Saturday, November 26, 2011

Cambio at the Castle

Cambio has been the leading restaurant in Guildford for some years now, and it was with sadness we had watched its doors close. Then for Christmas last year the new Cambio at the Castle opened, dressed like a Christmas parcel with a large red ribbon tied around the old 19th century building. We have been into this new incarnation before, but thie weekend, M&N were staying with us and there were two birthdays to celebrate, so we decided it was time to revisit it.
We were not disappointed, and soon had our orders in to the chef, after choosing from the menu while sipping glasses of prosecco and an Archer's for our none fizzy drinker. Soon our starters were arriving - there were tiger prawns, pate with toast, salmon with a quails egg and gnocchi with mushrooms and truffle oil.

These very tasty dishes were followed by fillet of sea bass with roasted potatoes, asparagus and caper dressing; monkfish with potatoes; confit of wild duck; and pork with sage on tomatoes, none of which disappointed.

Then three of us went for the chocolate fondant that took an extra twenty minutes, but well worth waiting for its unctuous oozings! And our fourth member took the decidedly delicious looking pannacotta. We dicided that we would wlak home and take tea/ coffee when we got there!
It was a memorable evening.

Interestingly, Cambio has its own deli and fishmongers that are open from 10am - 6pm from Tuesday to Saturday.

Cambio at the Castle

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Lion in Winter

A day in London, first to see Degas and the Ballet: Picturing Movement at the Royal Academy followed by dinner and the theatre. The Degas exhibition is very interesting, involving contemporary photography showing, for the first time, the mechanics of movement. This fascinated Degas and helped him when he was portraying his dancers moving. It was quite crowded in the gallery, but nevertheless, we saw everything and really enjoyed the exhibition.
Borrowed from the Royal Academy website

Following this we walked down to the Haymarket and went in for dinner to Assagetti. This is an Italian tapas bar! Well, the concept is to order lots of little dishes which come 'as they are ready'. The significance of this is that some of the hot dishes arrive before the cold ones, and you feel obliged to eat them while they are hot, even though the ham and pate are conventionally starters. We felt that maybe, we should have ordered two or three starters and when they were done, order one, two or even three warm dishes to follow. We'd certainly return to test this theory as the food was very good and the atmosphere quite vibrant. Wine by the glass is available as are desserts, coffee and tea.

Courgette chips and warm pate with toast

Prosciutto, mushroom risotto, duck ragu
prawn ravioli

Cheesecake with berries, sorbets

Now it was time to cross the road to the Theatre Royal Haymarket to take our seats for the evening's performance of The Lion in Winter. I remember this as an intense interaction between Henry II (Peter O'Toole) and Eleanor of Aquitaine (Katheryn Hepburn) in a film from the late 60s; lots of intrigue and irony. In fact, the film won three Oscars, 2 Baftas as well as nine other awards. It had premiered as a stage play (written by James Goldman) on Broadway. 
 How different this production is; but none the less for that. Trevor Nunn is playing this one for laughs, and the audience certainly was with him all the way. Robert Lindsay and Joanna Lumley are very clever in their parts, sparking off each other. going for outright laughs, which is fine, but I missed the irony. It's just how the director sees the play, and this way also works. I think that as the whole episode is a figment of the author's imagination - no Christmas at Chinon apparently took place - it can be taken with large pinches of salt and so why not bring out the humour. We certainly enjoyed ourselves as did the rest of the more or less full house.


The Royal Academy
Theatre Royal Haymarket
The Lion in Winter
Robert Lindsay
Joanna Lumley