Winter Trip 2022: Part 3, London

Dinner at Isabel on Our Last Night in London

Jamil and I bond over food. As our friends (and even acquaintances) know, even on nights when work keeps us grinding until long after every rational person has settled down to watch television and zonk out, Jamil and I wait to eat until we can eat together. We don’t do separate dinners unless something truly bizarre occurs. That time together, eating and drinking and watching Jeopardy on an iPad, that’s when we cocoon ourselves away from the stresses on our shoulders. It’s when everything else gets put on hold. It’s that way but to the next level when we go out to dinner, and we want Josephine to share that experience with us. Consequently, we started taking Josephine to high-end restaurants while she still rode in a carrier. While I wouldn’t say she behaves like a perfect princess in a restaurant — she still gets antsy sometimes and occasionally throws a minor tantrum — she’s pretty freaking good. 

That’s why I felt okay about taking her to Isabel, the restaurant where we spent our last night in London. Isabel is elegant. The music is on point. The people watching astounds. The bathrooms rank among the coolest I’ve ever seen. The food and cocktails live up to the hype. Everyone in our party was happy. Josephine devoured a plate of Spanish pimientos de Padron, then enjoyed a plate of halibut. Jamil ordered a chicken breast and raved about it. My dad and mom loved their food, too. A happy, beautiful, fun evening.

Start to finish, we loved the experience. And we loved doing it in London, where the restaurant vibe differs substantially from that in the southern Mediterranean, where we spend so much of our time. The last time we did more of northern Europe with Josephine, she was really too young to withstand their behavioral standards in restaurants, and I kind of felt like we should leave her at home. This time, she had her act together. She was a companion to us all, sitting like a big girl in her own chair and ordering from the menu like a champ. We are so lucky.

Author: Jessica Givens.