An Eggcelent Evening

November 14, 2007 -

John Heald

Yesterday I ate the most expensive egg in the world. It was £13 or $27 but you got a free English Muffin and a two slices of ham so that’s all right then. Good Evening everyone and thanks for tuning in this evening.

Last night I went for dinner in London with three friends and business associates. They are Jonathan Blackburn, and Gary Parks and his partner Juan. These gentlemen have been responsible for booking all the amazing entertainment acts and the wonderful musical duos who provided such unforgettable experiences for all this season’s Carnival Freedom European cruises. Jonathan and Gary also provide the entertainment for all of London’s major hotels including The Dorchester, Claridges, The Ritz and Motel 6. They are “faces” in London and everyone knows them. So, knowing I was feeling blue without Heidi they invited me out for dinner to a new and ultra cich, shich, scheek……..posh restaurant called ……..well see for yourself………..www.thewolseley.com.

This is one of those hip new restaurants that London has become famous for and after drinks at the Dorchester Hotel………..diet coke for me of course…..we headed to the restaurant. Getting a table there is ……..well………..lets just say unless your George Hamilton, a Spice Girl or someone who walks in carrying a small white fluffy dog with a skirt the size of a belt and saying your name is the same as the capital city of France ……..then as the New Yorkers would say…….forgedaboudit.

Luckily, my three friends are “connected” and we did indeed get a table and sat down for a quiet dinner and a chat. Well, as soon as we arrived using the word quiet became as pointless as putting the words “one size fits all” on a hotel (yes or a cruise ship) bathrobe………….it was bedlam. People were sitting, eating and even though they were at the same table seemed to be screaming at each other……….its a big restaurant……..probably 150 plus being served………and the noise level was louder was off the scale. Looking around it seemed this was the fashion, the style, everyone wanted to be louder than everyone else, more excited then anyone else as if everyone in the restaurant was French and had just discovered they had won a war. What had happened to English respectability in restaurants, the whispering, the “how do you do” etc……….it was extraordinary. Then our waitress arrived. She was from Australia and really had a wonderful sense of humour which she demonstrated right away by looking at me and saying “you look like you are ready to eat”……….now, I doubt she said this because I looked starved and supermodel thin……….I returned her quip with “wow, an Australian with a sense of humour, we should have you stuffed”…………we were best friends from then on………….she was fantastic. Before I get onto the meal I have to tell you that I was so excited the whole meal myself because you will never guess who was at the table across the way from us…………Burt Reynolds…………yep……..as large as life………..Burt Reynolds……….and if I may say ladies………apart from me………he was the best looking man in the restaurant even though he is now 156 years old. I looked at my dining companions and said………..look……….it’s Burt Reynolds……..would you like to meet him said Gary Parks…………no, I said I would rather sit here and watch Jonathan chomp on a bread stick……….so, I met him. Gary, it turns out organised his birthday party and entertainment for him at the Dorchester the night before and walked me over to the table and introduced me…………as………..John………the most famous cruise director in the world……….he stood, shook my hand and I mumbled something about being a big fan and happy birthday and something about Dom De La Luise……….mostly though I was thinking it was another great day to be wearing brown pants.

Back at the table it was time to order. Go onto the website and you will see an amazing and varied menu. Normally, I go for red meat or fish but I was struck by two words “Eggs Benedict”…………..for dinner. Now, even finding this on a breakfast menu in the U.K. is as rare as finding a spotted dick in Miami so as the last time I had one was in Dennys……….I asked for the eggs with the Tiger Prawns as an appetizer. Gary and Juan had the Lamb and Jonathan had the Grilled Steak. I am not a food critic…….I don’t know about sauces or how to drizzle a scallop ……….I just know if I like the food or not……………the Shrimps and the garlic butter were amazing but the eggs………..well……..they were historic……….the béarnaise sauce stuff was so tasty and creamy and the eggs were cooked perfectly although at the price I think they must have been laid by a chicken dressed in Chanel and wearing little Prada boots whose egg drops gently onto a Versace cushion……….whatever it was the best Eggs Benedict in the world……….ever. If you are going to London……….book the place………..its brilliant and shows that London has some of the best restaurants in the world now and certainly the best Eggs Benedict.

I had to drive home afterwards……..it is about a two hour drive through London to where we live. I would have enjoyed the late night drive pass Big Ben, The Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace and the two thousand Starbucks but I was in a bad mood…….the memories of meeting Burt Reynolds, the golden eggs and the amazing company had disappeared. Why……….well I had just filled my Honda Accord up with petrol ( gas ) and a full tank had cost me……..£65…………that’s $130……….bloody hell. The price of oil is outrageous…….unbelievable….and goodness knows where the price will be this time next year. It is no wonder that Carnival Corporation has had to add the fuel surcharge thingy and as the other lines follow suit it won’t belong before the rich and famous are swapping their Hummers and Range Rovers for skate boards. Talking of that, I see many of you have accepted with understanding the surcharge on the fuel. One or two were understandably surprised but everyone I am sure we realise that this was done after much deliberation and probably should have happened long before. Lets all hope that as we all continue to enjoy these wonderful cruises that the price of the black gold starts to drop………….soon.

I will be answering more of your comments and questions tomorrow I promise.

So, the drive home was a lonely one. I cheered myself up when I remembered that the gentlemen of Blackburn Entertainment and Parks Entertainment had paid for dinner. It was as I reached the outskirts of London and joined the Motorway (freeway) that I realised that I really missed Heidi even more tonight………….I wished she was there to share the nighttime drive with me……..she on the other hand would not have been wished to be there in the small Honda with me as by the time I joined the motorway………… the aroma of the worlds most expensive eggs filled the car.

Goodnight

Your friends

John and Heidi

Just one more quick note before I go. Coming up in the next few days are two big interviews with two very special people within the industry.

Hi, I’m John, and this is my blog. So please don’t mistake my opinions — or those of my dear friends, fans or commenters — for those of Carnival Cruise Line or Carnival Corporation. My apologies in advance for anything I may say that upsets you, but this disclaimer covers Carnival and puts the blame directly on me………….. bugger.