London in Four Days

tower of london guard

Guard at The Tower of London

Hello, friends!  How did you like the Cucumber Gin Spritz?  Rhonda ran off to London for a few days last week to visit Blind Piglet #1 who is studying abroad for the semester.  It was a quick trip packed with lots of fun sight seeing, so she is going to share some highlights with you this week.

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Rodin’s Bronze Statue of The Thinker at the British Museum

I left Dallas around 3:30 pm on a Friday.  I had a layover in Charlotte and left there at 10:00 pm.  I don’t tell you this to bore you with every detail of my trip, but wanted to share that time-wise, it was a great flight to take.  As soon as I got on the plane in Charlotte, I made myself settle in and go to sleep. Although I did not sleep well, I did manage to get some sleep.  We landed in London at about 11:00 am.  I was refreshed enough to keep moving the rest of the day with little jet lag.  I have traveled to Europe three times before, and each time I had to take a break during the middle of the day, because I could not function without my sleep. Not this time!

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Rhonda crossing Abbey Road

Soon after landing in London and connecting with Blind Piglet #1, I was off to seeing the sights!  My trip through London the next four days would feel like a kindergartener had sketched our route.  I am sure it was much more logically planned, but it did not feel like it to me.

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Our route through London

One of my first stops was to Greenwich to see the Prime Meridian.  I am a huge math and science geek which gave me great pleasure to stand with one foot in each hemisphere and see where the standard units of measure for the English system were calibrated.

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One foot in each hemisphere!

After visiting Greenwich, which is lovely, we boarded a boat and took a little trip down the Thames near London Tower and Tower Bridge.

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Tower Bridge

While near Tower Bridge we decided to have dinner at this fun restaurant called Coppa that has little bubbles you can sit in while eating.  We thought that these little domes had been reserved for weeks, but upon asking, managed to snag a fun little table.  The food was better than is typical for restaurants in a high tourist area, and was not overly priced.  We had great service, and enjoyed watching the tourists walk along the Thames.

Breakfast was a fun adventure the next morning we went to The Sky Garden. This fun restaurant, bar, and greenhouse combined makes for a great place to have a meal, sip a cocktail and enjoy the views of London.  You need to make reservations, because they only allow a limited number of visitors at a time.  It is well worth it.  The only thing that I would change is that we were there on a day that the weather was quite dreary, so we could not see far.

Our next adventure was tea at The Wolseley.  The Wolseley is a cafe’ and restaurant near Piccadilly Circus.  Remember The Ritz Carlton that Julia Roberts’ character  stayed at in Notting Hill?  The Wolseley is right next to The Ritz.  This cafe’ was so fun. The decor was black and gold with cool chandeliers hanging from the ceiling.  The place was bustling for afternoon tea and the people watching was entertaining.  The experience of having a proper English High Tea was something that everyone should partake.

We visited many other exciting and interesting places while I was in London, but the final one that I want to highlight is The Tower of London.  If you are a history buff or just intrigued by stories of Henry VIII, The Tower of London is a must see.  We participated in the free tour by the Yeoman’s Warder, which enhanced our visit with tidbits of information that we would not have otherwise known.  The highlight of the visit was not the cruel stories of beheadings and torture, but viewing The Crown Jewels of England.

What trips have you taken on a whim while packing in a long list of activities?  We’d love to hear about your adventures.  Next week, we are back to sharing some more great recipes with you, and we promise, we will do an April Bonus post.

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A Spritz of Spring

cucumber gin spritz

Hello friends!  We are enjoying Spring in full bloom.  Our flowers are blooming, the lawn is turning green, and our trees have bright  leaves and buds.  We know that some of our readers in the Midwest are longing for Spring, but they are still dealing with Winter.  This week’s light and fresh beverage will have you feeling like it’s Spring in no time.

You may notice that we are introducing a new spirit into our Blind Pig repertoire.  Our newest member is Malfy Gin.  This yummy spirit comes to us via the Amalfi Coast in Italy.  Malfy Gin is one of the only true Italian gins. Although most people think gin originated in England, its true beginnings were in Italy.  The Amalfi Coast is one our favorite spots to visit in the whole world.  We stayed in the village of Sorrento in an refurbished castle.  We had the most amazing pizza in Sorrento in a little outdoor cafe.  Our photos were from the pre-digitized photo generation, so we found this photo to help get you in the mood.

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The Cucumber Gin Spritz is a light, refreshing drink made with Malfy gin, prosecco and club soda.  The added crisp freshness of muddled cucumber and a cucumber ribbon around the circumference of the glass gives the drink a cooling and energizing zip.

 

Although the Cucumber Gin Spritz takes a little more effort than many of our other recipes, there is no need to worry. It’s not too difficult.

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To start, cut 5 round slices from the cucumber to muddle in your shaker.  Shave a long thin ribbon of the cucumber to save as a garnish for later.

If you don’t have any simple syrup on hand, you will want to make some of your own.  We gave you some recipes for simple syrup in our Mojito post.

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After muddling the cucumber, add 1 ounce of gin, 1/2 simple syrup and ice to the shaker.  Shake.  Strain the mixture into a serving glass. We used our bar strainer, but you may want to use a strainer with a thinner mesh.

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Top off with about 4 ounces of Prosecco and add a splash of club soda. Ahhhhhh!  So tasty!  So easy! So fresh!

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Cucumber Gin Spritz

Yield: 1

Cucumber Gin Spritz

Cucumber Gin Spritz

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce Malfy Gin
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup
  • 4 ounces of Prosecco
  • splash of club soda
  • 4 slices of cucumber
  • 1 ribbon slice of cucumber for garnish

Instructions

  1. Shave long thin ribbon of cucumber and 4-5 slices. Set ribbon aside for garnish. Muddle slices on bottom of a shaker. Add gin, simple syrup and ice. Shake. Add cucumber ribbon to circumference of glass. Strain mixture into serving glass. Add Prosecco and top off with a splash of club soda.
https://theblindpig.blog/2018/04/07/a-spritz-of-spring/

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What do you think?  Are you ready to celebrate Spring on a patio with a refreshing Cucumber Gin Spritz?  Perhaps you should give it a try.

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Disclaimer:  The beverage on this site are meant for adults 21 years old and older.  We do not condone underage drinking.  Never drink and drive.

The Royal Hurricane

The Royal HurricaneOur week has felt like a hurricane!  We are hosting 3 Mexican soccer players for the Dallas Cup Invitational.  With the two full-time teenage boys that already live at our house, it has been a lot of fun, but also a lot of work.  Aside from the soccer players, we have a case of spring fever!  Thus we chose to share The Royal Hurricane with you. With all of the flurry that has been happening around The Blind Pig casa this week, we will be making this post short and sweet.

This tasty drink is easy to make and even easier to drink.  Shhh!  This just might be the recipe that Royal Caribbean is offering on their cruises for a limited time. (wink, wink) So if you are planning a cruise or just wishing you were, try this easy, tasty and fresh recipe for yourself.

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One of the things that we like about this drink is its amazing presentation. Who needs a fancy garnish when you get this beautiful ombre of red, orange and yellow hues?  It’s like a sunset in a glass.

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The ingredients are simple: 1 1/2 ounce of Zaya Rum, 3 ounces of orange juice, 3 ounces of pineapple juice, a splash of Grenadine, and an extra 1/2 ounce of Zaya Rum float.

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The directions are even easier.  Pour ingredients over ice, add a splash of Grenadine and top with the extra 1/2 ounce of Zaya Rum!   Now you are ready to sail away to the Caribbean even if it is only in your own backyard.

Helpful hint:  This Royal Hurricane has a larger volume than most drinks on our site.  Make sure to start out with a tall glass or schooner.

This drink is the perfect sipper for pool side parties and barbecues this spring and summer.  Try it out and let us know how you liked it!

Disclaimer:  The beverages shared on this site are meant for adults 21 years and older.  We do not condone underage drinking.  Never drink and drive.