Season | Finsbury Park

Season. This restaurant in Finsbury Park is as simple as the name suggests. It tries to only use ingredients that are in season and can be sourced within the United Kingdom, so the small menu changes every couple of months.

I’ve started to gain a real affinity with Finsbury Park. It’s got everything a girl could need; from my favourite brunch spot, Fink’s Salt and Sweet, to Clapton Craft, a shop which sells craft beer, and now Season.

season finsubury park

We visited Season as a family in July for my birthday (and I’m well aware it’s now late September and the menu has definitely changed since I visited. Check their social media for their most current menu). Expect modern British fare, served in a compact dining room lit by candles.

As soon as we were seated, we were brought complementary baked bread and bottles of water, both sparkling and still – something I’m a big fan of.

The menu is short but what they do, they do exceptionally well. I ordered the duck leg to start which was served with a watercress and orange salad. A classic combo.

season finsbury park 7.jpg

I also tried some of the bone marrow topped on sourdough toast. It was probably a bit too salty for my taste, but my brother and dad raved about it.

season finsubury park 6

I couldn’t help but order the mussels for my main, they arrived piled high and in a white wine sauce. I opted for a side of wedges and French peas. The potatoes were crisp and the perfect accompaniment to dunk in my sauce.

season finsubury park 3

My dad and sister’s boyfriend feasted on the lamb which was cooked to perfection and served with crispy pieces of onions.

season finsubury park 4

Whereas my mum and sister dinned on the halibut which was simply accompanied by some grilled spring onions and a salsa.

season finsubury park 5

Because no birthday celebration is complete without dessert, I opted for the chocolate rosemary pot. It was incredibly indulgent and rich, and if you have a sweet tooth you won’t want to share this pudding.

season finsubury park 2

And because they’re decent people, Season’s doesn’t charge you £20 for one dish. It’s all reasonably priced and the portions are modest. Plus they have a no markup policy on booze, so all the wine is charged at cost…If that doesn’t incentivise you to go here, I don’t know what will.

— — —

Season, 53 Stroud Green Rd, Finsbury Park, London N4 3EF, UK

Advertisements

Craving Coffee, Tottenham

The cranes are rising and times in Tottenham are changing. Wander south from Tottenham Hale station and you might stumble upon Craving Coffee. A laid back, chic cafe located on an industrial estate (bringing a Hackney-esk vibe to the area). It’s a minimalist space with whitewashed walls and low-slung lighting.

craving-coffee

By day they serve artisanal brunch and in the darker hours, they host foodie pop-ups. Nicknamed ‘Tottenham Social’, where street food traders take over their kitchen on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturday evenings. The emphasis here is on local produce, their coffee is from local roasters Climpsons & Sons, and beers from local brewer Beavertown.

craving coffee 4

A couple of weeks back my sister and I ventured to Craving Coffee one Friday night, when Japenese street-food vendors, Pochi, had taken over their kitchen for the weekend.

They specialise in bento-style dishes, all of which are served on a bed of rice, with a side of carrots, beans and pickles. We ordered the Sake Soboro, salmon cooked with mirin and soy sauce, and the Nasu Soboro, fried aubergine marinated in soy and vinegar. I am trying to get back on my meat intake (although failing miserably) so I was pleasantly surprised when I found out that I preferred to aubergine dish to the salmon – it was beautifully tender and silky, and the pickles really cut through the sweetness from the soy.

craving coffee 5

You can usually catch Pochi at Kerb or Brockley Market, and if I find myself in either of these places. I’ll definitely order the Nasu Soboro again.

The best way to keep track of what street food pop-ups are on at Craving Coffee is to follow them on Twitter, @CravingCoffeeUK.

— — —

Craving Coffee, Gaunson House, Markfield Rd, London N15 4QQ

 

 

Dining along the Victoria Line

Back in the summer I wrote a post titled A North Londoners Guide to Eating in North London, where I took you on a foodie adventure along the northern end of Piccadilly line; from Kings Cross and beyond, ending up in Southgate. This time I’ll take you up a trip up and down the Victoria Line, letting you in on all my favourite places to eat and drink.

The Victoria line runs from Brixton in South London, all the way up to Walthamstow in the North-East, which is where we’ll start our journey…

Walthamstow

When I was in college I used to work in Walthamstow in a tiny GP surgery, and boy, it has come a long way in those five years. It’s now home to like the likes of God’s Own Junkyard which showcases neon art in a salvage yard, it’s evident that the culture of Shoreditch is pushing out and moving further east.

sodo-pizza

I’ve mentioned Sodo Pizza before on here, and I can’t not talk about Walthamstow without mentioning these incredible sourdough pizzas. Their winter goat is a real winner and is made with tomato, mozzarella, goats cheese, walnuts, caramelised onions and olives.

Eat17 brings you innovative dishes as well as producing good old British food. They actually make a lot of their own ingredients on site, including bacon jam, so good.

eat-17

Tottenham

If you don’t already, then you need to start following @discovtottenham on Instagram, my sister moved into the area back in June and I was so surprised at how many decent places there are to eat and drink.

Lets start with a favourite, The Beehive, it’s got beers from local Londoner brewers and a burgercentic menu. They have an impressive beer garden and there’s even a nice atmosphere on match day – although I do always sit with my back to the TV.

the-beehuve

One place my sister raves about is Craving Coffee, and the owners are on a mission to bring great coffee and locally sourced food to Tottenham. They serve local roasters Climpsons & Sons, alongside teas from Lalani and Co. Local producers are featured extensively, such as Wildes Cheese and Flourish Craft Bakery. Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday they open their doors to the Tottenham Social Street Food Residencies, where you can catch monthly changing pop up restaurateurs (these all tend to be small local businesses you can also find in Tottenham Green Market).

craving-coffee

Finsbury Park

Have brunch at Fink’s Salt and Sweet and get to their Avocado Toast. The portion is more than generous and is topped with goats cheese and comes with a harrisa spread – it’s mad good value for money.

finks brunch

Grab a cup of joe at Blighty Coffee, where they roast their own coffee beans! They’ve got signature drinks like the Orancino, which is basically Terry’s Chocolate Orange in a cup, and the Spitfire, which is served with cinnamon and chocolate. They also do a cracking eggs royale.

blightly coffee.PNG

Highbury and Islington 

Now I could write a whole post about Highbury and Islington, and narrowing down what to include in this section has been incredibility hard (no thanks to Upper Street).

Go for cocktails at The Four Sisters and it’s the perfect place for an afternoon session. It retains much of its historic charm as the interior is made up of dark wooden panelling, with cosy corners filled with wooden stalls and tables.

four sisters bar.PNG

If there’s only one thing you take from this post – then head to Rök, a Scandi smokehouse. Their soused mackerel with creme fraiche and pickled onions was the best I’ve ever had, it was so tender and delicious!

rok-mackrel

Kings Cross

Long gone are the days where Kings Cross is referred to a no mans land, it has seen incredible regeneration and I can’t get enough of Ganary Square – it’s my new favourite weekend hangout. With the likes of Dishoom and Caravan, what’s not to love?

dishoom

Euston

Just west of Euston station you’ll find Drummond Street, which is a slice of Indian culture, with sweet emporiums, grocer’s and restuarants, but with none of Brick Lane’s tourists. My dad would take us to Diwana Bhel Poori House and we’d all order these incredible dosas with a lassi on the side. It’s cheap and cheerful, but they serve great South-Indian food.

dwiana.PNG

Fitzrovia

Fitzrovia is a gem of a place, it’s got so many amazing restaurants and it’s located in-between Warren Street and Oxford Circus tube stations, just North of SoHo. Scott and I used to have Spanish lessons nearby and we’d always head to BoBo Social, which serves up amazing gourmet burgers; Barrica, which is a small tapas bar with an  extensive wine list; and of course ICCO, a pizzeria where you can bag yourself a thin, crispy pizza for less than a fiver.

Peanut butter_jpg-large

I can’t talk about Fitrovia without mentioning Pied à Terre, a Michelin starred french restaurant, and if you have a bit of cash in your wallet or what to dine out for a special occasion, then I beg you to go here. You won’t be disappointed.

pied a terre.PNG

Green Park

If you get off the tube at Green Park, you’ll find yourself in Mayfair which is home to some of London’s most exclusive restaurants, bars, shops and hotels.

If you walk North, you’ll find Sketch – which has got to be one of the wackiest places to eat and drink in London (just browse their photo gallery and take a look at their toilets for a start!)  They’re notorious for their afternoon-tea which they serve in ‘The Gallery’, a beautiful 1930s themed pink room, making it the perfect location for tea and cake.

sketch.PNG

Victoria

It’s rare for me to venture this far South, but if there’s one thing that will entice me, it’s the prospect of having something sweet at Dominique Ansel. Here you’ll find a cronut which is a mix of a croissant and doughnut and is so incredibly light, and a cookie shot, a chocolate chip cookie in the shape of a shot glass with a coating of dark chocolate inside which is then filled with milk.

dominique ansel.PNG

If you head to the Artists Residence, a seriously cool hotel just five minutes from Victoria station, you’ll find the Cambridge Street Kitchen. It’s a colourful restaurant filled with neon signs, modern prints and an open kitchen, sending off a ‘east meets west’ vibe.

cambridge street kitchen 2.PNG

Vauxhall

Vauxhall is a hard neighbourhood to define, it’s right on the south bank and in the heart of the city, but there never seems to be a good reason to go there – until Pharmacy 2 opened their doors. It’s a modern restaurant-cum-gallery by Damien Hirst and Mark Hix. While the decor is bright and wacky (as you’d expect of Hirst) but the food is simple and precise.

pharmacy-2

Brixton 

Brixton has become a hub for foodies, clubbers, artists and rockers alike, and it joins the likes of Peckham and Nottinghill as areas which have now gone through the gentrification process. Take Pop Brixton for example, it was developed in reaction to high street brands dominating London and showcases a selection of young businesses. It’s home to four bars and 16 street food stalls and restaurants, alongside a changing schedule of events.

pop brixton.PNG

If you want to get to know some of the lesser-known Caribbean treats, then head to Fish, Wings & Tings. It’s got a short menu, and yes there’s also jerk chicken, but try the rotis, codfish fitters, and prawns in red strip tempura. If it’s not hot enough for you, the guy who owns it also make his own hot sauce (but it’s not for the faint-hearted).

fish wings and tings.PNG

For an appartif or an after dinner cocktail, head to The Shurb & Shutter where you can get your hands on innovite drinks. They’re a bit on the gimmicky side, but they’re all expertly made.

shrub and shutter.PNG

Let me know if you visit any of these places or if you have any hidden gems you’d like to share

 

Bombay Breakfast at Dishoom

Where do you go when you’re bored of your local curry house and want something a bit special? In my quest to find the answer, and combine my love of brunch and curried food, I finally got around to trying Dishoom – and I’m honestly ashamed I’ve left it so long. It’s bloody brilliant.

My family and I decided to take my Dad for a boozy birthday brunch due to his love for all things spiced. The Dishoom in Kings Cross spans over three floors and pays homage to the bustling meeting points in India for families, friends and travellers alike in their Bombay-styled outpost. Complete with an oversized railway-station clock alongside other retro fittings and ageing sepia photographs.

dishoom-kings-cross-2

dishoom-kings-cross

We kicked things off with the house chai and a couple of cocktails. Their chai is delicious – it’s rich, creamy and got a real spice kick (it’s also a total bargain and comes with endless refills).

dishoom chai.jpg

Moving onto the food, my parents both opted for the Keema Per Eedu which is a big bowl of spiced chicken keema and bits of chicken liver, topped with two fried eggs, sali crisps and served with pau buns (fluffy white bread rolls to you and I).

dishoom-brunch

I went from the Full Bombay, which comes with akuri (spicy scrambled eggs), grilled bacon, sausages, toast,grilled tomatoes and masala beans. It’s the perfect Bombay-inspired take on a classic British breakfast.

dishoom-bombay-breakfast

Whilst everything is subtly spiced, my sister went for one of the more traditional dishes, the Bombay Omelette, complete with tomato, onion, coriander and chilli.

dishoom-brunch-2

Now, we weren’t willing to leave without trying one of their Bacon Naan Rolls, which they’ve earned such a name for themselves for. It’s a bacon butty, but not as we know it. The naan is wrapped around a couple of rashers of bacon, cream cheese, coriander and chilli jam. It was damn tasty.

dishoom-bacon-naan-roll

If you haven’t been to Dishoom already, then you definitely need to.

———

Dishoom, Granary Square, 5 Stable St, Kings Cross, London N1C 4AB

dishoom

Brunch in London | Where to Find the Best Brunches

I seriously love brunch – ask me what I’m doing on the weekend and I can guarantee you I can be found in a café or restaurant eating eggs benedict or avocado toast, sipping on a cappuccino (or a glass of prosecco).

This was a hard post to put together and I’ve been planning something like this for months. I’ve spilt the post up into areas to help make scouting out the top brunch places in London a little easier.

Central London

Ever since Scott took me to Roka for my birthday, I’ve been dying to head back to try their brunch menu. Now, don’t be expecting traditional brunch dishes and the menu is generally considered rather expensive. But their bottomless brunch is mad good value for money at £39 for 12 courses or £55 for unlimited Proesecco. It also runs until 8pm on the weekend so it’s not even strictly brunch….

dumplings

Finding decent pancakes in London is difficult – i’m not talking about crepes, I’m talking about delicious mounds of buttermilk covered in maple syrup. Luckily, Granger and Co nail it. They’re not called pancakes, but referred to as hotcakes (but they’re basically the same thing). They’re fluffy and light, and served with ricotta which undercuts the sugaryness of maple syrup and honeycomb butter. Sod your waistline and order yourself a plate of these.

granger-co

I’ve only recently found out at Ping Pong’s Lazy Sunday Brunches and it’s only £25 for unlimited dim sum and bottomless bellinis. For me, the best dish on the menu is the char sui bun which are soft, fluffy buns filled with a sticky honey barbecued pork.

SAMSUNG CSC

North London

As a North Londoner narrowing down this section has been seriously difficult. There’s so many good places to choose from. I’m going to start this part by mentioning Fink’s Salt and Sweet. It’s a little bit out of the way for your average punter, a 10 minute stroll from Finsbury Park station, but I promise you, it’s worth it. Their avocado toast is some of the best I’ve had and it’s such good value for money.

finks brunch

Now, you can’t write a best brunch post without mentioning Caravan. There are no reservations and if this were any other restaurant, I wouldn’t bother, but for this quality of coffee and food, I’ll definitely wait. On my last visit I opted for the sweet potato and cumin waffle. The cucumber raita was brilliantly whipped and the mango and coconut added that desired sweetness.

caravan kings cross waffle

Most of the places I’ve featured so far have mentioned high calorie dishes. If you’re wanting something a bit lighter then The Grain Store needs to be on your hit list. It’s mainly a vegetarian restaurant and has some vegan options too.

the-grain-store-omlete

East London

Broadgate Circle has now turned into a hub for foodies and if you’re looking for a very special brunch, try Beany Green. They showcase bold, healthy food. Think: coconut, quinoa, chia and flaxseed porridge served with fresh berries and gluten-free broccoli and corn fritters served with avocado, eggs and and home-made chilli pesto. My favourite is the avocado toast served on fermented activated charcoal sourdough.

beany green avocado

For an Indian inspired brunch, try Dishoom. Get the egg naan roll, where the naan comes wrapped around two fired eggs, chilli jam, cream cheese and spicy green herbs. Plus, their chai tea is bottomless!

dishoom

The city can be eerily quiet on the weekend, but at The Modern Pantry it’s a different story. The brunch menu includes dishes like a coconut and cassava waffle served with a rhubarb & lemongrass compote. You won’t regret ordering the tea smoked salmon with two poached eggs, english muffins, yuzu hollandaise and hazelnut and macadamia dukkah.

Modern pantry

South London

My knowledge of anything south of the river is a little rusty but after a few taste tests, I think I’ve managed to come up with a good selection. Now, a disused carpark might not sound the most glamorous place to go for brunch, but the Bermondsey Yard Cafe is the perfect spot for Sunday brunch. I can’t resist ordering their avocado and teriyaki salmon with picked chilli on sourdough.

bermondsey cafe.jpg

Brickwood in Clapham offers a brunch menu with refreshing tweaks to old classics. Their corn fitters are served with a beetroot creme fraiche and roasted vegetables. If you’re wanting to indulge try their warm, homemade banana bread topped with a whipped espresso. butter.

brickwood.jpg

Foxlow holds its own among Balham’s many brunch spot. It’s the sister restaurant of Hawksmoor so it’s unsurprising that brunch here is comforting and meaty. Get the fried chicken which for brunch it’s served with an egg and croissant waffle.

foxlow.jpg

West London

Since Scott moved to West London, I’ve been dying to check out The Parlour in Kensal Green. We’re finally heading there for dinner this week, and it’s decorated in what I can only describe it as ‘homely-industrial’ furnishings. You get free reign on yesterdays bread station so I can guarantee you that you’ll walk out of here happy.

the parlou.JPG

The Good Life Eatery is exactly was it says on the tin. Think: Acai bowls and poached eggs served with quinoa, kale, sweet potatoes and cashew cream.  This place proves that eating healthy can actually be damn tasty too.

the good life 2.jpg

Farm Girl is a all-day breakfast cafe on Portobello Road. I’ve  been following them on Instagram for a while now, and their berry pancakes and rose lattes look good enough to make anyone drool.

farm girl 2.jpg

I hope this post has introduced you to or helped you plan any future brunch visits to London. There’s a lot of choice so sadly I couldn’t squeeze them all in (in fear of making it too jam packed), but please so pop your suggestions down below. 

 

Brunch at Blend Harringay

When you want decent Turkish food in North London, you’ll head straight to Green Lanes. But brunch? It would be the last place I’d look – until I discovered Blend.

I look the look and feel of the place, think scandi-inspired with mismatched comfy chairs and whitewashed walls.  It’s bright and welcoming, and full of contemporary arts (just have a peek in the bathroom).

blend

On weekends it can be full of families and in one corner of the cafe you’ll find a cute little kids area, and in another corner you’ll find the creative-coffee lover types hunched over their laptops.

Whenever Scott and I go to Blend, we’re guilty of always ordering the same thing time and time again. For me, it’s the poached eggs with homemade hollandaise and asparagus. And from him, it’s a fry-up with espresso beans, chipolata sausages and a fried egg and it couldn’t be further away from your typical greasy spoons.

blend-foodblend-fry-up

I haven’t even mentioned the coffee which is strong and rich, and one of the main reasons we head to Blend on a Saturday morning.

———

Blend, 587 Green Lanes, London N8 0RG

blend-coffee-2

Don’t KERB your love of street food

Camden’s West Yard had just had a street food make over and London’s street food craze has no intention of stopping. Kerb are taking London by storm and they have finally committed to a permanent location in Camden and are bringing 35 street food traders with them.

Now, it would be next to impossible to review all 35 stalls in one article, (almost as impossible as trying to get to get Scott to go to Camden on a bank holiday), so I’ll simply point out my highlights…

Oil Baba’s

Deep-fried cheese, yum. Do I need to say more?

These fingers of halloumi are fried until they are crispy on the outside and squidgy in the middle. They’re topped with yoghurt, mint, chilli and pomegranate seeds. They’re perfect for sharing between two.

kerb camden halloumi fries

Ink

I must admit, I was nervous approaching this stand. Squid can so easily be over cooked and go horribly chewy. These little bits of Squid were deep fried to perfection and they’re served with the choice of three pastel mayos.

kerb camden ink

The Mac Factory London

I can’t resist Mac ‘n’ Cheese – nothing can beat pasta covered in cheese sauce. But what makes them so addictive is their sourdough-based parmesan and thyme crumble.

kerb camden mac factory

Blu Top 

Desserts are often an afterthought at street food festivals, but make sure you save room for these ice-cream cookie sandwiches. Creamy ice-cream is sandwiched between two soft-baked cookies, you can either add caramel sauce of chocolate chips.

blu top kerb camden

———

Kerb Camden, West Yard, Camden Market, Camden, NW1