All posts tagged: London Food

Passing through Neal’s Yard? Homeslice Pizza- perfection.

So you know, you just wander around a small bit of London and the history and stories of the town never cease to take you by surprise. I know Seven Dials quite well, but not as well as I thought. I mean, how come I had never actually wandered into Neals Yard and Monty Python’s old gaff? Well with a bit of time to spare before a hair appointment, we popped in for some lunch. The sun was shining, the crowd was mingling and the smell of freshly cooked pizza was just that bit too much to resist. It was ages until dinner, in any event. Homeslice Pizza was buzzing, the place was rammed, queues were out the door, the woodfired oven was on full and the pizza smelled divine. Homeslice is rooted in streetfood, starting as precisely that (as so many do now, and it’s fab) and now has 3 permanent sites in Covent Garden, Fitzrovia and Shoreditch, so not a chain and I think it shows in the sheer quality of the pizza. Do something simply …

There is no “r” in the month. But what the hell. The Oystermen, Covent Garden.

As you know, I’m an ostreophile. I love a good oyster (and, no, no chewing, just a push up against the roof of the mouth and a swallow, see earlier posts and please God, don’t cook them), so the opening of “The Oystermen” in Covent Garden just the week before our most recent visit to London put this squarely on the “hit list”. The Oystermen is small, like the Smoking Goat (more of that superb place later), located on Henrietta St just beside Covent Garden Market. Small, as in, maybe 20ish covers? but perfectly formed. Simple, fresh, seafood, trendy, bearded owner and chief shucker.  Not only am I a fan of oysters, I love a fresh boiled crab. I can dissect one with alarming alacrity, even if I do say so myself. Keep your boring, expensive lobsters and give me a good old fashioned brown crab.  I was at home the moment we walked in. I started with the oysters, (natch). Half a dozen, 2 of each type (the FWD can’t cope with the texture *rolls eyes* so she passed). Maldon Rock, Blackwater …

Holborn, History and Tapas

Holborn is not our usual haunt, but, for reasons I won’t bore you with you, we spent a week (with a hiatus in the middle) in this part of London for the first time. It is a fabulous area, particularly if you are a fan of legal history or Charles Dickens – each corner, each building, every nook, cranny, street-name and Church evokes our legal history, Fleet Street casts its long shadow of journalism and print making (visit St Brides Church and be amazed). A stroll down to the River through the Inns of Court, Blackfriars, Chancery, from the Knights Templar to the Pickwick Papers, legal and literary history is all around you. What isn’t all around you, unless you look very hard are too many amazing restaurants (I am ready to be corrected here, of course). Random restaurant picking generally goes two ways for me – “what a wonderful find, aren’t we lucky!” or “Christ, what a waste of money, only ate it because I was starving”. Somehow both are more satisfying than spending …

Get this. Padella – handmade, delicious & affordable pasta – yep, affordable London

If I had a set of drums, I’d do a drumroll before starting this post, or possibly a trumpet fanfare, if I had one of them. Probably fortunately, I don’t have either. Why the excitement? Affordable (yes, properly, really, genuinely, affordable), delicious, authentic, handmade pasta in Southwark. Padella is situated just at the entrance of Borough Market, it doesn’t take bookings but is open all day, so if, like us, you pitch up outside peak hours, you don’t have long to wait (10 mins in our case).There is an open kitchen, and bench seating by the window and at the counter, with some tables to the rear. We sat at the window, all the better to watch the world go by, and it certainly does.. The menu is gratifyingly limited, with a handful of starters and main courses and just 3 desserts. The portions are perfectly judged, I am fed up with being served so much food that I have to leave half of it, or avoid a starter and sweet simply to make room …

Last Minute Mexican

Convent Garden was heaving on a warm Friday evening. We couldn’t get in to our restaurant of choice as events during the week had meant a change in our schedules and we couldn’t get things back on track, so we headed out early to Convent Garden, in the hope we could bag a pre-Theatre meal without a booking. The Daughter was having a teenage thing, didn’t want “Asian” and this seemed to encompass most of the world from India to Japan,  we didn’t want Fish and Chips, or Modern European or indeed French, so as 6.30 approached the chances of a decent place having space became more remote. “How about Mexican?” – I had a moment of inspiration “that’s not Asian” (I was on the ball here you see). Deal done, we started off with a google walking map on the phone to find Cantina Laredo. Not your usual Mexican themed restaurant, aspiring to more of a “fine dining” vibe and an emphasis on Modern Mexican cuisine and the art of the Tequila. We got …

Borough Market – I know, I am such an old romantic

I’ve not met anyone that doesn’t love London’s Borough Market. It’s not just the fabulous range of fresh produce, meat, seafood, products, herbs, spices, bread and street food, it’s the atmosphere it evokes. Like much of London, its history colours your sense of the present. I defy anyone to walk towards the Market nestled under the iron girders of the  railway bridge above and not find themselves cast back to any number of films, novels and exhibitions that describe the sights, sounds and smells of historic London. You feel you are walking in the footsteps of thousands of others stretching back hundreds of years who have come to this place to meet and to trade. And indeed you are, the market is believed to go back possibly as much as a 1000 years. It is situated at one end of London Bridge, for centuries the only route over the river and believed to have been built originally by the Romans (which then became a strategic defence against the marauding Vikings as they sailed up the …

Creamy Coconutty Loveliness

As you know, I wax rather lyrical about Borough Market in London. There are too many gems to write about them all, but being a bit of a pancake aficionado (I know, I haven’t shared much of this hidden talent with you yet…) I had to try these delicious-looking Thai coconut pancakes from Khanom Krok. A bit like Dutch pancakes but soft and creamy rather than crispy. Imagine a small, hot, crispy cup of warm coconutty sweet milk pudding. Yep. Amazing. I need to seek these out again. That’s it.