Taste of London

June seemed to fly by, and it’s been a pretty exciting month – with even more rooftop bars and outdoor foodie pop-ups flooding my Insta feed than ever before. But there was only one thing on my mind: Taste of London.

taste of london 1

taste of london 4

Taste of London is one of the world’s greatest restaurant festivals and it’s hosted in Regents Park for just 5 days (and by the time I’ve gotten around to writing this blog, Taste of London has passed and you’re going to have to wait until November to visit!). It’s an eclectic collection of the best restaurants in the capital alongside exhibitors showcasing their products and creations.

taste of london 6

taste of london 12

After an intense browse of the restaurant list, we locked onto our first target: The Ember Yard. I opted for the courgette and mint arancini served with whipped ricotta, fennel and toasted pumpkin seeds. It’s crunchy, golden brown coating gave way to a creamy filling inside, I just hope the Ember Yard will make these a permanent staple on their menu…

taste of london 11

Our next stop was to the Folkington‘s truck to grab ourselves a G&T. We tried all their juices first before settling on a classic, Lemon & Mint, to add to our Bathtub Gins. A refreshing (and much needed) treat.

taste of london 8

taste of london 2

Roka was next, where we sampled the Gindara to nai no gyoza – black cod, crab and crayfish dumplings. If there are dumplings on a menu, I’m ordering them. I adore Roka and I’ll find any excuse to visit.

taste of london 10

Desert? We tried samples from Pots & Co and I loved their passion fruit and orange compete which is set on top of a cheesecake like cream. We were also given a taster each of their little chocolate pot which is made with 70% Belgian chocolate which has the consistency of a mousse. I loved it so much I went to Waitrose and bought a pack of four, it’s so creamy and indulgent.

taste of london 9

I so wished we can return the next day to discover all the rest of the delicious dishes – there were just so much on offer!

taste of london 3

Advertisements

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. 

 

I’m feeling twenty-two: Birthday Celebrations at Roka Aldwych

This week I celebrated my Taylor Swift birthday, and Scott treated me to such a lovely day out in London – we pretty much spent the whole day eating, exploring and drinking.

 

I’m incredibility lucky to get a bonus ‘holi-birthday’ from work (one of the many perks of working at Goodman Masson). We started my day at my family home and my mum had made my favourite brunch, avocado toast – and of course cake. After all, calories don’t count of your birthday right?

 

scott and i

 

Scott and I headed into London and hit the Leicester Square box office, scoring ourselves tickets for a matinee performance of Kinky Boots.
It’s one of my all time favourite movies and the performance did not disappoint. It’s all about accepting people for who they are and not making judgement about people before you get to know them – A message that everyone needs to encompass.

 

kinky boots

 

After the show Scott and I went to Roka in Aldywch. If you’re anything like me and adore Japanese food then you absolutely must go. Everything is perfectly executed, including the rustic yet contemporary interior – it’s definitely a special occasion sort of place.

 

roka

 

We went for one of their tasting menus, which is comprised of small plates and is perfect for sharing. I love this concept as it means you can have a bit of everything and you don’t need to be as decisive.

 

sushi

 

Each plate came on at a time, meaning we could really appreciate them. The sashimi was incredible and it was served on a bed of ice – it melted in your mouth and was sliced so finely.

 

dumplings

 

Now, I’m a HUGE fan of dumplings and we were served the black cod, crab and crayfish dumplings which were delicious.

 

salad
maki

 

The main course options are in no way budget items. Scott and I choice the pork lion and the black cod marinated in miso. Both were delightful in their own ways – though the fish was incredibility hard to eat with chopsticks.

 

pork
cod

 

It’s not often that I have dessert, I’m much more of a savoury/starter type-of-girl. I can’t remember what I ordered but it came with green-tea meringue and a sesame seed ice-cream.

 

birthday cake

 

I honestly can’t remember Roka Alydwch enough – if you’re wanting to treat that speical someone, take them here.

 

———
Roka Alydwch, 71 Aldwych, London WC2B 4HN

 

cheesecake