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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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

 

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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).

bao

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.

broad-market-dumplings

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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A London Favourite | Rök

Last week I finally checked out Rök and it’s been on my ‘London restaurant wishlist’ for what feels like forever. It’s a Scandi smokehouse and first opened about a year ago in Shoreditch, but recently they opened up a second branch on Islignton’s Upper Street. It’s been ranked #8 in Time Out’s Top 100 London Restaurants which was exactly the kick up the arse I needed to try it out. It’s no surprise it’s ranked so highly – it’s different, authentic and completely delicious.

If you’re ever stuck in a room with my dad there’s three things he’ll talk about – his work, how you should insulate your house, and his love of all things Scandinavian – oh dads, who would have them? I knew he would love Rök as soon as I told him that it actually means smoke in Swedish.

It’s an unassuming little place (and I actually walked past it twice). The interior design nods to the Nordic chic, with white walls and dark wooden tables. It’s minimalist, which is definitely to my liking.

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To start, get the pickles (we got all four). Their menu is ever changing but the celeriac and cucumber ones were my two favorites. They’re the perfect thing to nibble on whilst you sample their wine and beer…

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Next, the fish course. My dad and I both opted for their soused mackerel with creme fraiche and pickled onions. It was the best mackerel  I’ve ever had, it was so tender and delicious. My mum and sister also raved about the mussels which were cooked in Wu Gang Chops beer and topped with samphire.

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Now, we get to the meats dishes. We all immediately went for their pigeon – because when do you ever see pigeon on a menu for only £12? I thought I was only going to get a measly piece of breast, but I was pleasantly surprised when the dish arrived. It was accompanied by blackberries and a hazelnut mash of sorts. The hazelnut mash was a bit too rich for my liking, but I globed it down all the same.

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In typical London style, you have to order all your side dishes separately. I can’t remember what half of them were but the blackened sweet potatoes when down a treat, along with this rice and vastebotton dish – who knew rice with cheese was so good?

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After all that food, we certainly could not cope with dessert. It’s no surprise that Rök has made my London favorites. If you get the mackerel and pigeon, you’ll definitely leave a happy punter as I did.

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Rök, 149 Upper Street, London, N1 1RA

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