As I promised in my previous entries on my trip to London, I am now going to tell you about some of our culinary experiences. You already know that I love British food, and I had to make the most of it. Of course, and as you might imagine by now, one of the chosen restaurants was Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen, near Old Street, in Islington. On their website they say that they “cook elegant, rustic, honest food that flicks your senses from classic, nostalgic flavours to new, inspired dishes cooked by super-skilled young minds.” With this project Jamie Oliver has helped hundreds of unemployed young people, who have often been brought up in disadvantaged environments, to learn to work in the restaurant business and has given them the chance to have a better future. In addition, the Fifteen donates all its profits to Jamie Oliver’s charity, whose main objective is to provide a better access to food education, contributing to a healthier world. And the food… As Jamie would say: absolutely delicious, gorgeous, fantastic food, incredible, oohhh, wow…
The pictures I took were not great. I forgot to take pictures to the nibbles. And then, half of the pictures I took turned out blurry, so here you can only find a photo of the Telmara Duck Breast, but we also tried the Hereford Short Rib. I can tell you that the duck would melt in your mouth, as they cook it very slowly for many hours. I am more of a veggie, but I have to recognise that I was conquered by these fantastic dishes. The desserts were delicious too. I’m sorry to tell you that if you get to go to the Fifteen you will not be able to try the same dishes, as they change the menu quite frequently, but you will equally enjoy it.
The other restaurant I would like to talk about is Heddon Street Kitchen, which belongs to the Gordon Ramsay Group restaurants. Gordon is another of the British star chefs, whose restaurants have been awarded fifteen Michelin stars in total. Heddon Street Kitchen was our chosen restaurant for the typical brunch. As it couldn’t be any other way, I chose the Eggs Bennedict (have you seen Gordon insistently asking apprentices to know how to cook perfectly poached eggs and hollandaise sauce at the American edition of Masterchef?) with smoked salmon, and J. asked for the Avocado on Toast (avocado wedges on pumpernickel, poached egg, mustard mayo). It was absolutely delicious and I was only disappointed by not ordering any desserts but we were so full we didn’t want to get sick after having eaten too much. The portions of food were generous, and to top it all, we didn’t go to the restaurant on an empty stomach. The restaurant location is also excellent as Heddon Street is just off Regent Street.
But pub food can never be missed when travelling to the UK. We were very lucky as our hotel was very close to the Victoria Pub, in Paddington, where the food was marvellous as well as traditional British pub food, which was what I was looking for. We were not very hungry so we just shared this Bangers and Mash and this Sticky Toffee Pudding.
When we were in Notting Hill we tried to go to Bill Granger’s restaurant but it was absolutely packed and the queue outside was endless (they do not take reservations). I suppose that being a Saturday, the day when Portobello Market is at its full, it was not the best of times to go. I still decided to leave you a picture of Granger & Co. from the outside. Next time we will be in London we will definitely be eating here. The rest of my culinary recommendations will be on bakeries and cake shops. One of them is Konditor & Cook, which has several branches all over London. I went to the Borough Market shop, where I tried this delicious Spiced Brownie. You already know that I love brownies and this was definitely worth a try as it was delicious.
I would also suggest you try one of the cakes at The Hummingbird Bakery. We went to the Portobello branch, but they have a few shops in London. We tried the Pumpkin Chai Cupcake and the Cheesecake Brownie, but there are so many more cakes to try… I absolutely loved them.
However, the best cake I tried during this trip to London was in one of the establishments at Kingly Court, in Carnaby Street. It was a steamed pudding that I shared with my dear friend E. and… Oh My God! I have no words. I couldn’t believe that something so small could taste so good. I will be remembering that cake for the rest of my life. I hope you have found my suggestions interesting and that you got some ideas if you are travelling to London. But London has so many places to go that there are thousands of venues to stop by.