Lunch at Harrods

30 Aug

In the opening scene of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, the elegantly dressed Audrey Hepburn steps out of a cab, coffee and pastry in hand, and stares longingly into the Tiffany’s window.

Hepburn’s character later goes on to describe that this is her way of killing “the mean reds,” a feeling even worse than the blues because you’re not sure of what is bothering you.

Holly Golightly: You know those days when you get the mean reds?

Paul Varjak: The mean reds, you mean like the blues?

Holly Golightly: No. The blues are because you’re getting fat and maybe it’s been raining too long, you’re just sad that’s all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you’re afraid and you don’t know what you’re afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling?

Paul Varjak: Sure.

Holly Golightly: Well, when I get it the only thing that does any good is to jump in a cab and go to Tiffany’s. Calms me down right away. The quietness and the proud look of it; nothing very bad could happen to you there. If I could find a real-life place that’d make me feel like Tiffany’s, then – then I’d buy some furniture and give the cat a name!

While I definitely don’t have any emotional qualms at the moment, I couldn’t help but be reminded of that opening scene as I approached Harrods with my friends Dominik and Susan. Whether you have “the means reds” or not, it’s a beautiful escape just like Holly’s beloved Tiffany & Co.

Last time I was in London I didn’t have the opportunity to explore this Mecca of fine things, so it was definitely at the top of my list for this visit. We entered the grandiose building only to find ourselves surrounded by 100’s of stunning, and very pricey handbags and then wandered through until we found the “food-court” because like me, my friends always make a b-line straight towards anything consumable. To call it a “food-court” is really blasphemy. It’s more so a series of rooms all containing the most beautiful and thoughtfully placed edible goods one could imagine.

At Harrods you have your choice of fresh fruits and vegetables, Dim Sum or any other delectable delights. They even have an entire room devoted to sweets and teas.

The three of us bought our goodies and decided to dine at the nearby Hyde Park. The reason for this is that unlike eating breakfast at Tiffany’s, lunch at Harrods is somewhat chaotic and nothing like the “quietness” Hepburn describes in the above quote.

Surrounded by the serenity of the park we enjoyed a roast beef and sauerkraut sandwich…

…and a seafood potato tart containing smoked salmon, jumbo land crab, crème fraiche, caviar, pea shoots, and chives, flavored with sherry vinaigrette and lemon.

To accompany this, we chose a crayfish and mango salad with string beans, avocado and red onion.

Although our lunch was cut short by a typically torrential and expectedly unexpected London rainstorm, all-in-all this was a wonderful afternoon treat to share with two of my good friends from high school. This may have even been my “real life place” that feels like Holly’s description of peering into the windows at Tiffany’s.


2 Responses to “Lunch at Harrods”

  1. Lynn Greenhough 30/08/2011 at 2:59 AM #

    LOVED Harrods, and always made sure I went to the Food floor to gaze and be amazed. If you go again go to the Millinery section and try on some hats for me Ellie!

  2. Lindy aka. Mom 30/08/2011 at 11:36 PM #

    I loved the comparison you made between Tiffany’s and Harrods. Clearly they are both “happy places” for many people.
    While we found most of Harrod’s chaotic, I really loved the tea and sweet sections…….absolutely beautiful with delectable aromas.

    Too bad about the downpour in lovely Hyde Park.

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