Sunday, August 24, 2008

English Roadtrip - July 2008 - The Chinese Food Tour

Well, after all, I am Chinese, and this is my tour, so inevitably, there would be some element of Chinese-ness in it. My auntT has a good friend who lives in Swindon, and my mom has a good friend who lives in Bingham, near Nottingham. Naturally, our trip was to encompass visiting them (sorry Alison) so that they could show their hospitality.

To start off though, before Alison, auntHK and I arrived, the rest of the party had spent a day and a half in England, and for one day, they took the train into London Chinatown!! Here is my mom, auntM and auntT. I imagine this was before they bought roasted duck(s?) on the train back to Rhinefield House to prepare dinner that night as well as lunch the next day. For, when Alison, auntHK and I arrived around noon, we were awaited with instant noodles and roasted duck! A "homey" lunch before the trek out to Stonehenge, I suppose. :)

Swindon is not really known for anything in particular, other than having an outlet mall, it seemed. Of course, as a "Chinese tour", we would definitely hit it. Both Alison and I purchased some stuff from here, as well as auntHK, who is not known for buying things!! This is the UK-style outlet mall. :p Second picture is the friends of auntT, the husband who is a pastor of a Chinese church in Swindon. For dinner that night, they treated us to a BIG dinner of UK-style Chinese food (the owner of the restaurant who goes to his church, I think).

Later on the trip, we visited my mom's friend in Keyworth. Well, my mom's friends actually lives in the town of Bingham, but owns a Chinese take-out restaurant(!) in Keyworth. Both towns surround the larger city of Nottingham. My relatives stayed above the restaurant in Keyworth, and Alison and I found a very nice bed & breakfast down the street. Keyworth is a tiny, modern village (population under 10,000??), so we didn't expect to find any B&Bs there. However, Keyworth is also "Home of the BGS" -- the British Geological Survey -- and amusingly, the BGS website had a good listing of B&Bs catering to international geologists who need to go to the BGS. The funny thing was that every B&B on the list would state the walking time to the BGS -- obviously, the main 'attraction' of this tiny village.

As this is where my mom's friend has lived for many years. I had to do my 'daughterly duties' and talk to the auntie, and I dragged Alison there to eat the Chinese take-out food. Alison wasn't really looking forward to that (after all, we were in England, not known for its Chinese food??) but once we sat down, we both started to eat really fast because the sweet & sour stuff hit the spot! In particular, they had a super-crispy version of sweet & sour pork that was really good (imagine sweet & sour pork but cut into half centimetre shreds, and each individually dipped and fried). In the end, Alison actually ate a lot of her rice too -- apparently, a rare feat! Hahaha... it was a very funny meal.

And finally, in London, since Janey is always deprived of Chinese food in London, the four of us (Janey, Ina, Alison and me) went out for Chinese food twice to satisfy her cravings. Not that it was great, but to be fair, English food is not that great either. :p No pictures of HK Diner or the other place, but here we are in front of St. Martin's by Trafalgar Square before we went to dinner. Fun times. :)

Until next time, this is Gladys Yam.

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