On Monday I had a day out in that London ON MY OWN! I arrived at London Bridge a little after 9 o’clock, and walked over to Southwark Cathedral. I enjoyed a pot of tea and a pastry in the peace and quiet of the Cathedral refectory, which was exactly what I needed after a sleepless night and a rush hour train journey. After strolling through Borough market as it was setting up, I set off to look for the Britmums Christmas Event venue on Borough High Street.
I arrived for the event twenty minutes early, but I wasn’t the only one. I was pleased to see two familiar faces, Liska and Rachel – and Liska’s lovely little boy Aaron who proudly showed me his Disney Cars dressing up outfit as we were going up in the lift. He was very sweet, and as far as I could see he spent the rest of the morning working his charm on everyone else too!
After a little wait, it was time to get a cup of coffee and go through to the main conference room. There was a magnificent display of Christmas treats, provided by Morrisons who were sponsoring the event. As it was a roomful of bloggers, at first no-one touched the food, because everyone was taking photographs, but there was soon plenty of tasting going on too!
Neil Nugent, executive chef and head of product development at Morrisons was there to give us his top tips for preparing Christmas dinner.
- Get the turkey out of the fridge three hours before cooking to bring it up to room temperature.
- Hold it by the legs and shake it – yes, really – to open it up, so the hot air can circulate while it’s cooking.
- Put seasoned butter under the skin, starting from the neck end, to keep the turkey moist.
- Don’t cover your turkey with foil – it creates steam, which will make it overcooked and dry.
- Let it rest for a couple of hours after cooking, so that the juices will settle and it will be more tender.
- Use Maris Piper potatoes for roasting, and don’t boil them first – just simmer them gently for ten minutes, so they don’t end up mushy.
- You can prepare the vegetables two or three days in advance and keep them in the fridge.
- If you want to have mashed potato with your Christmas dinner, you can make that in advance too.
After that there was time to talk, while eating a delicious lunch and drinking wine also provided by Morrisons. I had a great morning and met so many interesting people. I enjoyed getting to know Swazi and Lynda, and discussing Home Education with them, among other things. Another highlight was a very helpful chat about branding and SEO with the lovely Maggy.
After the event, I spent a bit more time in London, including popping back to the cathedral and the market, before getting the train home. The children were at my friend’s house, so I went round there and they were reasonably pleased to see me, though a little disappointed that I was not daddy with fish and chips. When daddy arrived a little later, we ate supper with our friends and then it was time to leave. The children were more impressed when we got back home and I showed them the Morrisons Christmas treats we’d been given as we left the event. We have now eaten them and they were all delicious!
Thank you Britmums and Morrisons for a wonderful morning – now it really feels like Christmas has started!