How to eat your way around London in 3 days

Last weekend, I did some things I’m ashamed of. Namely, I ate out for almost every single meal and this is how I did it:

After some very bad news and the resulting rollercoaster of a week, I kickstarted the long weekend with Dominos & Hummingbird Cupcakes at work, followed by a very brief trip to Pizza Express with one of my lovely little cousins and aunt for dough balls and a large glass of wine.

Saturday lunchtime saw a little trip to Covent Garden, where I met my long-lost friend Mae. Both starving, we ended up at The Diner, where I had an absurdly enormous hot dog topped with pulled pork. For £7.50 this was SERIOUSLY good – it was so large, I had to leave half (! – needless to say I did eat all the pulled pork). Also, any restaurant that serves ice tea is a tick in my book.

Saturday afternoon saw a brief stop at Starbucks for fuel to show off my beloved Greenwich Park to Mae, and later that evening it was on to Davy’sI have been wanting to eat here since we moved in seven months ago, and it seriously lived up to my expectations (at > 2 mins walk from my flat, it would be hard not to). Service was super efficient and super friendly, the wine list is as extensive as you would expect, and I had a delicious steak sandwich. The decor inside is as cosy and old-timey as you would expect from maritime Greenwich – it feels more like a country pub than zone 2, in the nicest possible way. Turns out Davy’s actually have a whole string of restaurants & wine bars all over London, so if you see one, I’d highly recommend.

On Sunday morning, we whipped up avocado & poached egg bagels and waved goodbye to Mae, before jumping on the DLR, Spitalfields bound. This was supposed to be a rare, non-food-oriented outing, but obviously as soon as we got to the food part, we failed. We did at least go for one of the healthier options, one that Matthew informs me his office raves about – Pilpel. Now we all know I am a falafel fanatic, and Pilpel is definitely amongst the best I have ever had. It was so fresh and crunchy, and  you can have guac in your falafel pita. Sold!

By this point in the weekend we thought we might as well throw caution to the wind and so we made our way over to Boxpark so I could introduce Matthew to Dum Dum Donutterie. Yes, we could have had a regular sized donut, but where’s the fun in that when you can have a tarte tatin cronut the size of your face? Exactly. Safe to say, it was delicious – and, actually quite light enough that we didn’t feel nearly as disgusting and full as we should have done by this point.

We had my sister and her boyfriend staying with us on Sunday night ’cause they’d been to the O2. When I heard that the new Breakfast Club at Crossrail Place was having its soft launch and taking reservations over the weekend, it seemed too good to be true so we snapped up a table and the four of us headed down for my first ever BC experience (I don’t queue for breakfast).

I was going to do a whole post on this, but my photos are shocking, so I’ll do a quick run down. The whole point of soft launches is so that staff can work out the kinks, and I have to say that there were quite a lot of kinks – every dish we ordered was delivered to the table behind us, and every one of theirs was delivered to us. But the staff were more than friendly everyone was in bank-holiday-high spirits, and the food was good.

Just in case we didn’t have enough food, we also followed a family tradition of ours with “pancakes for the table” – the best decision ever as they were SERIOUSLY delicious. We left stuffed and happy, and suitably smug when we saw the huge queue building out of the door!

Crossrail Place, by the way, is ridiculously impressive and futuristic, and after breakfast we took the opportunity to explore its roof garden, which is actually very similar to the Sky Garden.

With a Big Easy, a Sticks & Sushi and many others soon to open, it is set to become one of my favourite foodie destinations – so I’m sure there will be plenty more visits to feature on here!

SO there you have it – a month’s worth of naughty treats crammed into one crazy busy bank holiday weekend. What did you guys get up to?!

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adventures in the city

This week has been a busy one – between seminars on Monday and today, I fitted in a little jaunt to London for Tuesday and Wednesday. There is a productive reason I promise: I was asked to go up for an interview for an internship and since I’d be there anyway I decided to make a little trip of it and arranged to meet up two of my BFFs from our year abroad, Emily and Josie.

My interview wasn’t till 3:30 and so after the longest, dullest train journey from Exeter in the world, I arrived at Shepherd’s Bush with just enough time to have a little wander around Westfield before I had to venture back out into the cold to find the Sauce office. Before I left Exeter I’d been literally terrified by the prospect of this interview – as far as I was concerned it was my first proper big girl interview. The girls that interviewed me were both absolutely lovely though and made me feel very at ease. It seemed to go well and as soon as we can sort out dates I think I’m set!

I spent a happy couple more hours in Westfield (where I basically tried to buy everything in Zara – their sale is just too good) before it was time to head to Oxford Circus to meet with the girls. We’d sensibly agreed to meet “outside” Topshop, but I just couldn’t resist wandering in and admiring all the nail varnishes…at which point, obviously, my phone died. No worries, though, eventually we all found each other and were happily reunited. We settled on The Diner in Soho for dinner: our friendship was born and bred in the US of A and it seemed only fitting. The menu is mostly burgers and hot dogs, but with serious amounts of different variations, and they also have a “blue plate” section just like real US diners, and my favourite – an extensive cocktail list.

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Actually, the menu is so large and we’re so indecisive that we had to take at least 20 minutes to look it over and then had a slew of questions for our waitress, who was very patient and very very helpful. In the end, I opted for the “Yankee Pig Dog.” which was a hot dog topped with pulled pork, pickles and mustard. I thought the mustard was going to be a strange accompaniment for the pulled pork but it actually worked very well, and the roll was really nice, too – it was almost like pretzel bread. It was a lot of meat though what with the sausage and the pork, and I ended up leaving half the sausage for Emily to finish. To drink, I had the “Kentucky Mule,” which had Southern Comfort in place of the vodka usually used in Moscow Mules. It was strong, but tasted good – I’ve recently developed such a taste for cocktails involving ginger beer.

The Diner also do hard shakes, which we were intrigued by, but we decided that they would be too ice-cream-y and filling and we were already really full from the huge burger/hot dog situation! So instead of dessert we decided to head over to Covent Garden to visit one of my very favourite places, Adventure Bar. To anyone that hasn’t been: GO. You will not regret it. It was 8PM on  a freezing cold Tuesday and we were slightly worried that it might be a bit dead but no, the place was buzzing and we had sooooo much fun. All the bartenders are great; this time, we befriended Robin, who had us shaking our own cocktails and chatting away about life. Plus, every week day (I think – don’t quote me) they have 2 for £10 on certain drinks, and if you sign up to the mailing list you get a free drink – bargain! The bar just kept filling and by the time we left just after last orders at 11:30 it was completely packed. Really fun crowd and a cocktail list I don’t think I’ll ever get bored of – trust me, go there.

adventure bar

Next morning, I joined Emily on the bus to Oxford Circus, waved her off to work, and headed on my way for a morning spent wandering the streets. I decided to treat myself to breakfast at Patisserie Valerie, alone, which felt half terrifying and half liberating. Since it was so cold outside I went for green tea and apple and cinnamon porridge, which was full of seeds and absolutely delicious. It’s actually the only thing I got to take a picture of the entire day/weekend, so here you go:

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Apologies about the shadow – I was already feeling quite awkward & lame enough taking a photo of my solo porridge trip. Anyway, the staff at PV were really lovely and wished me a very cheerful farewell as I left which left me feeling very chirpy as I headed over to Liberty, which is basically my favourite place in the world. I could honestly live in the stationery room, and I spent a very happy hour or so stroking the leather of all the bags and plotting which ones I’ll buy when I have a real job and a real salary (as if).

Eventually I headed over to Covent Garden, where it started to snow! I was very, very tempted to go to Meat Market and got as far as walking down to look at it, but it was still too early for lunch really so I just wandered some more and eventually ended up buying a delicious chocolate praline cookie from Ben’s Cookies, watching the snow for a while, and then succumbing to the cold and parking myself in Starbucks with one of my dissertation books until it was time to head to Waterloo to catch my train back to Exeter.

All in all, a very successful couple of days (assuming this internship comes through – I’ve suddenly become hesitant to say I’ve got it!) and a lovely little break away from uni. Apologies about the lack of photos in this post: my iPhone battery just couldn’t take the pressure!