GOODBYE LONDON! Thank you everyone for an amazing year – it will definitely never be forgotten. I have had so many memorable experiences and built great friendships. Leaving will not be easy (multiple tears have already been shed) – who knows, maybe I shall call this city my home again in the near future, I love this place!
For the past year I have been known as the London restaurant-connoisseur amongst my friends; my phone has a secret long list of recommendable places to go. How will they decide where to have dinner once I leave? With the help of this post. I present you with an excerpt from my list, enjoy:
Princi – Soho, good for Italian desserts and pizza
Burger & Lobster – Lobster for £20!
Hakkasan – Tasty but pricey Chinese food in Mayfair
Modern Pantry – Clerkenwell, great brunch
Caravan – Kings Cross, great brunch
Big Easy – Kings Road, burgers, lobster, fajitas, the best
Suksan – Park Walk in Chelsea, a hidden Thai gem
Nopi – Soho, one of Ottloenghi’s finest venues, don’t stay for dessert though, wasn’t worth it
Lahore Kebab House – Aldgate East, great for canteen style cheap Indian curry and lamb
Dishoom – Covent Garden, possibly one of the best Indians in town, also good for brunch
Masala Zone – All over the place, also Indian, for the full experience order a Thali
Tayyabs – Whitechapel, extremely chaotic and terrible service, but excellent spicy Indian food
Assa – Off of Tottenham Court Road, a cute tiny Korean where I guarantee you will be the only non-Korean
Social Eating House – Soho, great dinners and amazing desserts
Sketch – Off of Regent Street, worth going for tea just so you can have a look at both toilets, one is egg themed, the other music box themed
The Breakfast Club – Best pancakes for miles
Duck&Waffle – Liverpool Street – 24 hour heaven, great for breakfast and dinner, trying the dish duck&waffle when you’re there is obligatory
Spice Market – In the W hotel, great pan-Asian cuisine
La Relais de Venise – Marylebone, there is only one thing on the menu: Entrecôte and fries. Amazing.
Patty & Bun – Marylebone: Best. Burgers. Ever. (Honest and MeatLiquor aren’t bad either).
Granger – Decent brunch in Notting Hill
Atelier Robuchon – Michelin starred restaurant in Covent Garden with an amazing pre-theatre menu!
Crazy Bear – Asian in Fitzrovia with devilish cocktails
10 Greek Street – Soho, great for an intimate dinner
Duck Soup – Soho, great for a glass of wine and nibbles
Fernandez & Wells – Multiple locations, great for some wine and nibbles
Kopapa – Covent Garden, brunch
Chez Elles – Brick Lane, cute French brasserie
Goat Chelsea – My local pub, 50% discount for locals on Wednesday and great biweekly cocktail classes
Santore – Exmouth Market, great Italian, yummy pizza
Honey&Co – Warren Street, tasty Middle Eastern food, but rather small portions
The Wolesley – Picadilly, a classic for any time of day
Le Caprice – Picadilly, great for lunch and Jazz
Berners Tavern – Above Oxford Street, great for brunch and dinner
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal – In the Mandarin Oriental, probably the best meal I have had in London
Sapori Sardi – Family run Sardinian restaurant in Fulham
Electric Diner – Brunch in Notting Hill
Cinnamon Club – Indian at the old Westminster Library
Hawksmoor – Steak!
Workshop Coffee – Clerkenwell, great for brunch and coffee
Balthazar – Covent Garden, français, good for dinner and brunch
Uyen Luu – Amazing Vietnamese Supperclub at the chef’s home
The Market Place Restaurant – Chelsea Farmers Market, perfect for an outdoor jug of Pimm’s in Summer
Sydney Street Noodle Bar – Outdoor Vietnamese noodle bar hidden just off of Kings Road, great for lunch
Timber Yard – Covent Garden
Bagariet – Covent Garden, only has two tables, so you might have to fight for them
Konditor and Cook – tasty baked goods off Borough Market
Lola’s – Best. Cupcakes. Cake. Ever.
Megan’s – Kings Road, yummy cakes
Leyas – Camden, amazing cakes
Kahalia – Brick Lane, coffee and cakes
All Museums – The V&A has amazing cakes and is great in Summer
Gelupo – Ice cream in Soho
Gelateria 3bis – Ice cream by London Bridge
The Coffee Works Project – Islington
The Langham – great for Afternoon Tea
Experimental Cocktail Club – China Town, you might not find the door at a first attempt
Barts – Sloane Avenue, speakeasy bar with a great vibe
Angelsea Arms – Chelsea, always packed!
The Commercial Tavern – Shoreditch somewhere, really cool pub with multiple styles of interior design
Kensington Roof Top Gardens – High Street Kensington, great views and cocktails
Aqua Bar – London Bridge, in the Shard, possibly one of the best views
Artesian at the Langham – Innovative, relatively pricey, but amazing cocktails
Archers Bar – Soho, great vibe with singing waitresses
Amouse Bouche Champagne Bar – Parsons Green
Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels – Covent Garden, wine bar with a mystery wine one can guess and potentially win a bottle
Vinoteca – Soho, wine bar
The Blind Pig – Soho, comfy leather chairs and a good vibe
Book Club – Shoreditch
Simmons – Camden, great cocktails served in teapots
The Swan at the Globe
The list could go on and on, but I think I’ve given you all enough to start with!
Being the last post from London for now, I thought I’d stick to a very British recipe: Bakewell Tart. You can never go wrong with almonds and raspberries. It took 3 girls only 2 days to get through the whole cake… must be good!
adapted from bbc food
makes one 20cm tart
For the pastry
75g chilled butter
3 tbsp water, cold
(1 egg for blind baking without beans)
For the filling
a jar of raspberry jam
125g caster sugar
125g ground, peeled almonds
1 egg, beaten
1/2 tsp almond extract
50g flaked almonds
For the icing
80g icing sugar
2-4 tsp cold water
- For the pastry, rub the butter into the flour until your mixture is breadcrumb like. Add the water gradually, mixing it in until you have a soft dough.
- Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface so its large enough to line a 20cm flan tin (I don’t have such a small flan tin, so I used a 20cm cake tin which worked fine). Grease your flan tin and line it with the pastry. Place in the fridge for 30ish minutes.
- Preheat your oven to 200°C(180°C fan).
- To blind bake the pastry you have 2 options: a) line it with foil and fill with baking beans (or rice), bake for 15 minutes, remove beans and foil and bake for a further 5 minutes; b) prick your pastry all over, multiple times, with a fork (to release any possible air) and brush with a beaten egg, bake for 15-20 mins.
- For the filling, spread a generous amount of raspberry jam on the base of your tart. I used about half a jam jar.
- Melt the butter in a small pan, take it off the heat and stir in the sugar. Add the ground almonds, almond extract and egg and mix until combined. Pour over your raspberry jam and sprinkle with flaked almonds.
- Bake for about 35 mins. If you feel your almonds are browning too quickly, cover with a piece of foil.
- For the icing, mix your icing sugar with the water. Once the tart is baked and out of the oven, roughly create a grid or zigzag with the icing (be creative, I wasn’t).
- Let it cool and enjoy. The tart keeps wonderfully for a few days in the fridge!