Category Archives: travel

Best London restaurants

I originally planned on writing one big post about restaurants, shopping, and sightseeing in London but I quickly realized that would be a massive post! And I know no one likes to read those, so I decided to break it up. After all, the topic of the best London restaurants could probably take up a whole blog on its own, let alone just a post.

So I’m just going to cover the best London restaurants and dessert shops in this post – stay tuned for another post about other great food from London’s markets and afternoon teas!

10 Greek Street – this is a small restaurant in Soho that I decided was a must-try after seeing it recommended on multiple websites. And it definitely lived up to its recommendations. Hayley and I shared some small plates, which were all good but the highlight was the bruschetta with burrata, onion, pine nuts, and broad beans. We are great at sharing except when it comes to dessert, so we decided to get our own. And I’m glad we did because there is no way I would have wanted to share my apricot and almond tart!

10 Greek Street

Bibimbap – To be honest I’ve never actually had bibimbap from a restaurant before, so I don’t have anything to compare this restaurant to, but I really enjoyed it and it seems to be popular since there was a 10-15 minute wait to get a table on a week night!

Bibimbap

C Lidgate – okay this place isn’t actually a restaurant: it’s a butcher shop that apparently has the best meat pies in all of London. After hearing this we of course had to try one, so one evening we picked ourselves up a coq au vin pie and took it back to Marlow to bake it. The verdict? Pretty delicious! The pastry was perfection, but I actually prefer my own coq au vin recipe.

C Lidgate coq au vin pie

Lick – This was actually my first time trying gelato! Usually gelato is a no-go for me because of my nut allergies, but the person at the counter reassured me that they take measures to prevent cross-contamination at Lick. Hayley and I shared the honeycomb flavour, which we both really enjoyed.

Lick gelato

Mildred’s – if you’re a vegetarian or vegan travelling in London, it has no shortage of restaurants for you! We tried out Mildred’s, which was a seriously hopping place so we knew it must be good. We split the pan fried halloumi, cherry tomato and wilted spinach with balsamic glaze to start, and we both loved it. I was craving vegetables after not eating many for the past few days, so I ordered their organic energizing detox salad with beets, carrots, fennel, sprouting beans, sultanas, coriander and toasted seeds with an apple ginger dressing and tofu for my main. It was good, but I wish I’d ordered something else like Hayley’s risotto cake with grape mustard cream sauce or the vegetarian burrito with guacamole.

Mildred's

The Pudding Bar – I’m so glad I was in London when I went or else I might have missed this pop up shop that is only open for a few months. The name might mean explaining though… because it’s not a bar devoted entirely to pudding! “Pudding” is actually what they call dessert in the UK. Hayley and I split two choices: the s’more cheesecake with clotted cream ice cream and the strawberry Eton mess. So delicious!

The Pudding Bar

Polpo – this is a small plates style restaurant that serves Venetian cuisine. There are a couple locations in London, but we went to the one in Notting Hill. We had the spicy pork and fennel meatballs; prosciutto, smoked mozzarella and rocket pizzette; and zucchini with Parmesan and basil. Everything was great, and I was really impressed with how they managed to make zucchini (a very boring vegetable in my opinion) so delicious.

polpo

Recipease – this is Jamie Oliver’s food and kitchen shop that offers a selection of prepared foods, pantry foods, kitchen equipment, cooking classes, and a cafe serving breakfast, lunch, dinner, and drinks. Hayley and I stopped here for tea on our first day in London and we made sure to return for a meal before the end of my trip. I had two small plates: Smoked salmon with potato and radish salad and horseradish creme fraiche and smashed spicy avocado on sourdough toast. Both were fantastic and exactly the style of fresh, simple cooking I would expect from Jamie’s restaurant.

Recipease

Sticks n’ Sushi – Hayley declared she was craving sushi one day and of course I was on board (when do I not want sushi?), so she did a quick search and found this winner. On top of beautiful decor it also has great service and a really intriguing menu. The only downside is its prices. Luckily I wasn’t feeling too hungry so I didn’t have to order much, but my tatami roll (avocado, cucumber, salmon, dengaku miso, chives, red onion, and fresh ginger) and seaweed salad still came to over £16 (that’s about $30 in Canadian dollars)!

Sticks n Sushi

We clearly found a lot of great restaurants in London, but I wish I had another few months there to eat my way through the city!

Have you ever been to London? What’s your favourite restaurant there?

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Things to do in Marlow

Hi again everyone! I’m back from my trip to the UK – and it was amazing! I feel like I’m bursting with things I want to post about. But I’m going to take it one topic at a time, and start with my stay in Marlow, which is a small town about a 30 minute drive from London.

Things to do in Marlow

Hayley is nannying for a family who lives there, so that’s where I stayed, and we just made the trip into London most days. There were about 3 days total we spent in Marlow though so I got a pretty good feel for it. Here are some of my highlights from my time there and my suggestions for things to do in Marlow:

Food

Fego Cafe is a cute cafe on High Street that serves breakfast and lunch. I went there a handful of times and always enjoyed my meal. My favourite was their “Mediterranean Brunch”, which was grilled halloumi, avocado, peppers, tomato, spinach, and mushrooms on toasted poppy & rye sourdough topped with a poached egg, pesto, and rocket.

Things to do in Marlow

I also had Fego Cafe’s full English breakfast on my last morning there because I felt it was an English experience I needed to partake in (pictured below, plus toast). It was good, but seriously filling – I wasn’t hungry until 10 hours later!

Things to do in Marlow

We also went to The Cedar Coffee Shop for lunch one day. It has a Mediterranean inspired menu with sandwiches, wraps, and salads, but I got that day’s special of chili con carne stuffed sweet potato topped with crème fraîche. It was delicious!

Things to do in Marlow

Marlow is also the home of a two Michelin star restaurant The Hand and Flowers – it is actually the only pub in the world to be awarded Michelin stars. We went there one night on a whim and got a seat at the bar because tables are often booked months in advance.

I started with the potted artichokes with cured pork, summer truffle, trompette, and rye cracker. Unfortunately I found this dish pretty bland and unimpressive. My main was the fillet of sea bass with roast tomato fondue, peppers, and aubergine “provençal”, thyme salt, and French olive oil. I enjoyed this plate, especially the flavour of the aubergine, but the fish needed salt. I ordered the chocolate ale cake with salted caramel and muscovado ice cream for dessert, which again was lacking in flavour. Overall the meal was not what I would expect from a Michelin star restaurant. For the price we paid, which was about $330 total (including alcohol), it wasn’t worth it to me.

The Hand and Flowers

Things to do

Marlow is on the Thames River, and it has an amazing trail that runs along it and throughout the nearby fields. Hayley and I took a long walk one evening by the river, along fields of sheep, and down a path lined with tons of blackberry bushes that anyone can pick. The scenery almost made me feel like I was in Pride and Prejudice!

Things to do in Marlow

It’s also a great place for boating. On nice weekends you’ll see plenty of locals out on their boats enjoying the weather. There are also boating tours for visitors that will take you down the river to nearby towns and attractions. I never did one of those tours, but I did join in with Hayley’s kayak and canoe club one Sunday for their weekly excursion up the river to a little tea shop.

Things to do in Marlow

On my second day there we spent time exploring the town and shopping. Marlow has plenty of shops with English brands like The White Company, Whistles, Jigsaw, Cath Kidston, and Sweaty Betty.

One day we also took a day trip out to Windsor Castle, which is one of the Queen’s castles and is just a short drive away from Marlow. It was my first time visiting a real historical castle – I was in such awe of how big and grand it is! You can just tour the castle on your own, but we decided to do the audio tour which was really informative and taught us a lot about its history.

Windsor Castle

That’s a wrap for things to do in Marlow, but I’ve got some posts about my food and sight-seeing adventures in London coming up next!

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I’m off to England!

Hi everyone!

Today I’m boarding a plane at 8:55 am for my first ever trip overseas. My sister is an au pair in England for the year and she has some time off, so we’re going to be spending the next 12 days frolicking around England.

london Picture credit to Henri1407 via pixabay.com

I have some posts scheduled to go up during this time, but otherwise I won’t be online much.

See you back on the 12th!

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