On the way to London in our shuttle bus to the BBC radio sessions, I typed up a bunch of food blog episodes from the previous food adventures - and next thing you knew, we were there.
We had done the BBC radio sessions in the past, but never have been this rehearsed before. The BBC session’s studios have had everyone from The Beatles to Joy Division, Coldplay to U2 - so we were in good company - the performance went great.
It was funny; the engineers said we were their quickest session they’ve ever had. 3 of our songs were done in 1 take; 1 of them in 2 takes - done. Hungry.
We shipped off to yet another not-quite-topping-the-ridiculous-Parisian-hotel, cleaned up, and headed down to the lobby to head to dinner.
We rendezvoused with some great friends: Paul Ryan (our international booking agent, and really good pal of ours), Kirsten Lane (our UK publicist and one of our closest buddies), Austin from RR UK (another great pal), Justin (our manager), the band, and our (at the time) Tour Manager Bozz.
We miraculously ran into Joe (Machine Head’s manager) and Machine Head/Bring Me The Horizon’s international booking agent in the street in front of the restaurant - chatted for a bit in the street, then all headed in to Maggie Jones’s.
This was my first time attempting to shoot at an indoor restaurant and as you’ll see… it was rather unsuccessful - but the show must go on.
I have had many fantastic eating adventures with Paul and Kirsten - so Kirsten knew to pick something traditional and amazing. Maggie Jones’s was perfect British goodness; it was a traditional pub with the seating/setting areas not unlike a country-side home where someone’s grandmother would make old-time favorites. Paul reflected that many of his old meals with his family were in a setting exactly like Maggie’s - it was a dream for me.
We all sat at this tremendous medieval style wooden table that had pots and pans and bushels of barley above us; it was a dark, intimate setting lit by candle and torch. We ordered a round of London Pride beer (a room temperature (the traditional temp) thick, delicious ale) and began having a good time. We all chatted about other times we ate, checking our the hand-written chalkboard menus - there were some serious choices.
We started with one of the special’s: Venison Terrine - gamey, fresh, local, delicious. Think pate’ with more of a texture thanks to the oniony bits mixed into the venison. Stilton Mousse, a British traditional, was light and airy - carrying a subtle goat cheese-esque flavor.
Paul and I shared the lot of appetizers and the entrees to follow: the Steak and Kidney Pie was without a doubt - the best pie I’ve ever eaten. The British style of pies is to cook the insides inside the casserole dish, then to lay the crust on top of the goods. The kidneys were like giant beans, only with a delicious game flavor; the steak was the perfect texture - not too soft/ not too hard. The Fish Pie was something new for me - it had all sorts of local seafood in a tasty broth with whipped, crisped potatoes on top. Paul told me this is also a super traditional dish, and that the one here was just like at home.
Among the other bits we ate with the mains were: British chips, green beans, red cabbage; I tried some of Paolo’s intensely great Venison Medallions - we washed everything down with Tres Palacios ‘08 Merlot. Amazing.
Desert was yet again, another iconic British staple of olden family times: The Sherry Trifle. Cream, sherry, the flavor of amarino cherries - this stuff was some seriously intense desert. Me and Paul were happy guys.
Paul and I chatted about black metal; Justin hopped in with Paolo for some conversations about future tour ideas - we all laughed and joked for a while, then it was time to head back and rest up for a our massive press day ahead.