Located on a bustling street just about where Piccadilly turns into Soho is a charming little restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Bill’s is definitely part of a chain, but it’s comfortable and well-decorated, non-fussy, and with nice, efficient waiters. You can tell it’s the regular haunt for some of the people there, and I’m not surprised because it feels a bit like home and the coffee is delicious.
The Canton Arms in Stockwell, South London is local to where I live. I have heard a couple rave reviews so I thought it was time to give it a try- the results were ace.
It’s a bit of an old boozer, and the front of house doesn’t seem like much, some old stools and low tables, a wrap around bar with some good ales, your standard lagers and KP peanuts – but it has character and the crowd is not full of old boozers- it’s full of young, seemingly talented, slightly arty but not in that pretentious way, chatty, fun people. Then make your way around the back to the restaurant area and you are blasted with the buzz of happy people diving into plates of beautiful food. The smell is amazing.
Ok- today I am feeling nostalgic. Not many of you know, but I married my best friend this year and it was fabulous. Now, I’m not going to gush too much about the details (though I could for hours and might do later) I am simply going to tell you about a really great part of our wedding which might give some of you readers a little idea for your next big family event.
My man and I wanted to do something special for our families and wedding party before our big day. We ummm’d and awwww’d about what to do until we came up with a brilliant idea – we love wine and we love learning so let’s do something with both for our guests! Enter Charlotte and The Wine Key to lead a wine tasting class at our wedding rehearsal dinner.
It was wonderful! My in-laws are English and my husband and I especially wanted to share with them some of the gorgeous wines available in the USA and we also wanted to share some prize wines from Vashon Island, WA, where we were getting married, with everyone. Charlotte offered a number of options and guided me through their characteristics so that we could pick the perfect palate to match our very American, elegant BBQ theme.
I am obsessed with breakfast. I love sunrise, bacon, eggs, pastries, coffee, the excitement of reliving yesterday’s fun- really everything to do with the meal that starts the day. I usually make at least one cooked breakfast a weekend. Bacon is always on the menu, we are kind of bacon fiends here, but always from free range pigs.
I love beer. It’s many shades and flavors. It is an under rated beverage in comparison to wine, but it is making a big comeback in the form of small batches and microbrews. It’s delicious and complex, with variety to match anyones taste.
If you’re here in the UK, lucky you! You are in the home of ale! With Oktoberfest out of the way, it’s time to make new beer for Autumn. I am personally dying to try Pumpkin Ale. If anyone has a recommendation on which ones to try, please let me know! If your not into pumpkin, it’s hops harvest season, so those special batches with fresh hops will be around. Delicious. You’ll be able to find them at Cask Ale pubs all over the country. Don’t see one? Ask your bartender, they might know when it’s coming in.
This week, why not explore your love of beer, your love of ale, your love of relaxing. Just sit back with a lovely shade of that delicious copper-colored drink. I’ll let you know what I think about the pumpkin stuff…
We found this delightful wrap filled with bean cake, rainbow chard, sprouted beans, plantain and peppers and a delicious sauce at the Partridges Food Market in Duke of York Square in the King’s Road. The stall is called Rainbow Creations, and bases it’s food on the company mantra- ‘Let food be thy medicine and medicine thy food’. I must say, we did feel really good after eating all those colors and it tasted amazing! I am pretty sure you’ll find me there next week….
Partridges Food Market
Oh, and Rainbow Creations have a great website inclusive of soothing jungle sounds if you want to learn more, plus they do catering too!
Now, I’m not gonna say that I don’t like shopping for shoes – I love shopping for shoes. It’s a bit of a weakness really…. But nothing beats shopping for food. It’s vital that we eat, but it needn’t be a dull process when it comes to doing the shopping! For foodie fun there is hardly a better place than Borough Market for all sorts of delectable goodies, including these gorgeous chickens…
Slightly distracted by the delicious food here at Borough Market. There really isn’t anything to fault Borough, even the bustling crowd is a plus, shuffling you along to try new things. It’s one of my all-time favourite places in London. And I just can’t take my eyes of this sandwich… Yum!
This summer Gastronomica in Pimlico, London, an Italian restaurant with REAL Italian food, is opening its doors from 6-9pm every Wednesday for aperitivo and wine and you’re invited! Don’t miss it, it’s really special.
Here is the story…
In 2000, Marco Vineis, tired of his fast lane job in the City, founded Gastronomica to import high quality food from Italy and provide advice to chefs in the UK. Here is Marco- he’s the one in the hat!
I just want to say Bravo! to Konditor & Cook. Unpretentious yet deliciously serious about baked goods, they offer lovely cakes, cookies, brownies, and their famously creative Magic Cakes, which are like bright and cheerful petite fours. The discerning customer, I am sure, keeps coming back because the cake tastes just as good as the icing. Actually, it tastes better, which makes sense as ‘konditor’ means pastry chef in German.
Unlike some other bake shops, which offer delightfully colourful mouthfuls of icing atop slightly dry and flavourless cakes, Konditor & Cook seem to pay as much attention to their sponge recipe as to their icing decorating. They claim to only use natural butter and organic free range eggs, which, in my experience, really does make a difference to the taste and texture of a cake. It’s not only mental, I promise. Their cakes are delicious and just look at how fun those Magic Cakes are! These ones are for a wedding.
Konditor & Cook has character to top it all off. Each shop feels special, using the architecture of the building as part of it’s decor rather than putting a same-old, ready-made design inside the space.
Located in Waterloo, on the South Bank, Chancery Lane and a few other spots, it’s worth it to have a look and a taste! Visit http://www.konditorandcook.com/ to find your nearest shop or to buy online. You can also read about their attempt at making a portrait of the Queen for HRH Diamond Jubilee! All made of those mini Magic Cakes, you won’t believe it ’til you see it!
It’s a great place to go for a cup of tea and a scrumptious snack and it’s even worth a bit of a trek. Just ask the people who voted Konditor & Cook in for Time Out’s 101 best things to do in London!
Oh, and one more thing, when I went there, I was having a real bad day… I think the guy serving me could tell because he gave me a free magic cake when I left. Sweet- in every sense.