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Blog, Drink, Eat, Healthy, London

Brompton Food Market, South Kensington

October 29, 2016
Brompton Food Market, South Kensington

I love it when you come across places which you never knew existed, but have walked past a million times.  South Ken is tricky for brunch.  It’s either super touristy (Muriel’s Kitchen) or a bit chainy (Comptoir Libanais, Aubaine, Pain Quotidien).   And then you get this cute, unassuming Deli/Cafe with a secret garden which is perfect for a summer lunch or an autumn brunch.   We were actually en route to Aubaine, but then passed the Brompton Food Market with it’s inviting ‘secret garden’ sign and thought we ought to have a look.  Let’s just say Aubaine never happened after that.

The Brompton Food Market is actually also a butcher, fishmonger and greengrocer as well.  I.e really the place do all your shopping.  And the experience is ten times nicer than shopping at Tesco’s, I can promise you that.  It’s a beautiful shop with excellent produce.  You could spend hours looking at all the different jams and oils and cheese.

Brompton Food Market, South Kensington

Shopping aside, they have a great selection of wonderful salads and juices for those healthy-inclined, or a mouthwatering brunch menu with dishes like American pancakes with berries, eggs whichever way you want, the list is endless.  My cappuccino was the size of my head.  We sat outside, kept warm with sheepskin rugs and overhead heaters.

Brompton Food Market, South KensingtonBrompton Food Market, South KensingtonBrompton Food Market, South Kensington

This is the perfect place for a cosy, laid back and affordable coffee or brunch, in the heart of touristy London.  It’s ideal if you’re looking for somewhere quiet and local, and away from the tourist hordes.

The Brompton Food Market

33 Thurloe Place

SW7 2HQ

Blog, Date Spot, Eat, London

10 Greek Street, Soho

December 6, 2015
10 Greek Street, Soho

I’ve spent a lot of time on Greek Street in Soho recently: dining at the excellent Korean grill Bo Drake, drinks at hidden bar the Vault under Milroys and now – finally – having dinner at 10 Greek Street.

I’ve been wanting to go for so long but have been put off by long queues and rumours of how difficult it is to get a table.  But this should not deter you, because, like other popular establishments like Palomar, they’ll take your name and number and give you a call when a table’s available.  So you can grab a cocktail at the Vault a few doors down, or grab a glass of wine at the new Les Couilles de Chien bar (translation: Dog’s bollocks) at Arbutus around the corner on Frith Street.

10 Greek Street, Soho

10 Greek Street is small, with just 30 covers.  It offers a simple but inviting dining room, with menus scribbled on large blackboards.  It has an open kitchen which adds to the lively atmosphere.   It is the perfect place for a date or to come to with a group of friends, like I did.  The menu changes daily and delighted us with a generous array of healthy options.  Lots of fish, pulses, grains and my favourite orange foods (sweet potatoes/pumpkin/squash).  It was Thanksgiving so that might explain the abundance of pumpkin (the burrata and roasted pumpkin was sublime).

We order a selection of small and large plates and shared everything between the four of us.  Our favourite was beyond any doubt the artichoke tart with truffle shavings and rocket.  Exquisite and almost too good to share.   The langoustines with a light fennel salad were full of flavour, but I always find it more effort than its worth trying to get the (little) meat from the shell.  The butterflied red snapper was delicious and zesty, the sea bass with cauliflower, pomegranate and large couscous had a hint of the Middle East and I really enjoyed it.

10 Greek Street, Soho10 Greek Street, Soho10 Greek Street, Soho

Puddings were equally delightful.  The chocolate tart with pear was finished within seconds, and the warm tart tartin was phenomenal with ice cream.  We drank three bottles of wine, trying three different ones with the Bordeaux winning for me, though the others liked the lighter Pinot Noir.

10 Greek Street, Soho10 Greek Street, Soho

We had a fun, long dinner and there wasn’t a dish we didn’t enjoy.  The staff were friendly, attentive and gave us good recommendations.  It fully lived up to my expectations and is worth returning to, regardless of the wait for a table.

10 Greek Street

Soho

Photo credit: 10 Greek Street and my Instagram

Blog, Drink, Eat, London

Shot Espresso, Fulham Broadway

August 15, 2015
Shot Espresso, Fulham Broadway

When the very tiny Shot Espresso opened a few years ago, on the cobbled pedestrian and rather lovely Jerdan Place, I had a feeling it was going to do well.  It is the project of friends of, as they say, ‘Italian, Australian and English extraction’, with especially the Italian extraction being most pronounced in their venture.  It is effectively an Italian Deli, Cafe and Aperitif bar all rolled into one, with some Aussie touches.  Every morning I walked passed I could smell their freshly ground coffee, and see tempting heaps of buttery croissants through their large window.  Every evening when I walked home, they went from offering coffee to offering Aperol Spritzes.  Or wine.

Shot Espresso, FUlham Broadway

So, I tried both.  Their coffee really is good.  And their friendly service adds to Shot’s charm.  One evening I also tried their Aperol Spritz.  And a glass of wine. And perhaps a few more of them.  And loved this local and characterful place just off the very busy and characterless Fulham Broadway (having said that, if you want cocktails then 510 Below is brilliant too).

Shot Espresso, Fulham Broadway

Soon enough they cleverly put a few tables and chairs outside, and shortly the pavement was overflowing with post-work drinkers.  And best of all?  They offer Aperitivo.  Possibly the best deal ever.  If you pay an extra £3 for your first drink, you get to sample unlimited amounts of their homemade bites and selection of cheeses, hams and breads, plates of which are placed on the bar and which they keep topping up.  I don’t know anywhere in London where they are this generous.  No need for dinner, just come here for lots of drinks and delicious aperitivo and you’re sorted.

Shot Espresso, Fulham Broadway

Their well-deserved success meant that they procured another tiny joint, right opposite Shot – called Slice & Ice.  Offering, surprise surprise, homemade pizza (Roman-style) and ice cream.  Same sort of concept, same people, same overflowing pavement where on the busier Thursday and Friday nights the crowds from Shot and Ice & Slice simply merge together.

Ice & Slice, by Shot

Their newest venture is Bistro by Shot.  A larger, a little more formal cafe/bistro just off Parson’s Green.  I enjoyed my brunch here, but my preference will always be Shot Espresso.

Bistro by Shot, Parsons Green

For more Fulham ideas, check out Fulham Brunch places, St Clements and Hally’s & Little H.

Shot Espresso

11 Jerdan Pl

London SW6 1BE

Photos Shot Espresso’s own, or mine from Instagram.

Amsterdam, Eat, Healthy

Vinnies Deli, Amsterdam

June 14, 2015

 

Another good reason to visit the popular Haarlemmerstraat, this Deli serving delicious organic food and drink is well-worth popping by.  They also do private dining and offer a catering service, so you can get their fresh food delivered to your door.  The Deli is like a living room – you feel instantly at home.  All the furniture is for sale, so if you fancy any Dutch or Danish furniture – you can eat as well as buy.

They’ve been so successful they have now also opened a Deli on the Nieuwezijds Kolk (33).

vinnies 2

Vinnies Deli

Address: Haarlemmerstraat 46-h
1013 ES Amsterdam

Blog, Eat, London

Fulham Discovered: Brunch – updated

March 31, 2013

Having lived in Fulham for the past six years, I’ve seen the area transform into the ideal place for a relaxed but lively weekend brunch.

Below are my favourites, some new, some old: 

St Clements £/££

201 New King’s Rd

A short walk from Parsons Green you’ll find St Clements, a small, cosy cafe which is perfect for brunch or lunch.  It opened in 2014, and since then I’ve been back multiple times for their excellent corn fritters with chorizo and avocado.  They’re also known for their coffee (which is fantastic).  On a sunny day I love sitting on their spacious terrace which faces Eelbrook Common.  Read my full review here.

St Clements, Parsons Green

Manuka Kitchen £/££

510 Fulham Road

Possibly one of Fulham’s most ‘famous’ brunch venues (along with Hally’s, of course), Manuka Kitchen is up there with one of my favourites.  For those who don’t know – Manuka is a type of honey (the healthy, organic type).  But despite this, not all their dishes contain Manuka, so honey-haters don’t despair.  The place itself is very simple, wooden tables, some bric-a-brac chairs, an open kitchen.   Their Full English Breakfast is one of the best I’ve had – with all the trimmings but without all the grease.  Their French Toast with roasted banana, bacon and maple syrup is delicious too.  They now also have a gin bar downstairs (510 Below) and opened Salt & Honey in Bayswater (which I recommend both for brunch and dinner).

Manuka Kitchen, FUlham

Megan’s Deli and Restaurant ££

571 King’s Road, London SW6 2EB

Perhaps Fulham’s ‘Grand Dame’ of brunch, Megan’s is one of the originals in Fulham.  I love strolling down the New King’s Road and seeing the cheerful blue sign hanging outside.   It’s often totally full upstairs so I usually end up downstairs, depending on the weather either outside on their ‘garden terrace’ or inside at one of their cosy wooden tables.  You’re welcomed by a mouth-watering array of cakes and pastries by the main entrance and downstairs by huge plates of various salads and organic delicious quiches.  The staff (many cheerful Italians) are charming and add to the brunch experience.  You can can have dinner here, never tried, but meant to be good.  But I think Brunch beats all.

Megan's, Fulham

Hally’s & Little H ££

60 New King’s Road

This wonderful Parson’s Green duo have been rocking it since the day they opened. Hally’s, the larger flagship cafe, opened first in 2013 and Little H followed a year or so later.  Both offer excellent brunches, with Little H more focused on healthy ‘Cali-style’ food and juices.  Hally’s is especially wonderful when the weather is good, and its doors open up completely.  The food is great, as are their cakes and pastries and it’s easy to see why this is a favourite amongst all locals (but therefore always very full).  Full review here.

Hally's Parsons Green

Chairs & Coffee £

512 Fulham Road

I’m not quite sure why this place gets overlooked, perhaps because it’s right next to Manuka Kitchen (see above) or maybe people think the chairs hanging from the walls are a little odd (they are, to be fair!).  But Chairs & Coffee certainly stands its own ground when it comes to brunch.  Firstly the menu is very good value, with few dishes over £7.   Secondly, the food (and coffee) is really good.  They do a variation of avocado on sourdough toast, or scrambled eggs with various toppings (mushrooms / chorizo / gorgonzola / bacon / smoked salmon).  Their banana bread is meant to be out of this world (the Canadian version sounds incredible), so I’ll be back for this.  They also offer a number of freshly made juices, their Green Juice being my favourite.

Chairs and Coffee, Fulham

Shot Espresso £/££

11 Jerdan Place

Not necessarily a brunch place per se, but absolutely one of the best places to grab a coffee and a croissant on the go en route to Fulham Broadway.  Or, if there’s a table free in this tiny establishment, definitely grab a seat, because it’s so cosy there and the staff are all super friendly.  In the evening is becomes more like an Italian Aperitivo bar, with Aperol Spritzes and wine (and Espressos, of course).  Right opposite Shot you’ll find Slice & Ice, which they opened a year or so after Shot.  Here they service pizza and ice cream (surprise surprise) and on warm summer evenings their two little ‘terraces’ almost meet.  Their newest venue is Bistro by Shot, which serves a good brunch too.  But my go-to is Shot Espresso.

Shot Espresso, FUlham Broadway

Megan's, Fulham

Del’Aziz ££

24-32 Vanston Place, London SW6 1AX

Tucked behind Fulham Broadway on Vanston Place, the first time I walked passed it (a good five years ago) I peered in and was surprised to see a table with the hugest range of cakes and a rustic laid-back attire.  Not something you’d expect from a North African restaurant chain.  It is actually a half ‘cafe’/’deli’/’bakery’ and half North African restaurant.  You can reserve for the restaurant, but not for the deli.  Understandable the deli is always packed; huge wooden tables filled with cheerful people.  Peak-times means it is chock-a-block which often means delayed service in the deli area.   The brunch menu is extensive, with all the usuals and lots of freshly squeezed juices (I enjoyed my beetroot and apple one).

Del Aziz, Fulham - photo form bookatable.com

Other recent openings are the Retro Cafe (excellent value, 225 Munster Road), Local Hero (Fulham Road) and Hangar SW6  (a steak restaurant which also offers brunch, Fulham Broadway).

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