L’ETO and It isn’t like America

What a window display. And beautiful inside too.

Today is part of my lunching alone challenge. How will I be able to find a great place for lunch if I don’t jump in. Price be damned, alone be damned, not understanding the menu be damned. Today it’s a 20 dollar sandwich at L’ETO surrounded by well mannered lunchers

When I left the V&A today it was just 2 pm and I hadn’t eaten. Not yet hangry I checked out a kiosk for some sense of where I was and it turns out a ten minute walk from Harrods. How could I not stroll down and see. And then these gorgeous restaurant storefronts called me. And here I am lunching on Brompton Road

And continuing my list of what’s different here

The crosswalks sometimes only let you halfway across the street.

The markets- no kosher salt, baking soda doesn’t seem to be on the shelves either

And no Target or the equivalent. No place to pick up socks, towels, dinner, and a pot to cook it in for 15 dollars.

Of course there is the contactless credit card everywhere. Even though in my mind it makes contact

After 35 years in Miami the most striking thing is the age of everything. Buildings from another century not another decade.

And the weather. I wear a jacket every day

Like New York the public transport is the only way to go and I think nothing of a thirty minute walk

I’m not sure if it’s where we are or the entire city but there are tiny food stores each with a limited selection that often seems to have no rhyme or reason. Maybe similar to New York’s many bodegas

So far the menus are a mystery to me and the flavors are all different. Even a burger has a different flavor in it

Bacon, if you want to cook with it get some pork belly because bacon here is more like a thin sliced chop

Variety in the grocery. Whereas I am accustomed to ten kinds of everything here it’s mostly just the store brand. And so much individually packaged and prepared food.

Movie theatres don’t have huge marquees.

I have to say most of the differences I find center on food

Yes the museums are generally free but you pay individually for entry to survival exhibits everywhere

It rains almost every day. Not hard,

and as I sit here writing how things aren’t the same I have delivered to me the BEST Croque Madame I can remember having. Ever!

Bread like challah, sweet ham, fresh egg, smothered in Bechamel. I tried hard to eat slowly, to savor each bite. And I think I succeeded perhaps halfway. Then onto cake.

Another difference between here and home- tablesettings. At home you keep your fork. Here it’s a new fork and often a new napkin with every course

Ahhhhh

Looks goood!!!!!

Thick like fudge. Not too sweet. Very chocolatee

And I should add that the service here is fabulous. They might get a better salt shaker but everything else was wonderful

I haven’t noticed L’eto on any of my lists of places to eat but will keep an eye out from now on because its pretty good. UPDATE: its got 5 locations

If I were making a top ten list for London after three weeks here this place would be in it.

Oh. And here you use the toilet not the ladies room or bathroom, you pay the bill not the check and no tipping… or some tipping. I’m not sure about it yet

And to prove me wrong I just went downstairs and the sign on the very lovely and clean smelling toilet says bathroom. And I walked out into the heaviest rain I have seen since I got here

I’m now at the South Ken(sington) station waiting for the eastbound district line. What’s different. Well. Clean places to sit while you wait, mostly wide open train cars, and signage

Many of the trains don’t make it to the end of the line and there are not only continuous delays but trains often change midway through their routes. This morning a train arrived at a station heading west and announced everyone off. The train is backing up and changing direction

Now that I have the hang of it and understand that anything is possible I listen for the announcements and they are pretty informative. Another thing about being here- it really can be quite difficult to get past the accent and the words used.

You would think that the English language would be the same overall. But I don’t think it is. The custom of calling things by different names is the bulk of it. If I knew adverbs and adjectives I might tell you where the biggest difference is but for now its nouns. Places. Not the sidewalk the pavement.

And the first floor is zero. Not 1. I guess I will need to listen more closely for where the lack of understanding the language plays out.

Oh. And a huge thing. The subway map is NOT acutraely representative of where things are and the distance between them.

If you have your tube journey planned you can see where lines cross. But if you want to plan your own walk/ bus/train there just doesn’t seem to be a way if you aren’t familiar with the territory. I rely on citimapper but am not happy doing so.

In protest and out of necessity I do sometimes just head out in a direction and then reroute myself

Oh. Never made it to Harrods, another day

So. Back to the restaurant t. I liked the chocolate cake so much I saved half to bring home and added a honey cake to it

Like New York it’s best to end your train journey by four in the afternoon and miss the rush hour.

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