A Foodie Weekend in London6/05/2013 07:43:00 PM
Hi everybody! I'm back in Germany now after a fab five days in London and Paris! The weekend in London was all about destination-eating, with meals planned and booked well in advance (all organised from Australia!), and activities arranged around the meals. Check it out!
First stop was actually not in London at all, but in Paris! I took the train from Mannheim to Paris, met my friend Clarice (who lives there), and we took the Eurostar to London together. On the way to the train, we made a quick stop at Lafayette Gourmet to pick up some cheese!
|Cheese counter at Galeries Lafayette|
|Brie à la Figue|
|Picnic: German Brötchen, Asparagus frittata, brie à la figue|
So, whilst in London, Clarice stayed with family, and I stayed in the most fantastic flat in Notting Hill, which I found - with only eleven days' notice!!! - on Airbnb. It was such a great find too: a lovely, modern and comfortable flat in a central location. Random fact: it only cost £17 to get a Black Cab there from Kings Cross station, which was perfect, as we arrived late at night and I was way too exhausted to navigate the Tube. I reflect, with gratitude, that the exchange rate is so very good right now. (Approx. $1.6AUD to £1.00 - last time I went to England it was $2.5AUD to the pound!) I also find it so cool that drivers of Black Cabs know the geography of London inside out, and that you don't need to direct them or anything. (Read here about "The Knowledge" that cab drivers must possess before they can be licensed).
The neighbourhood was really interesting, with lots of shops and cafes, and I felt very safe walking around at night, which is always important. The owner was very sweet and we got along really well, as she was quite the foodie, and we even went out for a drink on my first night while she showed me around the neighbourhood. For my little 2-night trip, she actually took the sofa bed while I took the main bedroom, but in normal circumstances (i.e. with longer notice!) you'd have the flat to yourself.
|View from the bedroom window|
I'd feel a bit weird publishing photos of the inside of the flat, as it is actually someone's home, but rest assured that I highly recommend it. If anyone is travelling to London and is keen to stay there, let me know, and I'll happily email you the Air B&B link!
|Gorgeous display at Ottolenghi Notting Hill|
On the Saturday morning, we took a walk through Borough Market, which has so many amazing stalls and is definitely worth a look, despite being crazy busy! If I were interested in doing proper food shopping, I'm sure I'd get frustrated at all the slow-walking, camera-waving tourists! (Myself included, sorry locals!) I wonder if locals avoid the market on Saturdays and just shop during the week?
Lunch that day was at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, which was seriously delicious and amazing - we literally couldn't fault any aspect of the experience. Of course, full blogpost to come, but for now, check out this picture of their famous Meat Fruit dish!
|Meat Fruit (c.1500) - Mandarin, chicken liver & foie gras parfait, grilled bread - £15.00|
And in a slightly less ritzy move, that afternoon we did a Supermarket Sweep, stocking up on British goodies at a local Waitrose and Sainsbury's. As you (might) be able to guess, I love my McVitie's! (What can I say, they were almost all half price, how could I not?)
|Burrata, blood orange, coriander seeds, lavender oil - £12.00|
|Eros Fountain, Piccadilly Circus|
|"Aa-ooooooo... werewolf in London!"|
The next day, Clarice suggested we check out Brick Lane, a cool, cosmopolitan area that was once a Jewish area and is now predominantly a Bangladeshi area. There was also a distinct hipster vibe, with street art, lots of cafes and diners, and a very busy street market.
|Street sign in both English & Bengali|
|Mario street art, Brick Lane|
|Retro table settings at the market|
|All Star Lanes|
|Fork and Spoon Necklace|
|Afternoon Tea at The Wolseley - £22.50|