A Jubilee London Weekend & a Jewel of a Salad

If I told you I planned a trip to London on the very weekend of the Queen’s sixtieth Jubilee celebration ……………..
…………… I’d be spoofing you. I shared in Friday’s post that I was traveling to London to visit my daughter and her family. I just happened to book tickets back in March for the first two weeks of June. This just happened to be the time that worked best for both of our schedules. I was amazed when, a few weeks ago, I realized that there would happen to be momentous, history-making, royal events going on the weekend I arrived. How cool is that?

I love London and though I visit my daughter here several times a year, I’ve never seen the city so festive and vibrant! Despite miserable weather, there was no deterring the celebratory mood and events carried on in every nook and cranny of the city. The highlight of the day was an amazing flotilla down the river Thames; the Queen’s royal, gilded barge sailing amidst kayaks, rowboats, sailboats, yachts and every other type of water craft imaginable – a thousand of them rallying around her!

My daughter lives just a few blocks away from the lovely Thames and, though we didn’t get to see the Queen herself, we did enjoy part of the amazing armada as we walked several miles along the river after church today. It was reported that there were more than one million spectators lining the banks of the river: we saw scads of jubilant well-wishers as we strolled – all decked out with flags, clothed in patriotic red, white and blue as they braved the inclement weather. We even stopped to speak with a woman who had the Union Jack British flag covering her lips! I can’t claim the pictures below as my own but I thought it would be fun to show a few press photos of the big event.


I’m going to pass the blog over to my daughter Cait, who served a delicious salad on the night I arrived. It was so fresh and full of flavor, I could have made a whole meal out of it. When she offered to share it on The Café, I didn’t hesitate for a minute – I’m quite sure the Queen herself would would have requested this for her big bash had she been invited to Cait’s for dinner! 🙂

I came across this salad as I was planning for a summery BBQ evening with friends a few weeks ago. I was looking for something light to serve alongside some yummy steaks, but was tired of ordinary salads (although I should have just scrolled through Mom’s blog, there’s nothing ordinary about the salads here!). This was a perfect choice! I’ve made it several times since, once to serve with veggie burgers and again to bring along to a friend’s house. The only stipulation is that you have good tomatoes, which thankfully are plentiful at the moment! I used orecchiette shaped fresh mozzarella which I’ve never seen in the States, but miniature mozzarella balls cut in half would work just as well. Enjoy! ~ Cait

Tomato-Basil Mozzarella Salad

1 pint cherry, grape or Compari-type tomatoes, halved or quartered, depending on size
8 ounces fresh miniature mozzarella balls
2 tablespoons olive oil
18 basil leaves, roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Combine the cherry tomatoes and mozzarella balls in a medium bowl. Add the olive oil, basil, salt, and pepper; toss gently and serve.
Serves 4-6

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