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Category Archives: London
When it comes to breakfast places; breakfast at The Wolseley is definitely a London institution. “Breakfast is everything. The beginning, the first thing. It is the mouthful that is the commitment to a new day, a continuing life,” as written by A. A. Gill in his book ‘Breakfast at The Wolseley’.
Ever since moving to London it was one of those bucket-list-experiences that I just had to do at some point. I can’t believe it took me almost 4 years to tick it off. Useless I know!
The Wolseley is an all day café-restaurant located on Piccadilly next to the Ritz hotel. Starting at 7am on the dot from Monday to Friday (and from a gentler 8am at the weekend), breakfast at the Wolseley is served from an extensive menu. The Wolseley actually manages to turn 350 covers in a day and you can see how when you experience their smooth and speedy service (without making you feel like you need to eat and leave asap, as some places can be).
On weekdays breakfast at the Wolseley seems to be the place for advertising execs, media types and business folk conducting their early morning meetings over coffee and delicious pastries. To get a table it is definitely necessary to book in advance, so when my best friends birthday was coming up and seeing are both pretty swamped at work, we decided to have a pre-work celebration with breakfast at The Wolseley! Our booking was for 7.30am and when we arrived the place was already buzzing with people. The interior and feeling is one of a Vienna grand cafe that feels posh but without being over-pretentious.
I had been out for dinner the night before (where I’d consumed a few too many wines – whoops) which meant I had a bit of a hangover, so the first thing I craved was coffee and a freshly baked pain au chocolate! It went down a treat. Oh and my friends’ boyfriend knows his coffees and confirmed to me recently that, to him, the cappuccino at the Wolseley is one of the best around! And that says something ;)
I told the waiter it was my friends birthday so had asked them to surprise her with a candle on her pastry (which they couldn’t do unfortunately) but they did provide a lovely marzipan birthday plaque!
When it came to ordering breakfast it was a pretty tough decision because I’d read so many good things. The breakfast menu offers everything from bircher müesli, fruit and porridge to bacon & fried egg rolls, fish cakes and croques monsier to a traditional full English fried breakfast. However my hangover seemed to be craving a sweet & salty fix that morning, so when I spotted the french toast with bacon, I was sold!
The birthday girl had the ‘potato rösti with avocado, tomato and a hen’s egg’ and her boyfriend went for their much-raved-about-signature dish the ‘Eggs Benedict’.
The french toast was one of the best I’ve had in years! Some people think bacon with french toast is a strange combination but trust me once you’ve tried it you won’t go back, it’s delicious and the perfect sweet and salty combination. The bacon was super crispy and I demolished this breakfast. The service was very friendly and efficient and I can see why The Wolseley such an institution in London. It was a great way to start our Friday morning. We both went to work full and happy! I will definitely be back for breakfast and can’t wait to try their afternoon tea which is also meant to be divine.
160 Piccadilly London W1J 9EB
Note; it’s definitely worth making a booking ahead of time for breakfast at The Wolseley!
A little while back I tried a new brunch place in South Kensington. I am normally not one for the hotel breakfasts, but the brunch menu at Apero sounded pretty appealing so was keen to give it a go. Apero is located in the cellars of the Ampersand boutique Hotel in the heart of South Kensington. The atmosphere and décor in Apero is really nice and very casual, with wooden chairs, bricks and tiles, and it looks like your typical brunch cafe instead of a hotel restaurant. Me and a friend started off with coffee while deciding what to get from the weekend brunch menu.
They offer a ‘help yourself’ from the counter option for £14 which means you can help yourself as much as you want from the buffet table which has: Orford smoked cheddar, Emmental, Brie, Gloucester Old Spot ham, Mortadella, Feta & Spinach croissant, Homemade muffin, Cinnamon brioche, Chocolate brioche, Assorted pastries, Banana bread, Sour dough bread, Fresh fruit salad, Loseley yoghurt, Greek yoghurt, Bircher muesli, Granola, Cereals, Dried fruits and unlimited hot drinks & juice. So if you’re hungry, go for this option!
Or you can select from the a la carte menu with options like; a Full English Breakfast, Brioche French Toast with bacon, cinnamon & banana, Cumberland Sausage Ring with fried eggs, Homemade Waffles with vanilla poached pear & chocolate or Coconut Porridge with caramelised banana. My friend went for the ‘from the counter option’ and got stuck in at the buffet to try a bit of everything!
Back at our cute little private (cave) table by the window, we shared the many treats like Banana Bread, Fresh Grapefruit, Bircher Muesli and a selection of cheeses.
From the a la carte menu we got the Turkish style eggs with yoghurt & chilli and the Avocado on grilled sourdough with coriander & lime. I was extremely excited for the Turkish style eggs (because I am addicted to Peter Gordon’s version at The Providores & Tapas room) but unfortunately they didn’t quite live up to their expectation. It was tasty, but just not what I was expecting so was a little disappointed. It basically was more poached eggs covered in a chilli & yoghurt sauce which tasted good but it just wasn’t what I was craving. The avocado on sourdough with coriander & lime was simple and delicious. You pretty much can’t go wrong with avocado on toast in my books.
Overall I enjoyed brunch at Apero. The one thing to remember is that it is still a hotel so the vibe isn’t very buzzy but that makes it perfect for a more quiet brunch catch up morning, right in the middle of South Kensington. Oh and you can book a table online so that’s always a bonus. Brunch is served Saturday and Sunday from noon to 2.30pm. Find out more at aperorestaurantandbar.com.
Apero Restaurant & Bar
2 Harrington Road
Are you a fan of hotel breakfasts or do you prefer a little cafe?
I had my parents visiting me in London this weekend so here are a few pictures from my Instagram to show you what we got up to! They arrived Saturday morning so of course, the first thing I had to do was cook them brunch at ‘cafe Roz’ at my new home.
My home-cooked Shakshuka brunch for mum & dad. I love this spiced tomato egg dish and it’s very easy. Watch this space for the recipe // Going for a big walk exploring (and getting a little lost) in Hampstead Heath // Kenwood House in Hampstead Heath // Enjoying some tea and cakes at the cafe at Kenwood House in the park before walking back home.
Ready for dinner out in Notting Hill, wearing striped top from Oasis (now on sale -link!) with leather pencil skirt from ZARA // Beautiful decor and lighting at the Dock Kitchen // The Dock Kitchen by Stevie Parle is a great restaurant overlooking the Grand Union Canal in Ladbroke Grove, West London. The food was delicious and we had a lovely evening. Review and more photos to follow!
I’d heard about a Sunday’s Farmers Market in Queens Park (which is just around the corner from my house) so this weekend I decided to explore it with my parents. Like father, like daughter; we both share a of love food so all the fresh produce and market stalls was a treat and great way to start the day! Mum and dad had coffee with fresh croissants for breakfast and I couldn’t resist a slightly naughtier breakfast roll with egg and a venison sausage from the Picks Organic Farm stall. Nom nom :) The Queens Park Farmers Market is on every Sunday from 10am – 2pm. More information HERE.
On Sunday the annual famous Boat Race was on between Cambridge and Oxford. Seeing my mum is a keen rower she was rather excited to check out this race on the Thames // We headed out to Putney, stocked up on some freshly popped popcorn and drinks and secured our spot along the river to cheer on the rowers. The weather was quite windy and a bit rainy but it was great fun to see the all the excitement and many people celebrating such a big event.
After being outside for most of the afternoon we could do with some warming up, so the best way to do this was to going to a cosy pub for a Sunday Roast! We went to one of my favourite pubs in Notting Hill/Kensington which is the Windsor Castle. Their roast is always top-notch and their sticky toffee pudding…..YUM! // On Monday, I unfortunately had to go to work but mum & dad continued to explore around London and checked out the National Gallery to see the Veronese exhibition – which they said was beautiful // We reunited again in the evening for dinner at Ottolenghi in Islington. Me & dad are both a little bit Ottolenghi obsessed so it was amazing to go to his flagship restaurant in London for dinner together. Of course a full (picture heavy) review filled with plenty of foodporn to follow!
What a great family & food filled weekend!
In the autumn and winter months I love nothing more than catching up with friends on a Sunday afternoon in a cosy pub over a yummy Sunday Roast! I actually run a Sunday Roast Club with my friends (that has grown to about 60 members) and every 3 weeks or so I will organise a Pub Roast for whoever can make it. Sometimes it will be for 10 people and other times it can end up more like 20-25 people and the official record biggest Sunday Roast once was 38 of us! I have tried many pubs in London (but predominantly around West London) for Sunday Roast and one of my favourites in London would still have to be The Mall Tavern in Notting Hill.
A few weeks ago I hosted my Sunday Roast Club at the Mall Tavern and I decided to book their lovely upstairs private room ‘The Library’ for me and my 15 friends.
Why do I love the Mall Tavern? The food and service is always amazing! Because we were with bigger group and dining in the private room I had arranged for a Set Sunday Sample menu at £25 per person. This meant we’d have a selection of starters for the table to share, followed by our personal choice of meat for the roast with all the trimmings and finishing off with desserts once again to share. Pretty good deal I think! Ready to see our Sunday Feast?
The starters were; Fresh warm soda bread. I need to find myself the recipe for this kind bread because I don’t know how they bake it at the Mall Tavern but it seriously out of this world delicious and moorish! // Fried brie with cranberry sauce // Smoked beetroot mousse with pine nuts & parsley flat bread // Chicken liver pate with roasted baby onions // PGT Village’ smoked salmon.
It all tasted so good we demolished the starters – not even aware of how much food was still to come. Oh oh! For the roast, on arrival we all placed our orders for our choice of meat. The options were; roast beef, salt baked chicken (for 2) or nut roast. Plus a table piled up with yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes & vegetables and all the trimmings & lots and lots of gravy. Just how I like my roast basically!
The salt baked chicken is definitely a winner at the Mall Tavern. Baking chicken in a salt crust allows it to cook in its own juices without drying, and this makes for a remarkably tender and succulent meat! There was definitely plenty of food on the table we all got stuck in.
Then even though we were all pretty stuffed from our roasts, next up was the sharing desserts! For the table we got; Blood orange cheesecake // Sticky toffee pudding ‘and you do the rest’ – what this means is a sticky toffee pud that comes with a bonus selection of delights (like honeycomb, biscuits and chocolate, yumm) // Apple & rhubarb crumble with custard // and last but not least their signature homemade salted caramel chocolate rolos!! I am absolutely addicted to these melt-in-your-mouth treats. And did you know they do them as take-away…oh oh!
Once again The Mall Tavern delivered, we had a fantastic Sunday Roast Club session and all left feeling happy (and very full…)
The Mall Tavern
71-73 Palace Garden Terrace,
Notting Hill Gate, London, W8 4RU
Phone: 0207 229 3374
Recently I was meeting up a friend in West Hampstead and because brunch catch-ups are my favourite, she recommended we go to The Wet Fish Cafe which is very a popular brunch spot in that area. The Wet Fish Cafe has actually been around for 11 years on West End Lane and the kooky name stems from the location being a classic ‘wet fish shop’ for most of the 1900s. The Cafe & Brasserie is open from 10am (12pm on Mondays) – until 11pm daily and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. The menu is described as “modern comfort food using fresh seasonal ingredients”. So let’s check out the brunch shall we?
The brunch menu (link) includes healthy options like fruit and greek yoghurt or indulge in yummy treats like french toasted brioche w amaretto, bananas, red berries & maple-agave syrup, the potato, chorizo & egg scramble or their eggs hampstead which is poached eggs with salt cod-mash & hollandaise on muffins.
I really loved the art in the cafe! They have different exhibitions on display during the year and at the moment the walls are covered with limited edition prints by Ben Levy who is a north London based portrait / figurative artist. People describe Ben’s work as ‘pop art with a rebellious twist’. See the prints and prices here.
We started off with coffee and eyeing up their delicious home baked cakes before deciding on our brunch choices. I can never resist some runny egg goodness at brunch so I had the poached eggs w crispy pancetta on homemade corn bread and asked for a side of avocado.
The eggs were perfectly poached and the salty herbed corn bread was a nice change and complimented the eggs very well. My friend has already had breakfast so decided on to get something more lunchy to eat and had the braised ox stew w curly kale, potato & celeriac mash.
Unfortunately she found this dish a bit too heavy and bland, so I think she ended up being slightly envious of my brunch hehe! I liked the neighbourhood cafe vibe of this low-key cafe and would definitely go here again for brunch if in the area. Have you been to The Wet Fish Cafe before for brunch or maybe dinner?
The Wet Fish Cafe
242 West End Lane, West Hampstead
London NW6 1LG