Last Wednesday, a tasting exam in London brought solution to a long held desire to eat at London’s St. John and the chance to meet up with some long neglected friends. The final guest was Bernie, a suckling pig whose girth, deliciousness and worth were lost on none of us, and ultimately defeated us.
As restaurants go, I think I could be a returning fan; white-washed, laid-back and uncomplicated, it was full, but not brimming. An airy bar warmed us up before our own triangular, private room. Private, without being exclusive.
Preceded by St. John’s classic Roast marrow bones, Beetroot, red cabbage, chervil and crême fraîche and a couple of bottles of 2017 Muscadet from Moulin de la Gustais, Bernie himself was accompanied by 2017 Le Petit Clos from Roussillon. In the cold light of day, and my wife thinks we’re barbarians, it does seems a little inhuman. But then, what is a steak, but a piece of cow, which was also once whole? I slightly regret a photograph with the poor beast’s head, but it was the first part to be served and me the instigator of the whole. No mockery intended, no Cameronian disrespect implied.
It was fun to catch up with those I had not, or barely, seen in thirty years. Not yet decrepit, and almost entirely full-headed (the ladies too) we have all trodden very different paths.
As for poor Bernie, may his soul rest in peace in muddy, piggy heaven. The doggy bags that left to Cambridge and Windsor mean he will not be forgotten too soon.