EATING MY WAY ROUND LONDON

For my Christmas present Steve booked for us to go down to London for a couple of days in February. A couple of weeks before we went down we compiled a list of food places we wanted to try. It proved a very difficult task narrowing our list down to a sensible number of places for 2 and a half days!

We got to London just after 11am on Sunday just in time for a spot of brunch! We’d arranged to meet a couple of Steve’s friends and his friend James suggested brunch at Caravan in Kings Cross. I’d extensively Instagram stalked Caravan and already decided what I was having off their menu, so you can imagine how disappointed we were after being told that it was an hour and 15 minute wait before we could get a table – unfortunately they don’t take bookings at the weekend. So instead we decided to book a table for Tuesday morning instead. We walked across the way to The Lighterman which again was full of groups of friends enjoying brunch but luckily we managed to get a table for four straight away. It was getting on for 12pm so we decided it was acceptable to have our first beer of the day – Freedom, ‘4’ Lager, an English lager on draught which was only 50 pence more expensive than a freshly squeezed orange juice! I had banana and pecan bread with maple butter and caramelised banana which was delicious and Steve enjoyed his Lighterman breakfast too, although it was quite a lot smaller than some of the breakfast I’d seen him eat, so it’s a good job he had those 2 prawn cocktail sandwiches on the train!

At 3pm we went to see the brilliant Matilda the Musical at the theatre. Matilda was one of my favourite films growing up so when I heard it had been made into a musical I couldn’t wait to see it one day. It didn’t disappoint and the young children in it were so talented, although my favourite had to be Miss Trunchball! After the play we were both starving and next on our agenda was dinner at Patty and Bun on Old Compton St. As I’ve probably said numerous times on this blog, I do love a good burger and undertake extensive research to find “the best” where ever I visit. Steve and me both went for the ‘Smokey Robinson’ burger which came wrapped in paper, fast-food style. The burger was deliciously cooked medium-rare, topped with caramelised onions, bacon and smokey mayo. I also thoroughly enjoyed my cheesey bites with XXX hot sauce that I ordered as a side a long with my chicken skin salt chips! Then with our very fully tummies we then went to see the Comedy Store Players, an improvised comedy act at the Comedy Store and laughed our socks off!

On the Monday we went on a 45 minute walk from our hotel along the river to my favourite market in the whole world, Borough Market. When I’m here I wish that I had an ever-expanding belly that never gets full! After walking round the stalls several times I decided to go to the stall which seemed to be a mixture of Spanish, Greek and Turkish cuisine. I had a box filled up with seafood paella, couscous, greek salad, lamb kofta, halloumi, chorizo and tzatziki. It was amazing, absolutely amazing. I thought I might get food envy over Steve’s “Boston Sausage” burger which was very good, but I believe I definitely made the right decision! Even though I was stuffed to the brim I still managed to fit in a great big slab of chocolate brownie, it was a good job we planned to do a bit more walking to try and burn some of those calories off.

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When our feet and legs could walk no more we decided it was time to sit down and enjoy a couple of beers before going to see our next show Aladdin. We went to the stylish Duck and Rice, which was furnished with copper beer tanks and had a good selection of nice beers and lagers. As we sat at the table slowly drinking our Pilsner Urquells, I couldn’t help but browse the food menu in front of me offering a very appetising selection of Chinese dishes, if only I wasn’t still incredibly full from our trip to Borough Market! Steve however has an enormous appetite and decided to order a couple of sides to keep him going, and I managed to fit in a chicken wing and the best slice of prawn toast I’ve ever had, not the type you’d get at your local takeaway.

That evening we went to see Aladdin, another of my favourite childhood films. The sets, costumes and performance was excellent. The genie had won an award the night before for his performance in it, and he definitely deserved it! The performance finished at 10pm and we’d read that El Camion Mexicano in Soho served a late night menu until 2am. I had a beef tostadas which was actually braised Ox cheek in Mexican spices, it was lovely and tender! I’d never had a tostada before but I’d describe it as an open taco, served with yummy black beans, guacamole, sour cream and cheese. I thoroughly enjoyed the food but was slightly disappointed that we were sat downstairs in a very dark room so couldn’t really see my food, but I suppose it was our own fault for eating so late!

Tuesday morning before we got the train home we made our reservation at Caravan for brunch. For a Tuesday morning it was exceptionally busy, this could partly be due to being situated next door to Central St Martins University. The staff were really friendly, and one of the waitress’ made my day by saying I looked like the actress Anna Kendrick! We both had a deliciously chocolatey, creamy hot chocolate to start. I’d spotted someone eating avocado and poached egg on toast and was almost swayed to go with that, but even though it looked a million times better than what I could make, I decided to have something a little different that I couldn’t just whip up at home. I had the coconut bread, which was layered with lemon curd cream cheese and poached rhubarb. It was fantastic! Steve went for the “Caravan Fry” which consisted of eggs, tomato, mushroom and bacon which I swear was almost a centimetre thick, on a nice doorstep of grain bread. We ordered a slice of cheese on sourdough toast smothered in caramelised onion to share between us and filled us up nicely.

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