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Category Archives: London
All you healthy food junkies out there; pay attention! If you haven’t heard of the Good Life Eatery yet, it’s about time you had. Located on Sloane Avenue in West London, it’s one of London’s hottest health-food cafés and its first free-standing cold-pressed juice bar. Owners Yasmine Larizadeh and Shirin Kouros, both raised in the States, spotted a gap in the London market for a deliciously healthy food café and decided to set up shop. And I am sure glad they did.
Because the Good Life Eatery is very small, seating 25 people max, it means that you are likely going to have to wait to secure yourself a table at this healthy hotspot. When I got there a few weeks ago for brunch with friends, I got lucky and managed to secure myself a table after about a 15 minute wait. The cafe menu is scribbled onto blackboards behind the counter. I always get a little envious when I see those, if only I had such cool and neat writing! Anyway let’s move on, so not only does everything on the menu sound delicious, it’s also healthy and won’t affect your diet or waistline! Well, as long as you can ignore the (healthified) cakes right by the entrance that is ;)
For brunch we ordered the Zucchini Fettuchini; which is pretty much a superfood salad containing raw courgette noodles, almond pesto, edamame, broccoli, herbs, sundried tomatoes and goats cheese, the So-Fresh and So-Clean (Poached Eggs, Red and White Quinoa, Kale, Sweet Potato, Omega Seeds and Spinach Cashew Cream) and I went for the Skinny Benedict w/ wheat free Chia Bread.
The food was delicious, fresh, super healthy and filling! I loved my skinny Benedict. I usually never get Eggs Benedict because I don’t actually like Hollandaise sauce (I know, I am weird like that) but the skinny twist on this classic dish at the Good Life Eatery is that the benedict sauce is made from yoghurt and saffron and it was yum! I can’t wait to come back to try some other winners on their menu for lunch or dinner like the Goodness Bowl, Avocado on Toast or the Egg White Frittata.
The only negative comment I have to mention about this cafe is that I wish that they offered table service. Basically to order your food or drinks you have to line up at the counter (and that line can get pretty long) and I find that can distract from a nice catch up with friends because you’re all going up individually to order food. I think if they had table service people would get served quicker and this would also help with the wait of getting a table. Food for thought perhaps for their second location – which a little birdie told me may be on the cards this year! Fingers crossed it’s somewhere near me.
To finish brunch with something sweet we picked up some of their treat bowls. There’s the Sport Bites which contain apricots, raw almonds, hemp seeds and coconut oil & my new obsession; their Peanut Butter Cups made from organic peanut butter, spelt, cocoa and non-hydrogenated sunflower spread. These little healthy versions of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups have been on my mind ever since I had them, they were sooooo good. I am exploring Pinterest at the moment to find the perfect recipe so I can try to recreate them at home. Watch this space!
Have you been to the Good Life Eatery yet?
Just before Christmas I got invited by the people at Uncover to join them at Hubbard & Bell in Holborn for a delicious brunch, and to find out all about their exciting London dining app. Now you all know I love a bit of brunch and discovering new cool places so this was a pretty easy decision to make. Hubbard & Bell is a great new all-day-restaurant inside the The Hoxton Holborn Hotel. Hubbard & Bell has a gorgeous open kitchen serving grilled meats, seafood and small plates, and of course a wide choice of breakfast dishes and a weekend brunch menu. The cafe/restaurant design is modern and welcoming, I especially loved those big metal lamp shades!
Uncover hosted the brunch with a group of other lovely bloggers so we started off by drinking coffee (while exploring the menu) and bonded over our joint love of restaurants and food. Plus it’s great going out with other bloggers, you never feel silly for pulling out your DSLR at any opportunity ;)
For brunch I ordered the Avocado on sourdough with egg and pistachio! And because I may have had a bit of a (christmas party) hangover I also treated myself to side of bacon, nom nom! Now that’s what you call decent serving of bacon, don’t you agree?
Some other delicious brunch dishes ordered at our table were the Sourdough Pancakes with pineapple and brown butter, the Country Omelette with cheddar, spinach & shiitake and the Hubbard & Bell full English! All equally as tasty – you can check out their full menu’s here.
While we gobbled up our yummy brunch dishes, we of course also chatted about the Uncover app. London has so many amazing restaurants to choose from, but sometimes getting a table at a London hotspot isn’t all that easy. Now that’s where Uncover will come in handy as it is a new restaurant app that enables London foodies to seamlessly discover and book the most desirable restaurants at the last minute! The app allows you to search for restaurants near you or select an area, and it then taps directly into the restaurants’ booking systems so it only will display the places that actually have availability for you that day or evening. This eliminates the annoying process of trying to go through various restaurant booking systems and finding out they actually have no tables available.
There are already more than 150 restaurants on the app’s books with more being added every week. Some examples of the hotspots you can book on the app are Texture, Nobu, Wild Honey, Gymkhana, Arbutus, Michel Roux Jr’s Le Gavroche, Hawksmoor, Foxlow and Tramshed. People cancel hard-to-get reservations all the time and so the real beauty of Uncover is that it gives its users a quick and easy way to see when this happens and getting that table instead.
I love the concept of this app and definitely will be using it to get my last minute bookings in London going forward. And don’t worry, me and fellow foodie bloggers (Tara from Get The Skinny // Angela from The Awkward Blog // Suze from The Luxury Columnist and Fiona from London Unattached) gave the people from Uncover plenty of recommendations of fab London restaurants they should be adding to the App! The Uncover app is available to download for free at the App Store now – go check it out.
Brunch with Uncover was a real treat; delicious food at a fab new brunch spot and I got to meet some wonderful new people! Definitely check out Hubbard & Bell when you’re next in the Holborn area.
Hubbard and Bell at the Hoxton Hotel Holborn
199-206 High Holborn
London, WC1V 7BD
Phone: 020 7661 303
Sunday Roast with friends is one of my favourite weekend activities in winter! I love it so much that I’ve actually got an ‘official’ Sunday Roast Club that I host monthly where a big group of my friends all catch up and try different Sunday roasting venues in London. So it’s probably fair to say I am quite the Sunday Roast expert ;) In December we had our last roast club catch up of the year at Parlour in Kensal Rise, which is not far from my house (how convenient hehe).
Parlour in Kensal Rise was relaunched in 2013 by chef Jesse Dunford Wood – who is also behind the Mall Tavern, which is actually one of my favourite gastropubs in London (review here). The pub is pretty big and cosy inside, and even has a lovely beer garden for summer. They open daily from 10am to midnight Tuesday to Sunday, serving everything from brunch, lunch to dinner and of course Sunday Roast. Because it was close to Christmas they had a special group Christmas Roast menu ready for us at £25 for 2 courses or £30 for 3 per head. We went for the full three courses and oh boy, what a feast it was!
Now, I absolutely love cooking and most nights I will prepare myself a nice and healthy home-cooked meal….but sometimes there are those nights where I just can’t be bothered. For example it’s been a long and busy week and all I want is just to plonk myself on the couch and have dinner magically appear at my door. Now of course there are your standard takeaway and delivery options like chinese, kebabs, thai and pizza etc. but (as a bit of a food snob) I prefer my food fresh, healthy and of high quality. So when I found out about Deliveroo I was super excited.
Deliveroo is a new food delivery service that allows you to enter your location and order dishes from a list of your local restaurants, including restaurants that don’t usually offer a takeaway service! Some of the well-known restaurants part of Deliveroo service for example are places such as; Brindisa, Busaba Eathai, Chotto Matte, Ping Pong, Bubbledogs, Tsunami, Pizza East, Cay Tre, Crazy Homies, Lucky 7, Banana Tree, Pho and many more!
Last Friday was one of those nights. I was super tired and all I wanted was to have a Friday night in on the sofa with a movie so I decided to give Deliveroo a try! It’s super simple to use; all you do is go to www.deliveroo.co.uk, enter your postcode and they will tell you which restaurants they can deliver from. Select your restaurant of choice and selects the items you want from their menu and click submit.
Easy right? You will also get your food super fast as the average order only takes 32 minutes to be delivered. And even better, you can schedule orders for up to one day in advance and choose your desired time of day for delivery! Delivery is a fixed fee of £2.50 per delivery, which is peanuts really for this level of super speedy service.
On a gorgeous sunny autumn day a few weeks ago I met up with one of my close friends for brunch in my old hood, Notting Hill. When on Westbourne Grove I can never resist snapping pictures of Wild at Heart – one of the most stunning flower shops in London. I mean how can you not want to capture of all this floral loveliness?
Also on Westbourne Grove, just by Wild at Heart, was our meeting place for brunch, New Tom’s. In this same spot used to be the well known Tom’s Deli (which I adored) but that sadly closed down last year after 24 years of operating! Anyway, luckily Tom Conran has now reopened in this great Notting Hill location with New Tom’s which is going to be a 12 month pop-up restaurant serving ‘avant-garde modern cuisine’.
He’s brought in chef Tom Straker (who trained with Heston Blumenthal at Dinner) to serve up unique and interesting dishes using only the freshest ingredients all from Chef Tom’s family farm in Herefordshire. The interior has also had a bit of a revamp giving it a lighter and more contemporary look but I like that he’s kept the traditional British sweet shop at the entrance as a homage to the old Tom’s Deli.
Food wise the breakfast menu offers dishes like; Slow cooked duck egg mushroom duxelle, parmesan, bacon & onion brioche // Toms Eggs Benedict // Brioche french toast, summer berries, mascarpone & fresh fruit syrup // Pinhead oatmeal, rhubarb & crème fraiche // Delicious pastries plus good coffee and a good selection of healthy freshly squeezed juices and smoothies. We both however decided on the Poached hens eggs, avocado, sweet onions & sourdough toast + home smoked salmon.
The poached eggs were slightly overcooked for my liking, but then again I love mine very runny. The sweet red onions and an avocado/mayo like mouse were an interesting – but nice – addition. I probably have to admit that I preferred the original concept of Tom’s Deli a bit more but I do like the more modern menu of the pop-up. It’s also a little bit on the pricier side for brunch but maybe that comes with the fancier menu and top chef. I think the New Tom’s pop-up is open until April 2015 so do check it out before it closes (they take bookings – hooray!) and I am very curious to know what Tom Conran will open in this spot after that..
226 Westbourne Grove
London, W11 2RH