By the time we arrived at Lima, we were all soaked to the bone, freezing cold, and cursing the British weather. In other words, we were more than happy to be transported to the sunshine and bright colours of Peru that can be found hidden away in Covent Garden, at Lima.
We hurried downstairs, past the beautiful food being served to those dining on the more serious menu, to the beautifully turquoise-tiled bar.
A round of Pisco Sours ordered to warm as up before we tried to translate the food menu. Three Spanish graduates struggling with a Peruvian menu. I'd love to know how everyone else survives. But maybe that slight element of surprise makes the Lima experience all the more enjoyable.
Seated on a high table, all the booths around filled with people smiling and drinking, this was a comforting place to be on a miserable Wednesday evening.
After lots of menu debating (the best kind of debating), S memorised what we were having and spilled it all out to the waitress.
Some of the most beautiful food which we'd ever seen and eaten was bought to us in staggered servings throughout the evening. Each plate intricately decorated, each ingredient delicately positioned, and each flavour flawlessly balanced.
Beef tenderloin, panca chilli pepper, pachamanca sauce & aubergine, limo chili pepper, hauncaina sauce anticuchos. The aubergine a favourite as always, but the beef was amazingly cooked - the best kebab in the world.
Sea scallops, giant corn, cornbread toast tostada. Just admire.
Sea Bream ceviche, yellow Tiger’s Milk, camote chips. The highlight. Obvs.
Salmon, rocoto tiger’s milk, limo chili pepper. We didn't want this to end. It was too good.
Eventually we forced ourselves back out into the rain, not overfull (in fact we all went home in search of cake), but completely in awe of the plates that had just been presented to us: magical, artistic food.
Lowlight: walking there in the rain.