London Chronicles II

Monday, 9 January 2017

Heathrow Airport, terminal 2. A brand new building, a state of the art logistics platform to move people in and out of the island.

The enormous entrance hall allows the wind to enter free and we realise the weather is getting worse. We’re in the middle of the cloud now, and the wind is picking up. The light is as grey as ever and we rush inside into the warm and welcoming lights.

The check in and security controls are empty. A pleasant unusual surprise these days.

The feeling of loss caused by the Harrods experience still bothers and leaves us with a feeling of orphanage. A sudden urge to bring home something, an evidence that London still exists, takes over.

A few steps into the terminal are enough. We’re in familiar territory. The lounges to the right just after the Boots store where pain killers can be bought in an emergency. The big lounge downstairs. Not too crowded today.

As our eyes wonder we spot the familiar logo of the Caviar House & Prunier shop. Now, that is a sight of old London. Private clubs, Foie Gras, Caviar and Smoked Salmon… How much more symbolic can you get?

We enter the store after sending yet another batch of emails concerning meetings and agendas, taken by our own steps while we do it (the emailing I mean). Entering is just a matter of instinct of course. We’re not buying anything, just checking. After all, the prices are exorbitant these days even if the Sterling has devalued sharply.

As we ramble through the shelves and answer the standard “how can help you?” question by the shop attendant with the no less standard, “just having a look thanks”, we arrive at the Foie Gras section. A whole lob of goose liver goes for a hefty £110. See? I had already told you. Prices are exorbitant and London has nothing to offer us. Not anymore, not as it used to be when Christmas Pudding from M&S would transform Christmas Dinner into something exquisite.

We’re about to turn our back away when the eyes are caught by a handwritten note on a Duck Foie Gras block: “50% price off” it says…from £70 to…well you know, half of that.

The attendant, solicit, explains that all products travel well for 24h….hmmm….is he trying to convince us? “Would we like to try it?”, he says. Well….we still feel heavy (very heavy) from the fish&chips we had, but what the heck, it’s just a piece of Foie Gras…

Smooth, creamy, densely fat… and full of flavor. Just as it should be. We’re convinced. Not that it took too much effort I must say. The warning that the sell by date is in 4 days is not even considered relevant.

We pay and head out. While doing that we pass by the Smoked Salmon shelf. Wait a minute!! There’s another 50% price off sign on the Scottish smoked salmon 250g packs. Sell buy date? January 12th. Who cares…and the rest is history!

Special dinner on Friday. After all, London still has a lot of charm to spell…

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