Monday, February 01, 2010
SUNDAY BRUNCH IN A TIME MACHINE
Its been a while since I posted. My studies are proving to be a steeper uphill climb than I'd bargained for.. But this post must begin with a confession.. My title is misleading..its mischievously misleading to suggest time travel...But that's not what this is about...It's about lazy Sundays in the UK and spending it the way many before me have done for nearly 500 years!!! After years of never having a weekend to take for granted, must I reinforce how much I enjoy milking every weekend that this one year of academic pursuit offers me? So after a Saturday evening spent extremely fruitfully mastering knack and patience playing Jenga in the college pub..and ending up with an extremely respectable and thoroughly unpredicted result of losing just one game in three...we revelers decided that Sunday had to be spent discovering the delights of a traditional English brunch.. Sunday brunch became a late lunch by British standards...At about 2PM, five of us headed towards Lewes..(yes, the same place that hosts the bonfire every year)...That, one person in the group had a car proved extremely handy, for we would never have discovered this little place tucked away in a little nook towards Lewes.. The Juggs...that's what the place is called...with a proud little post script to the title suggesting that it's been operational since the fifteenth century....Over 600 years of dishing out roasts and ale.... I wonder how it might have appeared to the fair ladies with their parasols passing by in carriages and buggies, with handsome well turned out men in their top coats stopping by for a quick bite. I'm now assuming that it was just passersby who frequented the Juggs and not the locals.. In fact, I wonder when the tradition of eating out on Sunday began...Was it late in the 19th century or was it early 20th century... From the decor...the cosy fireplace and the log-hewn tables to the menu....It was oh-so-British... I have been on a vegetarian spree for some time now..to be honest, red meat never appealed much to me..fish was too smelly...so that left me with the option of eating chicken alone...That being so, I try to experiment with vegetarian cuisine whenever I can... Imagine going to a pub famous for its roasts and checking on the menu for something with leaves and berries on it...Even probably what the meat would have been fed before it ended up as roast on the tables...Not a cheery thought, is it now? But Juggs didn't disappoint me...Some very good Garlic Mushrooms that are actually breaded mushrooms with a garlicky dip..and a Ploughman's Platter...Thats what it was called..an assortment of cheese, breads, chutneys and dips... That's where a debate began...Why hasn't anyone tried to have a British style pub in India? We have lounges and bars and theme restaurants...We came up with three possible answers.. There are few heritage buildings that have the British pub character and flavour - and without the fireplace, what's a pub ambience? And then there are some Irish namesakes in Bangalore and Mumbai...but none to actually bring some bits of Ireland to India..But then more mischievously, is the notoriety of bland British food responsible for the lack of imaginative application of a British pub into the Indian melting pot of hot flavours and pungent spices? I feel all have played its own role..But there's something to be said of homely British food...it's wholesome - without frills and fuss..in portions that the petite-French would gasp at...and without the Italian flamboyance or the Greek flavours... Hmmmmm...I can still taste the flavour of the Sunday brunch...When great food mixes with good ambience, the value for money factor shoots up..And when it's virtually a time machine that transports you centuries back, well, that's when I call it a steal....