Beyond the Kitchen

Hello, London!


London oh London, how I love you!

Can I show you some images from my trip to England?

Now… before you go thinking me all sorts of fancy, I need to make a confession.  This is the very first time I’ve used this little blue passport.  Seriously.  The first time!

Here’s a bit of London adventuring.  Thanks for letting me share!


I was in London with the lovely people of Beefeater and Plymouth gin.  They were kind enough to cart me and my American accent all over town teaching me about gin.  I even distilled my very own gin.  I’m contemplating a semi-permanent blog change:  Joy the Distiller?

…doesn’t quite have the same panache.


I arrived in London on the day of the London Marathon.

I love this picture of a photographer checking his marathon shots.


I met Jen Pelka.

Not only is Jen the editor of one of my very favorite shopping websites, GiltTaste… Jen is also hilarious, insightful, and a champion gin drinking partner.

Gilt is nothing but glorious shopping trouble.  If you don’t know, now you know.


Meet James Burrough.  He’s the founder of Beefeater gin.

I’d like to thank Mr Burrough, and juniper berries for co-existing and bringing us gin.


I love heartwarming signs in cozy dark bars.

This is JubJub Bar.


A bathroom wall covered floor to ceiling in cassette tapes.


I met two crazy loyal blog readers in London.  Jamie and Katy, you’re both gemstones.  Your accents sound totally posh, and make me sound like a silly American… I swear.

Also… thank you for saving me from nearly getting hit by a car.  Your streets are so confusing!


The Eye of London.  Or. Wait.  Is it the London Eye?


Waterproof cover-alls?  Check.

Oversized raincoat?  Check.

Totally still wearing heels?  Duh.

On a boat down the River Thames?  Check.


A bit of rain?  Check.

Big Ben?  Check!

Nothing but contagious laughter and smiles?  Check.


London is HUGE and total CONFUSION to my eyes.

And oooh, how I love a map.


Self portrait in the cream jug.

Cream jug is totally not the correct name for that vessel.


In a taxi with Lauren and Ali.

Lauren is a wonderfully talented writer, and I love her eye for photography.

Alie, of Alie and Georgia, is so funny she literally makes my body ache.

These are admirable ladies… with smart things to say, hilarious jokes to tell, and nice hair too…


The American Bar at the Savoy (just the most wonderful hotel in London) is THE PLACE to have a cocktail.

It’s gorgeous, regal, it’s drenched in history and style, charm and grace…. and the cocktails are like egg white frothed dreams.

I’ll be back, Savoy… and I’ll be wearing a gown, and emerald earrings… just because.


The Savoy Cocktail Book is my small attempt at bring this beautiful place home with me.


The view from Plymouth, England.

This takes my breath away… and makes me want to do cartwheels.


The water in Plymouth runneth over.

Plymouth is green, lush, and the air feel crisp… and so different from Los Angeles.


This river.  Aaaah… this is where I met my favorite gin of all time.  Plymouth gin, served with a few dashes of bitters, and fresh, cold river water.

Seriously!  A cocktail served simply… with fresh water that’s been filtered by English peat moss.

What a world.  I wanted this moment to last for always.


Thank you, England!

Thank you for showing my eyes new sites.  Thank you for inspiring to make a Sunday roast.  Thank you for introducing me to Devonshire Cream and Plymouth Gin and beautiful new friends.

Very soon I’ll be visiting Jamie Oliver, my beloved Nigel Slater, and Nigella Lawson.  Let’s make a roast!  Let’s make some biscuits and call them scones!  Let’s make a gin cocktail… even if it’s not made from English river water.