I recently took a short trip to London to visit some family & friends living there so here is a couple of great places I recommend checking out if you too are headed that way!
So good I went twice! And lucky for me – because I went on a Sunday (end of one week) and again on my final morning which was Tuesday, I got to try out two of their weekly specials!
Porridge I would probably list as my favourite food. Some people laugh at this, others grimace. For many it’s “poverty food” – reminiscent of college days when there is nothing else in the cupboards; but what can I say I just love the stuff! Breakfast or dinner – gimme!! So 26 grains was a no-brain winner for me.
26grains isn’t the only gem located in the heavenly alleyway of Neal’s Yard, it is also home to Wild Food Café and Blend & Press.
Blend & Press sells pressed juices, raw chocolates and treats, raw sambos and a select few high quality food products. While Wild Food Café is dishing up all kinds of delicious raw, vegan colourful fresh foods.
Tucked away in Wilsden Green, just next to Wilsden Green tube station, is this little family-run Japanese restaurant. It doesn’t look too appealing from the outside but I’m told it is always full and a quick Google search will show you it comes highly rated across the capital. For us, it was just a short walk from my family’s home so an ideal first evening dinner spot.
I had boiled edamame and yakitori chicken – grilled on a skewer, to begin. Followed by salted black cod for my main. If you’re very hungry, be warned, portions are small. The food was OK. To be honest, I couldn’t see what all the hype was about.
Throughout the rest of my trip I spent my time exploring various areas with family and friends. If you can, definitely try and visit over a weekend as we stumbled upon so many great Sunday markets, including Holborn Slow Food Market and many more around Spitalfields and Brick Lane.
Check out these amazing vegan treats & “love bombs”!
Brick Lane is really busy but really fun – we even saw a music video being shot as we wandered around in the rain. There is so many fresh food stalls, little markets, quirky shops and eateries – including the most intoxicating chocolate shop and Cereal Killers, the newly-famous breakfast cereal café. There is also great Indian food to be got around here I’m told by a friend in the know.
(Cereal Killers definitely isn’t the healthiest choice – I saw sugary cereals then piled high with crumbled Oreos and all sorts of toppings; but it’s fun to go in and check out!)
A sign from one of the numerous food stalls on Brick Lane.
Old Spitalfields Market is really nice to stroll around and then sit down and soak up the atmosphere from one of the many street food stalls or they have cafés and restaurants too if that’s more to your liking. Including Ottolenghi’s infamously good café just a short walk away.
Personally, I love street food. I love the communal vibe and supporting people who are out there serving up their fare.
It was difficult to choose with such a choice and the great thing is everyone wants to give you samples to taste! (You could probably fill up on these alone!)
We sampled some Indian and Egyptian foods before finally deciding on the healthy vegan option! (Surprise surprise I know – but it was so vibrant and colourful my friends nor I could resist!
And they had healthy goodies to sneak in my handbag for later! 😉
Sufficiently stuffed after Spitalfield’s we then came across The Sunday Up Market in the Old Truman Brewery – which has just as extensive selection of food stalls to choose from. Seriously, my foodie brain and senses were in over-drive wandering around. As full as my tummy was I just wanted to try it all!
If hipster is your thang. Then you have to visit Shoreditch, a short walk from Brick Lane area. East London is oozing uber-coolness. We stopped by T2 Tea Shop for some fresh hot and iced tea samples as well as checking out some of the neighbouring artisan stores.
My final market hit-list was Borough Market – however, don’t make my mistake and visit on a Monday, when many of the stalls don’t open! 😦 It was also a very wet morning so my trip consisted of a quick look around the stalls that were open before escaping into Rabot 1745 chocolate café for a soy milk hot chocolate. They use really high quality chocolate, have chocolate on tap and have a very interesting food menu with every dish incorporating chocolate which I would love to try in the future.
Finally it was time to bid London adieú with a final airport meal in Giraffe in Stanstead airport; Tofu & Squash Laksa.
See you again soon London! X