London: My February Restaurant Picks

Bar Douro:

As far as I can remember, I don’t think I have ever been to a Portuguese restaurant before in the UK, let alone a Portuguese tapas restaurant. Located at Flat Iron Square, Bar Duoro did not disappoint. Small in size, this place is the perfect spot for a couple or small group, who enjoy great wine and sharing plates.

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London at Christmas

With Christmas fast approaching, and the festive season officially underway, here are a few fun and Christmasy things to do in London over the coming weeks:

Ice skating at Somerset House:Every year Somerset House turns it’s main square into an ice rink. Tickets can be bought in advance (which I would recommend) or on the day. The setting is absolutely beautiful and I would definitely recommend popping into The Savoy Hotel after, for a drink/cocktail.

Ice skating at Natural History museum: Another beautiful ice rink in London is at the Natural History Museum. The building itself is spectacular and when you add the ice rink and Christmas trees, its simply magical. I would recommend booking tickets in advance for this, as demand is high. Click here to book.

 

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London: My September/October Restaurant Picks

Emilias Pasta

Right on the water at St Katherines Dock, this hidden gem is the perfect restaurant for small groups or a party of two. Producing homemade, Italian pasta, the food is absolutely delicious and very reasonably priced! Not only that, but St Katherines Dock is the prettiest location, hidden away in the heart of central London. You can also book this restaurant, however seats outside/by the water are served on a first come first served basis.

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Continue reading “London: My September/October Restaurant Picks”

Things to do in London

Often it can be hard to think of non-traditional/non-tourist activities to do in London, so I have complied a list of fun and different things to do in London, whilst also including some of the more traditional, tourist attractions.

 

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London Activities:
Day trip to Brighton (check out my blog post on this)
Day trip to Oxford (check out my blog post on this)
Luxury cinemas (Electric Cinema, Curzon at Mondrian Hotel, Everyman Belsize Park, Olympia Cinema Barnes)
Shopping (Oxford Street, Sloane Square/Kings Road, Covent Garden, Canary Wharf, Westfield)
Afternoon Tea (Check out my Ultimate Brunch List post for the list of afternoon tea spots)
Food markets (Check out my Ultimate Brunch List post for the list of markets)
Bottomless Brunch (Check out my Ultimate Brunch List post for the list of bottomless brunch places)

 

Tourist Activities:
 London Eye
 Tower of London
 Buckingham Palace
  Kensington Palace
 Hyde Park
  Big Ben
Covent Garden
The Shard
Camden Town
Westminster Abbey
  Hampton court

The Churchill War Rooms. They were used or recreated in the movie the Darkest Hour.

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Galleries and Museums
Saatchi Gallery
Imperial War Museum
Victoria and Albert museum

The British Museum

The Tate Modern

The Portrait Gallery

The Ultimate London Dinner List

For the past few weeks I have been trying to compile the Ultimate London Dinner List, with all the best restaurants (for dinner) across London. Each of these restaurants has been tried and tested, by either myself or friends, and includes everything from cheap and cheerful to Michelin star (marked with an *). Enjoy!

 

French:

The Orrery (Modern take on traditional French dishes) Marylebone
Margaux (French) Kensington
Leroy (French Small plates) Shoreditch
Nac (French Bistro) Mayfair
Le Boudin Blanc (Rustic Gallic Food, French cuisine) Mayfair

Italian:

Sorella (Italian) Clapham
Bernardi’s (Italian) Marylebone
Flour & Grape (Italian/Pasta) London Bridge
Padella (Pasta) London Bridge
Bocco di Lupo (Italian) Soho
Popolo (Italian) Shoreditch
Da Corradi (Italian) Mayfair

Tapas:

Jose (Tapas) London Bridge
Pizarro (Tapas) London Bridge
Cambio de Tercio (Tapas) Earls Court
Capote y Toros (Tapas) Earls Court
Hispania (Spanish Tapas) Bank
Barrafina (Spanish Tapas) Soho, Covent Garden, Drury Lane *

Mediterranean:

Peyote (Mediterranean) Mayfair
Brawn (Mediterranean small plates) Shoreditch
Liman (Mediterranean) Angel

Indian:

Benares (Michelin Star Indian restaurant) Mayfair*
Bombay Bustle (Indian) Mayfair
Bombay Brasserie (Indian) Kensington
Kricket (blend British ingredients & Mumbai-inspired flavours.) Soho
Dishoom (Indian) Shoreditch, Kensington, Carnaby, Covent Garden, Kings Cross

British:

Tanner & Co (Old English food with a modern edge) London Bridge
Lamberts (modern British) Balham
Magpie (Modern British) Mayfair
The Ivy (Modern British Food) Multiple Locations
Drayton Arms (British gastropub) Earls Court
Bumpkin (British) South Kensington
Kitty Fishers (Modern British with Spanish twist) Mayfair
Plot (Modern British small plates)Tooting Market
The Dairy (Small-plate dining from seasonal Modern English/European menu amid vintage chic of bar/bistro.) Clapham Common
Randall & Aubin (Seafood, Oysters, Modern British) Soho
Frog by Adam Handling (continues Adam’s signature British style and combines technical savvy with the freshest, highest quality seasonal produce) Covent Garden

Steak:

Gauchos (Steak) Multiple Locations
Hawksmoor (Steak) Covent Garden
Foxlow (Steak) Balham
Hixter (Chicken/Steak) Bankside
Arlo’s (Steak) Balham

North Africa:

Barbury (North African) Neals Yard Covent Garden
Morito (Spanish/North African Tapas) Clerkenwell

 

Asia:

Bull in a China Shop (Asian infused eatery) Shoreditch
Sushi Samba (Japanese-Brazilian-Peruvian sushi) Moorgate
Go (Vietnamese) South Kensington
Pidgin (Asian Inspired 4 course menu) Hackney*

 

Moroccan:

Tagine (BYOB Moroccan) Balham
Momo (Couscous, tagines and lamb dishes in colourful setting filled with furnishings from a Moroccan souk.) Mayfair

 

Peru:

Chicama (Peruvian, does not serve meat) Kings Road, Chelsea
Pachamama (sister restaurant of Chicama, serves meat, also Peruvian)

 

Turkish:

Oklava (Turkish sharing plates) Shoreditch
Ruya (Turkish) Mayfair

 

Other:

Caravan (A bit of everything) Kings Cross, Exmouth Market, Bankside, Fitzrovia
Palomar (Modern fare from Jerusalem meets a variety of international influences) Soho
The Manor, Clapham
La Bodega Negra (Mexican food) Soho
The Ned, City of London
The Hospital Club (Private Members Club)
Black Roe (Hawaiian-inspired raw fish &seafood dished, plus grilled meats) May
Asia de Cuba (Asian influence on Cuban cuisine) Covent Garden

Casual and Chilled:

Radio Alice (Pizza) Clapham Common
Pho (Vietnamese) Multiple Locations
Franco Manca (Sourdough Pizza) Multiple Locations
Eco (Pizza) Clapham Common
The Pepper Tree (Thai food) Clapham Common
Kaosarn (Asian BYOB) Brixton

Markets:

POP in Brixton
Dinerama in Shoreditch
Mercato in Elephant and Castle
FlatIron Square
Boxpark Shoreditch

Yogurt Cake

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This is one of my all time favourite Spring/Summer cakes to make. I have been baking this cake for years thanks to a friend’s mother’s recipe. I have known this incredible lady for over 20 years and she introduced me to the recipe when I was about 13 or 14 years old…and I have been making it ever since!
The cake is so quick and easy to make and is a great base to add your own personal twist to. It is a real all-in-one recipe, so for those with little baking experience, this is the cake for you!
Light and fresh, this cake is perfect for any Spring or Summer occasion, particularly afternoon tea.
Enjoy
Aimee xx

 

P.S. I love to add poppy seeds or fresh raspberries into this cake mixture to jazz it up, and pair it with a lemon glaze and icing for additional flavour.

 

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups self-raising flour

3/4 cup of caster sugar

3 eggs

1/2 cup of sunflower oil

1/2 cup natural yogurt/buttermilk

 

Method
1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Use parchment paper to line the baking tin (9/10 inches) and grease lightly with butter.
2. The method for this cake is really quite simple. Add in the wet ingredients and mix thoroughly. Then add in the dry ingredients until the mixture is smooth and has no lumps.
I sometimes like to add poppy seeds or fresh raspberries in at this point to change up the recipe.
3. Place in the baking tray and cook for 40-50 minutes. To test if the cake is cooked, use a sharp knife and dip it down the centre of the cake. When you remove it, it should be clean. If there is still mixture on it, it needs more cooking.
4. For the icing, simply mix in about 2-3 tablespoons of water into a medium-size bowl of icing sugar, until the mixture is thick and smooth. Spread it onto the cooled cake using a wet knife, and serve. Allow the icing to dry, then serve.
5. For a lemon icing, simply repeat the step above, using fresh lemon juice instead of water.
TIP: Before adding the lemon icing, use a fork to poke holes in the cake. Using a mixture of 3 freshly squeezed lemons and 3-4 tablespoons of caster sugar, poor this over the cake, allowing it to seep into the holes. This creates a lemon glaze across the cake, making it super most and zesty!

The Ultimate London Brunch List

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Brunch is genuinely my favourite meal of the day! Since I moved to London, I am always looking for new places to try. I am also constantly being asked by people when they visit, where are the best places to go! So I decided to compile a list of all the brunch places I know/have been to in London, and divided them by location. Some of these were also recommended to me by fellow Londoners! Each place has a click through to the restaurant’s website for more information.

There is also a list on food markets, afternoon tea and bottomless brunch spots! Enjoy!

 

Markets:

Borough Market (London Bridge)
Maltby Street Market (London Bridge)
Broadway Market
Greenwich Market
Brixton Market
Flea at Flat Iron Square
Portobello Market

 

Brunch Spots:

Tanner & Co (London Bridge)
The Breakfast Club (London Bridge & Battersea Rise)
Lantana (London Bridge, Shoreditch, Fitzrovia)

Bad Egg (Moorgate)
Duck & Waffle (Moorgate)

The Dayrooms Cafe (Notting Hill, Holborn)
Eggsbreak (Notting Hill)
Electric Diner (Notting Hill)
Daylesford Notting Hill)

Sunday (Islington)

Granger & Co (South Kensington)
L’ETO (South Kensington, Soho, Brompton, Belgravia, Mayfair)
Tom’s Kitchen (Chelsea)

The Ivy (Chelsea, Covent Garden)
Bluebird (Chelsea)

Ethos (Fitzrovia)
Dalloway Terrace (Fitzrovia)
Attendant ( Fitzrovia, Clerkenwell, Shoreditch)

Megan’s (Fulham, Parsons Green)

BY CHLOE (Covent Garden)
Balthazar (Covent Garden)
26 Grains (Neals Year, Covent Garden)
Dishoom (Covent Garden, King’s Cross, Shoreditch, Carnaby, Kensington)

MILK (Balham)
Foxlow (Balham)
Brickwood (Balham, Clapham Common, Tooting Market)

Minnow (Clapham Common)
No.32 (Clapham Common)

Flotsam & Jetsam (Wandsworth Common)

No. 11 Pimlico Road (Victoria)

No.29 (Battersea Power Station)

Chiltern Firehouse (Marylebone)

Caravan (Bankside, Exmouth Market, Kings Cross)

Good Egg (Soho)

Burnt Toast (Brixton)

 

Bottomless Brunch:

Bunga Bunga (Covent Garden, Battersea)
Asia de Cuba (Covent Garden)
Tanner & Co (London Bridge)
The Piano Works (Farringdon)
Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings (Farringdon/Angel)
Lantana (Shoreditch)
Gaucho Electro (Number of Locations)

Percy & Founders ( Fitzrovia)

 

 

Afternoon Tea:

Sketch (Mayfair)
Claridges (Mayfair)
The Connaught Hotel (Mayfair)
The Kensington (South Kensington)
Mad Hatters Tea Party at the Sanderson Hotel (Fitzrovia)