Once break ended about a month ago my theatre class was replaced by an internship and an internship class. I spoke a little bit about my internship in an earlier post but now that it has officially started I can talk about what I’ve been up to. I’m interning for a restaurant group that will remained unnamed in fear of being discovered via a Google search. I will tell you that the first restaurant opened in 1909, the restaurant name starts with an “R” and their signature color is red. Hmmm. I started on the Friday after I got back from Paris and Barcelona and have been interning there Wednesday-Friday since. Each day I work out of a different restaurant location doing things from contacting suppliers to updating pricing to planning the Thanksgiving menu (because I am American…). My internship highlight so far has been helping to manage a breakfast for 80 Jewish businessmen. Yes, that really happened in London. I love it because I move from place to place—sometimes within one day—and get to interact with different restaurant managers, customers and members of the company’s head office. It’s making me think seriously about working for a specific restaurant group instead of a marketing or PR firm that deals with restaurants, supermarkets or food brands. The future is pretty exciting.
Since break ended I’ve still been taking my Media and British Life and Cultures classes. With BLC I went to the British Library and saw beautiful old religious texts, original Beatles lyrics scribbled on scraps of paper and works from Oscar Wilde. Two weeks ago we went to the Tate Britain which is a museum featuring art from the 16th century to the present. Our tour guide for the former had the most annunciated speech I’ve ever heard, and for the latter spoke so quietly that she had to speak into a little microphone which was then projected into headphones that we were all given. Right now I’m working on my final projects for both of these classes and both involve food, go figure! For me Media class I am writing a paper on Nigella Lawson and how her TV shows are more of a porno than anything else (my professor even referred to her “Christmas Tips” article as her “Christmas Tits” article). For British Life and Cultures I’m doing a presentation on why people eat so slowly here and how restaurants can make money when turning tables is on the bottom of their totem pole of goals.
Two weekends ago I went to Dublin with a bunch of my friends for the weekend. I had heard that Dublin was a very London-like but it is entirely entirely not at all, at least I didn’t think so. The city is distinctly Irish, and proud of it. It probably helped that two football games were happening that weekend and the town was painted orange, white and green but still, Dublin is not London. We did a free walking tour around the city given by this guy with long red hair [insert Irish ginger joke here] who kept changing his voice to sound like a Trojan warrior and started singing at several intervals throughout. My friends said it was like I was giving the tour. Whatever. My food highlight of our first day there was a perfect sausage roll that didn’t leave me feeling gross, greasy or sausage-y at all. We walked from St. Stephens Green to Trinity College, the Temple Bar to the Spire of Dublin.
At night we did a pub crawl but ended up leaving the crawl to get back to the first pub which was blasting old-school music and serving up Bailey’s on ice. Did I mention I was 12.5% Irish?
On Sunday I had a delicious fruit smoothie for breakfast and we took the bus to the Guinness factory which was definitely someplace that I would go to again despite my dislike of the stout (I did say only 12.5%, right?). Old drums used for brewing were turned upside down, cut open and filled with flat screens depicting different steps of the brewing process and the whole place was covered with exposed sea foam green beams. We ate at the restaurant inside of the factory and our meal included a variety of Guinness breads, seafood chowder and was finished off with a chocolate-Guinness muffin (12.5%!!).
Getting back to the airport that night and getting back to London could not have been easier and I would really like to go back and explore other parts of Ireland if I can.
I was very lucky to have both my Grandparents and my boyfriend, Will, visit me over the past week. My Grandparents came first and we saw “Hairspray” and “Jersey Boys” (both were really well done!), went to Westminster, Harrods, Piccadilly Circus and the National Portrait Gallery, the Changing of the Guards and The Royal Collection, Kensington Palace and did a bunch of walking around.
Will came here Wednesday morning and we did everything touristy plus going to Camden (hello mulled wine and freshly-made donuts, seriously), Queen's Arms, O'neill's, Covent Garden, Green Park, the Natural History Museum (dinosaurs!), the Serpentine and even more walking around which was great because we were eating… a lot.
Restaurants from both visits included: Byron, Tuttons, Sophie’s, Pizza Express, Masala Zone, Disco D’Mario (for Thanksgiving with the American University people from my program. Nothing like garlic bread and an antipasto platter on Turkey Day!), Wahaca and, of course, Ping Pong. I am in need of a serious detox, but it was all worth it. In the words of Nigella, "I don't want one meal to be less than delicious, otherwise what a waste."