Over the last six months, There’s No Place Like Oz has become less and less of a travel blog and more of a travel + food blog — and I’m okay with that. I loved watching food TV, baking from time to time, and eating in a way that addresses my food sensitivities before I went to Australia, but the year in Oz took my interest in food to a whole new level. I’m no foodie, chef, or food critic, but I see no end in sight to rambling on about food and sharing a few amateur photographs with you all, so I hope you’re along for the ride!
Recently I spent 10 days in London visiting a fantastic group of friends and it was a perfect trip — full of good conversations, hugs, and food. Food was never on my mind during the previous four trips I’d made across the pond. I bought groceries from the supermarket and tried to eat as cheaply as possible since the exchange rate is abyssmal. This time, I came prepared with a modest budget and a goal to enjoy a few nice meals and tasty treats by sharing dishes with my friends. I LOVE shared meals, and my friends were keen to indulge me.
Everyone said Borough Market was a foodie MUST and the recommendation was spot on. Stalls with produce, meats, juices, pastries, made-to-order meals, and coffees abound in this market, located near London Bridge and Borough underground stations. Shel, Gavin, and I walked around to scope out our options before returning to various vendors to select a *cough*few*cough* items to share.
Just one part of the market (photo credit)
We started with an iced latte from Monmouth Coffee and for such a simple drink, it was one of the best I’ve ever tasted. Regulars and tourists queue for ages for a cup from one of the cafe’s talented baristas. This place is a must.
Gavin and I shared an ostrich burger and a kangaroo burger. The roo tasted a little gamey as expected, but I thought the ostrich tasted very similar to beef.
We couldn’t help purchasing an almond croissant from The Flour Station. “Hand rolled, delicate flaky and soft croissant, filled with frangipane, topped with almond paste and flaked almonds” — they had me at frangipane!
After a couple of bites of the croissant, we had to have a bite or two of a few other goodies that caught our eye.
Top: White chocolate and sea salt cookie from The Cinnamon Tree Bakery
Left: Lime, coconut & creme fraiche cake from Artisan Foods
Right: Orange and pecan shortbread from The Cinnamon Tree Bakery
A few friends also highly recommended a visit to Hummingbird Bakery, home of delectable cupcakes, comparing it to New York’s Magnolia Bakery. As I’d never been to (or even heard of…) Magonlia, I had to assume they were both places I should know about. Confession: I’m not a huge cupcake fan — the cake is often dry, the icing overly sweet, and I usually need to scrape half of the icing off as it’s nearly as tall as the cake itself!
The bakers at Hummingbird have a magic touch as it only took one bite for me to decide that these were the BEST cupcakes I’d had in years. The red velvet was the best of its kind I’ve ever tasted. The cake was moist and my teeth didn’t hurt with the first taste of icing.
Any chocoholics out there? Get yourself to Montezuma’s for one of their rich, gorgeous truffles.
I didn’t take photos, but I did try Hot Lips (“dark chocolate with tropical coconut and chilli” — it’s vegan!) and Montezuma’s Revenge (“dark chocolate with chilli, lime and tequila”). Of the two, I preferred the Hot Lips.
Montezuma’s also carries a variety of chocolate bars, and I purchased an Eton Mess (dark chocolate with strawberries and meringue) and Sea Dog (dark chocolate with lime and sea salt) bar to bring home and share.
London Food Adventures, Part 2
The food adventures continue later this week in part 2 with four great places I found on Urbanspoon or through recommendations from friends.