Tourist Tuesday: Ceramic Poppies at the Tower of London

photo 1 (4)Some of my family and friends back home have requested more pictures and stories about London. I’ve been torn about doing it too much here because this is supposed to be a cooking blog. But I thought about it and one of the things I love about the blog is connecting to the people I don’t see that often. So, why not? Why not give the people what they want?!

My solution was to start Tourist Tuesday. I’m going to attempt every Tuesday to post about what Ryan and I are doing in London or elsewhere. Sometimes it will also have something food related, sometimes it won’t. Also, the regular recipes posts will likely still have London photos too. Finally, I’ve also changed the layout a little bit. In the menu bar at the top you can sort through posts in the Recipes, London, and Travel sections. Hopefully that will make it easier to find what you’re looking for. Without further ado, here’s the first Tourist Tuesday post. 

This Saturday, Ryan and I went to the Tower of London to check out the poppies. Officially it is an art installation and it is called Bloodswept Lands and Seas of Red. Haunting title. The installation is comprised of 888,246 ceramic poppies made by artist Paul Cummins and designed by Tom Piper. The work commemorates the 100-year anniversary of Britain’s first full-day of involvement in World War I. Each poppy represents a British fatality from the war.

Already there are many, many poppies in the Tower’s moat, and there are still more to come. The entire moat is going to be filled, with the last poppy being installed on November 11.

It was astoundingly beautiful to see. But also, it felt heartbreaking and staggering. It looks like blood and flowers and it is a little bit terrifying. It looks like it is slowly creeping towards you, which I guess in a way it is. Anyway, I keep thinking that it’s amazing what people can do. Amazing in an awful way – because look at how many people lost their lives, look at how awful war is. But also, how amazing to create an impressive work that brought flocks of people to see it and remember.

It was also incredibly, painfully, frustratingly crowded  by the Tower too. When we were done looking, we walked slowly through masses of other tourists, over the Tower Bridge and on over to Borough Market. We got there near the end of the day, which turned out to be great because the vendors were slashing price to get rid of food before the end of the day.

photo 2 (4)Ryan and I bought pies from Pieminister. We ate them along the edge of the market and people. The pies were so incredible good, that even when I was full, I kept eating. It was too good to waste. Ryan got some kind of steak and ale pie, but I don’t remember the cutesy name. I had the Heidi, which was sweet potatoes, goat cheese, spinach, and red onion. It was delicious.

We then headed back into the market and bought ingredients to make hamburgers. We bought beef patties made from Highland cattle, which are long-haired Scottish cows. You should look at this picture of them here, they are awesome looking. We also bought comte cheese, which I liked but Ryan didn’t. Ryan cooked up the burgers and they were so so good. Juicy, well seasoned, so flavorful. They were the kind of good that lasts through every bite, not just the first bite.



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