My lips, this cricket

This is a post designed exactly so that people can weigh in on the most exotic foodstuff they’ve consumed.  It’s going to fall heavily on the side of carnivores, for which I apologize in advance, but if you have tasted fresh rowan from the Himalayas, by all means, speak up.

I’ve dined twice at this restaurant in London, Archipelago, which specializes in exotic cuisine.  The first time I went, I was too embarrassed to take photographs of our meal, because this is desperately uncool.  The second time I had no such compunction and snapped away, as I was truly regretful I had not documented the first time I ate crickets.

While by no means cheap, it is reasonably priced for the quality and rarity on offer, and a great place to bring out-of-towners looking for a bit of a treat.  My first visit, I had the ostrich starter (ostrich is always amazing – thready and flavorful) and the zebra steak.  (more…)


borisbeckerOne of the most exciting things about my transition to London is the increased probability of running into celebrities standing in the produce aisle of the supermarket, debating the merits of organic asparagus.  I think that the more mundane the activity or setting, the better the celeb spotting; for example, running into Robert Downey, Jr. at the vet with his cat is worth 1,000 points more than catching a glimpse of Nicole Ritchie finishing lunch at The Ivy and surrounded by paparazzi (boring, because we’ve all seen that photo 100 times in the weeklies and it’s ceased to be special or interesting).  

These regular-joe moments are the most coveted of celebrity sightings, pleasurable both in their unexpectedness and the perceived normalcy of the celeb – hence the appeal of Defamer’s Hollywood PrivacyWatch and Us Weekly’s “Just Like Us!” pictorials.  As in The Ivy example, your proximity to Nicole Ritchie at that moment is not striking, because it’s not hugely by chance.  She’s somewhere celebrities are supposed to be; by the same token, seeing Will Smith at a promotional appearance is not really noteworthy, unless he happens to do/say something unexpected to which you are singularly privy, such as surreptitiously pinch the ass of Ryan Seacrest or announce that he could really go for some teriyaki chicken wings.  Seeing Will Smith at the vitamin shop, however, is something to tell all your friends about. 

While it seems unlikely that I’m going to bump into Gwyneth buying a Mars bar at the newstand or Jason Statham on the tube (please, please, God – just once), the likelihood of celebrity encounters on the street have increased a zillion-fold, and I’m delighted to say I had my first since relocating, notable for both its randomness and what a complete non-event it was. (more…)