere near any of them. Actually, I did go near (cue “Dickens starving orphan at the cake shop window” with drooling and big longing eyes included) but that was pretty much all. Plus, I was still grappling with a very untimely comeback of eating disorders troubles from my teenager years- making my relationship with food even more “complicated”.

Milk and cereals and plenty of fruits (and alcohol. and pot noodles- but that’s a different story) kept me going for three months until it was time to go back home to uni. Even when I really felt I couldn’t stand it anymore and wanted to splurge – that nice-looking Italian trattoria? that Chinese restaurant looking less than dodgy? – my fellow bedsitters and friends, who were as broke as me, would  tell me I was crazy at spending money on food rather than booze and refuse to come along.  And I was too young and shy and worried of what they would think  to go anywhere alone. In short, an utter fool.

[insert “lonely broken-hearted hero” music here].

Well, not sure why am I telling you this tired story of rags to riches (*ehm* I wish). I guess is just to contrast it with my recent discovery of the cornucopia of food options in London. If anybody had told me, back then, that I could hop from the cheap delights of Pizza Pilgrims to the decadent French cuisine of Michelin- starred Gauthier, I wouldn’t have believed it.

all you need is...

Now I know that all you need is

1. Love  ok tired joke…sorry

1. A budget stretching just past survival purchases (which may be a challenge with the current rent rates, but hey, who needs clothes or make up anymore?! ;)

2. A computer with an Internet connection and something like Twitter to point you to a treasure trove of good value- if not always cheap in absolute terms- eats and drinks.

3. A more mature age, which helps you get over the “I can’t eat in a restaurant alone” barrier (it’s REALLY ok. It does not mean you’re a horrible friendless person. The Whole Wide World is not starting at you with disgust. And no, you don’t need to tweet frantically and never lift your eyes from your phone/tablet. If you don’t believe me, you can read the great Table for One blog here).

If on the way – thanks to family, friends, lover and a tiny bit also thanks to yourself- you’ve found a way to make your relationship with food a little less complicated….that helps too.

So here I am, blogging away and adding nickels to my Fat Duck birthday weekend piggy-bank which I’d like to break open for my upcoming big birthday (21 of course…what were you thinking?).

Because I am worth it – yeah! ;)

P.s. You don’t have to thank me for the hairy forearm with the “I <3 Internets” tattoo. Really, it’s nothing. I’m good like that.

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One Comment

  1. I passed through a phase, on my first year living abroad, eating mainly bread with cream-cheese for dinner…and lots of chocolate! With post-its on the kitchen counter with instructions of how to cook scrambled eggs and boil vegetables!! Gosh…many years have passed, thankfully, and things have changed a lot!! ;)

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