Monday, December 15, 2014

Beth's Excellent Adventure—Part 14: O'Neill's Irish Pub, Kings Cross, London

Heya, Adventurers!  This is J.K.’s friend Beth, reporting from England, where I had many culinary adventures and remembered to take pictures of some of them.

My last outing in England was an inside-the-stone-circle tour of Stonehenge.  September, it turns out, is the high season for Stonehenge, so if you have a hankering to do more than walk up a path and stare from a distance, plan ahead.  Inner circle tours are limited; be prepared for an extremely early morning departure from London if you can’t get the late afternoon tour.

And yes, one of the quotes about Stonehenge on a wall in the new visitors center is from guitarist Nigel Tufnel.  You know the one.

My late afternoon in London was comprised of tourist highlights but for one thing.  Another new friend and I bailed at Earls Court (her stop) rather than sit in that day’s bad traffic, and she made me pose for the obligatory shot of pretending to enter the police box there (the original for Dr. Who’s TARDIS).  I got across town on the Underground and a walk just in time before the Temple Church closed to get photos of the effigy of William Marshal (the 1st Earl of Pembroke one).  Best.  Medieval knight.  Evah.  As regent for young Henry III, he reissued the Magna Carta, twice, after John got the Pope to excommunicate the Barons who engineered it.  He saved England from falling to the French at the Battle of Lincoln, when he was 70 years old (Richard the Lionheart had chewed him out once for climbing a siege ladder when he was in his 50s).  The US Naval Academy site has a lengthy essay on him.  Fascinating dude, on that Sandford maternal line family tree (him and two daughters).

The Temple Church is the church of the Templars, and they do play trippy music and sell Da Vinci Code stuff.  From there, the original Temple Bar is a short walk; it was the end of the day and I saw a couple of barristers walking down the street with their perukes in hand or a bad, looking as though they’d had long days before the courts.  Then to Trafalgar Square, and on to hear Big Ben peal, passing tourists taking selfies with a long-suffering decked-out guard at Downing Street.

Then back to Kings Cross, and supper at O'Neill's Irish Pub.  Wild boar and chorizo burger, with Irish cheese.  And a Guinness.  The burger was fabulous, flavorful with dense texture.  The chorizo was a thin slice, Spanish style, not the Mexican sausage type.  The Guinness, alas, wasn’t the original and it wasn’t room temperature.  Great way to finish a special day, though.