All posts filed under: London

Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Restaurant Pop-Up

Just a quick post to let my fellow Londoners know that there’s a Jamie’s Fifteen Pop Up going on at Old Street Station today! My very first cookbook was Jamie Oliver’s ‘The Naked Chef’ – I can still vividly remember queuing up outside Hammicks bookshop in Harrogate, about 12 or 13 years old, waiting to meet the man himself to get my book signed. He called me “sweetheart” and I’ve loved him ever since – that book is still sitting proudly on my bookshelf! I’m pretty sure it was him that got me into cooking in the first place, and in fact, inspired my generation to get into the kitchen. Prior to that, chefs on TV had always been older and frumpy. He made cooking ‘cool’! I saw the pop-up being talked about on social media yesterday, so I thought I’d head over during my lunch hour. I was actually expecting them to be selling food from there, but it’s more of an exhibition about how the restaurant started and the stories of its staff. …

Cakes at Violet Bakery, Hackney

My lovely friend Ceri let me know about a bakery in Hackney, fairly close to where I live, that she thought I’d like. She works in publishing and they recently published the cookbook for it – ‘The Violet Bakery Cookbook‘. I was lucky enough to be given a copy, which I’ll be giving away as a competition prize on my social media channels early next week, so keep your eyes peeled! I was planning to meet my friend, Laura, for lunch today, so we thought we’d check out the bakery. It was a stunning day today, barely a cloud in the sky, so it was the perfect day to visit.     The Violet Bakery is situated on a side street (Wilton Way) parallel to the main road between Dalston Junction and Hackney Central overground stations. And you could easily miss it, with its neutral white walls and small entrance… if it wasn’t for the massive queue leading out of the door, and the groups of people dotted around it! This was clearly a popular …

Lunch at The Chicken Box, Boxpark, Shoreditch

Today I met up with a friend I hadn’t seen in ages for a quick lunch in Shoreditch, where I got to try out another of Boxpark’s eateries. This time, it was The Chicken Box.     The basic premise of The Chicken Box is fairly simple, as the photo above implies. You choose whether you would like a quarter chicken with one side (£5.50) or a half chicken with two sides (£9.50). Then you choose how you would like it cooked, out of a choice of BBQ, Jerk, Roast, Buttermilk, Honey & Soya or Tandoori. There are then a wide variety of sides to choose from, including slightly more unusual options, such as potato gratin, basmati rice, and mac n cheese.     They also offer ‘already put-together’ options, such as Mexican Chicken Fajitas and Jerusalem Chicken Livers. I went for one of these options (largely because I hadn’t quite decided when the waiter came over, and I thought it would be easier to choose one of these, rather than having to put something …

Lunch from FalafeLicious, Boxpark, Shoreditch

I had seen FalafeLicious advertised on Facebook (via Boxpark), and had been wanting to try it out for some time. And yesterday was the day! I headed over for lunch and was really impressed by the range on offer. I originally thought it would just be falafel in pitta bread (as I’d seen on Facebook), but was surprised to see their extensive range of salads. For £4.95 you can indeed have falafel in pitta, but for £6.95 you can have falafel in a big salad box, which is what I opted for. I think I counted 20 different types of salads/dressings on offer, including things like couscous, grilled aubergines, white beans, red cabbage and marinated olives, and a particularly delicious red chilli sauce! Once I’d filled up my salad box with all of these goodies, I headed for the counter where the lady added a whopping eight freshly cooked falafel. I was asked if I wanted houmous and tahini, to which I said a big YES, as they’re two of my favourite dips, as well …

The Porridge Cafe

When I heard that there was going to be a ‘Porridge Cafe’ opening in London (and just a stone’s throw from the office), I was excited! I wouldn’t say I’m a porridge fanatic by any means, but I love it when new ideas like this pop up! I remember visiting a rice pudding cafe in New York’s Lower East Side a year or two ago, and thinking what a good idea this sort of thing was. The Porridge Cafe opened up while I was on honeymoon, so I was keen to try it out as soon as I got back.      They serve five different types of porridge every day, with three ‘healthy and sweet’ options, and two ‘savoury and risotto’ options. As it was lunchtime, I opted for the latter, and had the salami, pecorino and porcini mushroom with grain spelt (£6.50). it was served in a big brown tub and I took it back to the office to eat. It was far too much for me (it might be worth considering smaller, …

Champagne Lunch at Club Gascon

When I sadly left my old job at 2K at the end of last year, I was given a wonderful leaving gift – a champagne lunch for two people at Club Gascon – they know me very well!! Tim and I went along to the restaurant in Farringdon a few weeks ago, during our lunch break. As a Michelin-starred French restaurant, the service is impeccable, as you would expect. But it was, without a doubt, the best lunch break I’ve ever had! We were greeted with a glass of champagne and a delicious amuse bouche. I chose the crackling slow cooked egg, truffle and salted fingers, followed by the winter veal variation, confit salsifis and bacon. Both were to die for and even the small touches, such as the breads and accompaniments, were excellent.     I was given this gift via Truly Experiences. I hadn’t come across them before, but the service was great – they managed the restaurant booking and made sure I had everything I needed. The gift was given to me …

Ginger Pig Sunday Roast

The Christmas before last, I bought Tim a voucher for us both to do a butchery class together at The Ginger Pig, which is how I became aware of the company. I’ll do a blog post specifically about the experience later, but soon after booking the class, I learned that there was a shop just a 15-20 minute walk from our flat, in Victoria Park village (Lauriston Road). You may have seen in my ‘about’ section, my late Dad was a regional manager for the Meat and Livestock Commission, so high quality meat has always been important to me. And I don’t think you can get any better than The Ginger Pig, especially as the livestock are raised in North Yorkshire, where I was born and spent my childhood. We chose some Beef Fore Rib (one rib) which was more than enough for the two of us – we cooked it with good old Yorkie puds and veggies, it’s our ideal Sunday night treat! The staff in the Lauriston Road shop are incredibly helpful and …