Wanderlust. But first, scallops and champagne

I have a near-insatiable wanderlust at the moment. I’m putting that down to my terribly cruel pals and their tendency to cut all ties to responsibility and go on the Explore. Sure, I can do a long weekend here (Scotland) and there (Turkey), and perhaps one big trip a year; but it’s certainly no months-long waltz around some far-off land.

(Truth be told, I’m lucky enough to say that cash isn’t an issue for me but I just don’t think I could handle not having a 9-5 to keep myself grounded and know that I’m not committing career suicide at 25. But maybe that’s something to do with the fact that I’ve never done it. I went straight from school to university, volunteered in all the right places during my holidays and literally drove from my graduation ceremony to start my first grad job the following working day. The idea of not doing something productive terrifies me. Whatever, I’m digressing.)

Anywho, back to said cruel pals; like the fabulous Ally T, with whom I shared my Peckham flat before he upped sticks to go around Asia for months. He’s recently returned, blonder, more tan and with an iPhone stuffed full of photos of turtles in Bali. We wanted a real catch up, something a little more tasteful than meeting up to nurse hangovers in the garden of Lerryn’s Café in Peckham so at the invitation of Browns, Victoria, there we met.

Browns Victoria

That is very much my hehe-I’m-going-to-order-a-magnum-of-Bollinger-and-there’s-absolutely-nothing-you-can-do-about-it face.

Having heard about their summer menu, I was in the mood for some seafood and champagne. I must say I was a little worried when I entered the bar downstairs (the pseudo chalkboards screamed ‘Wetherspoons’) but happily, the upstairs experience was something different. High-end dining it is not; but it’s a comfortable destination for a catch up with friends and it would certainly be my first choice for a pre-theatre eat in Victoria (give me that goat’s cheese and walnut salad followed by salted caramel profiteroles, please).

Browns Victoria

Look at Ally’s posture in the background. “Amy, seriously, stop taking photos of your weird-looking scallops and let me eat, ugh” teeheehee

Actually, I went for the scallops followed by the sea bass. Perhaps I should have read a little more closely but the curried cauliflower tempura surprised me; it was a little overbearing for a summer recipe. The sea bass was far more pleasing and came with shitake mushrooms and crispy shallots (Ally’s steak, too, was a tasty affair). Maybe it was because I haven’t drunk in three and a half weeks but the wine was absolutely tip-top. We started with flutes of Mercier NV Brut and followed it up with a bottle of Viognier from Mont Rocher, Pays d’Oc. I was worried at the description of a ‘honeysuckle and apricot aroma,’ as sweetness is NOT where it’s at for my wine preferences, but it was dry and refreshing. I’d go back for the wine alone. Suitably trashed, because that’s all it takes these days, I finished off with what has become my signature dessert, an espresso martini. I could drink that stuff ALL DAY, and this was a good one.

Well-oiled on the bus home, I was still looking up flights to this country and that country. I could strike one thing off my bucketlist and see the cherry blossoms fall in Japan this November for £360… Oh God, oh God, it’s so tempting.

Alex and I were the guests of Browns, Victoria that evening. For more information on their summer menu, you can check out their website here.


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