At the end of April, Jack and I headed down to London to catch up with some friends, eat some delicious food and take in some live comedy.
We had this trip booked for a little while because one of our (read: my) favourite comedians, John Robins, was performing at Hammersmith Apollo so we decided to make a longer break out of our time back in the capital.
Until New Years Eve 2015 we had lived in London for four years, so we knew the city as well as anyone can and for this trip we decided to book an AirBnB so we could explore a new area. After snooping around AirBnB for a lifetime, we stumbled upon Michelle’s place in South Woodford. We stayed in the purpose-built cabin at the bottom of Michelle’s garden for 3 nights and loved it!
I’ve always loved finding new places to eat and London is always full of surprises. There are always new places opening up and old places that I’d never quite got around to visiting. I thought I’d take a moment to share some of the best places we visited this time, some new (to me), some old, all tasty.
Now, Wahaca and I are old friends. Pretty much every time I visit London and meet my friend Bev we end up at Wahaca at Westfield Shepherd’s Bush. I bloody love the sweet potato side dish. Yes please. So naturally before we went to Hammersmith Apollo to see John Robins we went for dinner at Wahaca.
I’m not normally one for the specials, but this time was different. There were croquetas on the menu! Lordy, I couldn’t say no those. Let me tell you, they were super tasty. They also came with a tamarind and chipotle salsa which elevated the flavour even further.
My only criticism is that there were only three in each portion, I could have eaten tons more!
We met up with some friends for a v. sophisticated morning wandering around the British Portrait Gallery and having brunch in the restaurant. It was a such a nice place, one I would recommend for taking friends and family when you want somewhere a bit special. I had pancakes with maple syrup and bacon which were delish. Though unfortunately I ate them so quickly I didn’t take a photo!
After brunch we walked over to Parliament Square to see the newly unveiled Millicent Fawcett statue. I spent about 10 minutes trying to get a good photo but she was so popular that I ended up taking photos with other families in!
Burger and Lobster
Way back when I used to work for a big media company on Leicester Square in their Commercial Team. There would be a lot of client lunches (of which I only went on one, but perhaps that’s another story), anyway, a lot of them regularly went to Burger and Lobster and I liked hearing about the sense of occasion that came with a B&L meal (you get to wear a bib!) and the fact that lobster was semi-attainable to someone on a v. low salary was mind-blowing (since the Business Managers would expense it).
Now we’re a bit older and have slightly more disposible income, we decided to treat ourselves and see what all the fuss was about. We ordered some prawn and lobster croquettes (can you see the recurring theme here?) and shared their combo plate which was a burger, a lobster, fries and salad. It also came with an incredibly buttery and garlicky sauce. Oof, it was bloody brilliant. We also had a couple of cocktails and felt right cosmopolitan.
Dominque Ansel Bakery
Ever since trying a cronut from Dum Dums a few years ago and then seeing this place referenced on Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, I’ve wanted to go to a Dominque Ansel bakery and try one of the original cronuts. Unfortunately we got there late afternoon and there wasn’t any left, but I did get an apple tarte tatin which was beaut. It had flakey melt in the mouth pastry, delicious apple that was soft but still had some bit and was served on a gold plate(!)
Jack ended up working one of the days we were in London so I met up with my pal Aaron at Tottenham Court Road and while we were immediately reminded why central London is the worst (why is it always so busy?!) we went for a walk around Soho and happened upon Shackfuyu. At first I thought we were going to Bone Daddies (and was a bit gutted when they didn’t have any ramen on the menu), but I was certainly not disappointed with what we had.
We went for their express lunch menu (two courses and a drink for £19) and added on some edamame to share and a duck bao (for me). We both went for Korean fried chicken wings to start, Aaron had miso aubergine and I had Irish beef fillet with rice.
Now, I have to be totally honest with you. I am pants at anything at all that has spices/heat. My north-east palate was brought up on chips and egg (as my mam calls it, to sound more exotic), pies and parmos. Basically anything breaded or beige.
So you can imagine that when I was greeted with the chicken wings that were covered in a spicy sour sauce my heart absolutely sank. ‘How on earth am I going to eat this with red lipstick on and not look like I’ve had an allergic reaction?’ was one of the many thoughts that went through my head. I’ve been attempting to build up my tolerance to spicy foods (project spice) so I persevered and with the help of a lot of water (which they poured from a kettle?) I got through it and it was totally worth it. So tasty!
Have you been to any of these places? Or have any recommendations for restaurants for me to try next time I’m in London? I’d love to hear from you, get in touch by contacting me here.