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[foodventures] The London Roundup

I have to start off by saying that a lot of food in London is very similar to what’s available in the States (or at least readily in Los Angeles).  I know there are some very particularly high-end restaurants that serve the kind of cuisine that I can only imagine to afford, but if you know my family, you know we like to keep things simple and enjoy the more hearty and soul-filled foods of the places we visit (if you like the fancy stuff, more power to ya).

That all said, we didn’t go out to eat at formal restaurants that often because we didn’t want to spend so much on food.  In general, London isn’t cheap.  For a few meals, we went to our local Tesco or Sainsbury’s markets to grab sandwiches and chips to eat on the go.  Keep that in mind if you visit, because that can really come in handy. My friend gave me that tip, and I didn’t think I’d take it to heart.  Well, I did.  It was pretty handy :).  It’s also ideal if you plan to picnic in one of the beautiful parks.

There were 3 things in particular that we wanted to eat here – 1) tikka masala which was invented in London and supposedly the most popular dish in the city, 2) fish and chips, and 3) meat pie.  I also really wanted to do afternoon tea, but I didn’t want to force it especially since we had our little guy.
Anyway, here’s our London roundup!Paul | 8/10
Multiple locations
Every day for breakfast, we grabbed croissants, pastries and coffee or tea at this spot called Paul.  It’s a French bakery that seems to be a large chain because we saw it nearly everywhere.  There just happened to be one a block away from us on the way to the tube, so we always stopped by for breakfast.  Everything we had here was good.  The chai tea latte was my go-to.  From our experience, coffee and tea are hot enough to drink right away.  Don’t expect piping hot drinks that will burn your tongue like they normally are in the States.  We actually loved this, but we know people who can’t stand it when their coffee isn’t piping hot.  You’ve been warned. 🙂

 

 

There was one day where Tristan actually went to pick up pastries and drinks and brought it back to our Airbnb.  Basically, we really ate it every day, to the point where they got familiar with us and even gave Dominic a free pastry.

Daawat | 7/10
372 Strand, London WC2R 0JJ
When it was time to look for tikka masala, we just used our Yelp app to find a spot by us once we were hungry.  A friend did recommend Dishoom, but there was at least an hour wait once we got there and the thought of trying to kill time for an hour with a toddler seemed daunting lol.  We found this spot called Daawat which was in the Strand Palace Hotel.  It was good, but not great.  I guess it’s what you should expect for an Indian restaurant that’s part of a hotel vs. a mom and pop restaurant unless it’s just supposed to be very different from what we get in Los Angeles.  It just seemed a little bland to me.

The Prince Bonaparte | 9/10
80 Chepstow Road, Westbourne Park, London W2 5BE
I have an old college friend that’s been living in London with her husband, so when we made plans to meet up with her, she suggested a restaurant that would fulfill our fish and chips and meatpie goal.  She’s basically a local, so we trusted her 100%.  We definitely recommend this spot!  Great environment and the food was tasty.  The service was great, and they even had high-chairs which not all restaurants had.

 

Borough Market | 10/10
8 Southwark St, London SE1 1TL
I really wish we has gone here sooner, but we waited until our final day in London to go here.  You will find a wealth of good options here.  Our stomachs could only hold so much, so I feel like we missed out.  Borough Market is a big open market with food made fresh to order by different vendors, so you just order and find a seat at an open table.  You’ll find a wide variety of food, and everything we were able to try was delicious.  They also have a lot of shops with homemade goods, so you can do some browsing around for goodies to take home as well.

 

 

 

 

 

^This is the salted beef sandwich.  Delish.

 

^ Scotchtails’ artisan Scotch eggs

 

 

^ Fresh fish & chips!

 

 

^ You even get a little dose of British humor over here

 

^ Amazing fresh squeezed juice for days…

Bugis Street Brasserie | 10/10
4-18 Harrington Gardens, London SW7 4LH
On the way from the tube to our Airbnb, we would always walk by this restaurant.  We were curious since we first saw it.  It’s a Singaporean restaurant, and we had never actually gone to one before.  We figured we would try it out if one night we were craving Asian food.  Well, one night we were craving some rice (#soAsian), and we weren’t in the mood to wander very far, so we decided to check out the menu.  We were pleasantly surprised!  The duck with the steamed buns were amaaazing.  It was also our first time trying Tiger Beer which I’ve heard was good – and yup, it’s the new favorite Asian beer.

 

Byron | 6/10
Multiple locations
So, we went here because the tagline was “proper burgers.”  Haha.  It was on our walk back from Kensington Garden, and we just figured we had to eat something “proper” in London.  I wasn’t blown away by it, but it was good.  Although, I have to mention that I had the veggie burger.  I’m actually hesitant to say much about this place considering the news that has been surrounding it.
The Tea Room @ Harrod’s | 8/10
87-135 Brompton Road, London SW1X 7XL

I had mentioned to Tristan that I thought it would be fun to do afternoon tea, but since he promised me Laduree in Paris, I wasn’t pushing for it in London.  Well, somehow the stars aligned, and when we were asked to visit Harrod’s to grab a souvenir for my father-in-law, we found a beautiful tea room amongst the shops.  Everything here was adorable, and the service was top notch (I mean, it IS in Harrod’s, right?).  They shorted us a sandwich, but that’s okay.  It always confuses me how full I leave from tea places after just eating a scone and tiny sandwiches.  The dessert was a pistachio and strawberry pastry that was delish.

 

McDonald’s
I’m not even going to rate this because it’s McDonald’s, but we always go to one in every country we visit just to see what interesting things they have on the menu.  They had a variety of these tasty wraps and the barbecue sauce was pretty different.  Not as many interesting options compared to other places, but it was still fun to check it out.
The one place we definitely won’t be recommending?  Taylor Walker.  We tried to go here for meat pies and fish and chips originally, and they ignored us for the most part.  One server was quick to help us get a table, but after that, several people were served before us.  More than one waiter looked at us then proceeded to another table.  When we checked on Yelp, many people complained about the service, so we decided to just leave.  It looks like a cool place to go to for a bit of the pub experience, but you’d probably be treated better at the Five Guys across the street.
One last thing, do yourself a favor and buy all of the random snacks you see at the market!  They’re a part of the London experience I feel, and they’re probably the best items you can take back home as souvenirs (Particularly Jaffa Cakes and all of their different chocolate bars.  My brother loved it all for their amusing names.  You’ll see).
Happy eating!

 

 

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