Monday, 17 December 2007

'Tis the season to spend money, fa la la la la...

More swish eating out today, with lunch at L'Oranger on St James' Street, just off Piccadilly. All rather nice, an espresso cup of velvety carrot and orange soup to get us in the mood (after a glass of pink champagne had started us well on the road to good humour) then a crab and courgette remoulade to start with a crunchy endive salad. My main was a lovely garlic-infused chicken supreme, accompanied by a perfectly circular gratin of pumpkin, and some gnocchi in orange (get the theme?) sauce, amazing little bombs of flavour. Finally a chocolate fondant pudding, on orange (yes, again) coulis, which amused me by coming with a wafer thing made from crisped rice. No room at all for the mini chocolate brownies served instead of petit-fours, sadly. All in all very pleasant.

After work frantic Christmas shopping was performed at Selfridges. Once again, what a great department store this is, very helpful staff, only too pleased to keep heavy bags for you to collect later (thus encouraging more shopping no doubt). Happily I discovered that there's a promotion at the moment where you get a £10 gift voucher (a normal gift voucher, not some funny restricted one, just an actual Selfridges gift voucher) if you spend anything at all on American Express. Not that I was told this until I made my third purchases of the evening, so tut tut to the previous two departments where they'd failed to mention this. I'm not one for great loyalty to banks, go with the one with the best deals of the moment I say, but Amex are genuinely good at this kind of offer, discounts and special shopping evenings etc, especially around Christmas. And they pay decent rates of cashback, have wonderful customer service (worldwide next day couriering of a replacement card if you lose yours) and a snazzy holographic card. OK, plug over, seeing as I'm not getting commission. Spending money, everyone's a winner, baby.

Some amusing items for sale in the 'Fridges, for those still looking for present inspiration. Wandering through cookwear, I saw the following:

It is, apparently, for growing your straggly live basil and coriander. But all I could think was professional hydroponics. Hmm.

And whilst I adore cupcakes, these seemed utterly pointless:

I mean, ceramic cupcakes on ceramic cakestands? Surely those of us who like cupcakes tend to be the ones with quite enough ornaments and very little spare shelf space as it is?

Happy shopping, only a few days to go!

P.S. Those of you having to work on Christmas Eve this year may wish to throw mince pies at Mr Scrooge in this article.


Denise said...

Lucy dear you are making me hungryyyy
the ceramic cupcake would come in handy though, when I start my traditional January WW class! ;)

jusmehere! said...

I saw those hydroponic things on TV! I swear they look like they belong on the Starship Enterprise - I think that is the only place they wouldn't ruin the decor.