Tuyo

If you’re fed up of East London’s endless burger and sourdough pizza offerings, I say try something different at Tuyo, a pan-Mediterranean spot near Hackney’s Broadway Market.

It’s got an ex Salt Yard chef, Ricardo Pimental, at the helm who is serving up Mediterranean and Middle Eastern-inspired dishes. Just on the corner of Regents Canal, with floor-to-ceiling windows and baskets overspilling with greenery hanging all over the place. It comes complete with a bustling open kitchen as you make your way into the restaurant.

Tuyo serves up tapas-style sharing dishes and forces you to confront all your prejudices about fusion food. Line your stomach and whet your appetite with the blue cheese & date croquetas served with cumin alioil and roast walnuts. These small, sweet and salty croquetas are incredibly moreish, and disappear within seconds – a naughty but nice snack to have with your first round of drinks.

Moving on, you’ve got a whole range of dishes to choose from, from monkfish served with mushrooms and apricots, to ox cheeks and lemon grass, to butternut squashed accompanied with a harrisa and almond dressing.  The menu is unashamedly, yet mouthwateringly fused.

Then there’s the octopus which is the real show-stopper for me, dressed with hummus and cumin yoghurt, it’s delicious and so delicate; it’s one not to be missed.

On to dessert, because no meal is complete without it, try the dish which is described as baklava – only it isn’t. It’s far from the classic dish, but it’s a lighter version with almond pastry layered over minted yoghurt and garnished with fresh mango.

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Tuyo, 129A Pritchard’s Rd, London E2 9AP

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Where to Take a Date in London

There’s a fairly high chance that you’re either in a relationship, or single – and whichever it is, you’re going to need date ideas.

And that’s where this little guide comes in handy it’s time to put a stop to the classic dinner and a movie.

Eat Some Street Food

It’s no surprise that this makes the top of my list, and in London there’s so much choice! If you’re both foodies and have differing taste buds then this is the perfect date – there’s usually something for everyone.

Try Broadway Market in East London, and head to the Dumpling Shack and grab some of their homemade crispy dumplings and for dessert try Crosstown Doughnuts.

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In your in North London try Kerb who have recently opened a street food paradise in Camden. You can’t go here without getting Oli Baba’s deep fried halloumi fries.

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And you can’t forget about Borough Market. If it’s a sunny day bring a wicker basket and spent the morning stocking it up. Then walk across the river to St Pauls where you should have your picnic. Some serious good food and stunning views of London can be had.

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Watch a Movie

Oh don’t be fooled and go to your local Vue or Odoen. Try an indie cinema

The Phoenix is my local favourite in East Finchley and it’s so nostalgic. It shows feature films, live opera and art house hits. Grab a glass of wine in the bar upstairs and sit back, relax, and enjoy the film.

Also try The Lexi Cinema in Kensal Rise and The Everyman in Baker Street.

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Play a Game or Two

If you both have a competitive streak head to Draughts in Shoreditch – just don’t challenge each other to a game of Monopoly if you want to end the date on good terms.

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If board game aren’t you thing, head to Bar Kick and play a game of table football.

Or better yet, head to Junkyard Golf and challenge each other to the wackiest game of crazy golf around and dare the loser to buy all the drinks.

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Boris Bike Tour

If you’re new to London, or have managed to avoid seeing all the tourist sights, there’s simply no better way to see the city. Plus, if you know a thing of two about the history of London this is a great way to try and impress that special someone.

Click here to read the Telegraph’s best cycle routes.

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Go on a Gin Tour

If you both love a tipple (or two) then this you definately be in your to-do list. There’s now quite a few gin distilleries in London, but Sipsmith is one of my favourites. Tours cost as little at £25 and include a G&T – but you’ll need to book a few weeks in advance.

The East London Liquor Co is also a good bet, and if you don’t like Gin you’re in luck as they also make Vodka and Whisky.

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Eight Things I ate this October

I started the draft for this post mid-October, and boy, I realised I eat out a lot. I just love food, what can I say?

I kicked this month off by heading to Rök with my family. There’s a lot of pickling, fermentation and smoking involved but I adored every dish we ordered. Their menu changes frequently as all of the produce is locally sourced. If the mackerel with creme fraiche and pickled onions is on the menu, order it, which for me was the highlight of the dinner.

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Pho are a Vietnamese street-food restaurant and have chains all over London. Their bowls of pho are savoury, warmly spiced and laced with rice noodles, a modest amount of meet and served with fresh herbs and lime on the side. Their restaurant in Clerkenwell is where I headed to one rainy day this month when I wanted to escape the office.

One Tuesday night I had a massive craving for steak. I had originally wanted to go to Flat Iron, but after being told there was a two hour queue, Scott and I swiftly changed our minds and headed to Bills. Their steak is nothing to write home about, but it hit the spot.

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Scott and I risked Bao last week, reckless fools that we are. But we managed to get seats within half an hour. The the fully white steamed buns were delicious, but the overall experience in not worth the wait. Go on your day off when it’s quiet. (I’ll be writing a full review shortly, so keep your eyes peeled).

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One weekend I decided to explore Clapham and Battersea so I headed straight to Venn Street Market – it’s impossible to investigate a new area on an empty stomach right? I had this amazing roti filled with spicy sausages which were freshly made to order.

For our anniversary Scott took me to Broadway Market. I loved it, it’s a street food paradise. The Dumpling Shack was the highlight of our trip. The dumplings are pan fried with a thick skin filled with pork and prawns and are freshly filled, wrapped and cooked to order.

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Ever gone around to your boyfriend’s flat after work to discover there’s nothing in his fridge (apart from beer and cheese). That happened to me this month. Lucky for us his flat block is connected to The Common. I tried to do the good thing and opted for the salad made with kale, red cabbage, chickpeas, and avocado.Scott got a burger, so I proceeded to eat the majority of his chips (yeah, I was that girl, sue me).

Since Scott moved to West London I’ve been dying to check out The Parlour in Kensal Rise, we headed there with his mate from university and his girlfriend. It specialises in British food and is tucked away on a shady and quiet side street and it’s definitely worth a trip out west.

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Broadway Market

If you haven’t made any plans for the weekend yet, then Broadway Market is where you want to be on a Saturday. A couple of weekends ago, Scott took me for our anniversary. It still amazes me that I can still discover new parts of London that I haven’t explored before – even through I’ve spent my whole life here. It’s located in the heart of Hackney nestled between Regent’s Canal and London Fields. You’ll find independent shops, pubs, cafes and restaurants dotted along the street, and of course you’ll find stalls offering amazing fresh produce, authentic street food, vintage clothing, and arts and crafts.

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Broadway Market is a real foodie haven, and without trying to sound cliche, there really is something for everyone.

We started with these black pudding scotch eggs which we were cooked to perfection as the egg yolk was runny but still managed to hold its shape. I adore scotch eggs, I love the fact they’re basically a miniaturised fry-up made up of sausage, eggs and bread. They’re just a complete little parcel of goodness.

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There’s something about garlic stuffed olives – they’re fantastic. Forget the garlic breath and grab yourself a pot of these.

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And for one of the main reasons for my visit, The Dumpling Shack. They’re squidgy little dumplings handmade in front of you and fried up to order.

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And dessert? Well, we couldn’t decide so we ended up trying a couple of sweet treats. Scott has been ogling these salted caramel brownies all day. Which are unbelievably moreish and between two fudge brownie there’s a layer of liquid salted caramel which oozes as you bite into it.

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We also paid a visit to Crosstown Doughnuts, where I gobbled up a matcha doughnut. If you’re not already sold on matcha, then these will do the trick.

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By this point, I had eaten my entire calorie intake in an hour. But I brought some meringue kisses to bring home for my family. There’s nothing better than a light, fluffy meringue, and The Meringue Girls nail it. They’re the perfect takeaway treat.

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Broadway Market, London, E8 4QJ