There’s a few good reasons to love London. First, it’s the European food mecca of diverse offerings. You could be craving a very specific, traditional dish and I’m pretty sure that a simple Google search will come up with a bunch of options. Second, (as if the first reason wasn’t enough) it’s a cosmopolitan city with stunning architecture, fabulous museums and so much historical value. Honestly I can’t imagine ever being bored here. And yes, I hear you, it might be an expensive destination when you’re earning…well most other currencies really, but if you save up, plan ahead and browse through the countless city (food!) offerings it’s truly an unparalleled place. I’m keeping it simple today and want to share just a few new discoveries during my recent trip and must do’s on either a one day trip or a weekend in London.
1. Thalys/Eurostar (travel)
This is by far the best way to travel, especially if you live in Western European cities. The comfort of travelling with Thalys from Amsterdam to Brussels is unmatched, with free WiFi & plugs to charge devices. A quick change of trains puts you in the Eurostar train that speeds up and takes you straight to Central London, to St. Pancrass International, where direct tube lines go to all greater London destinations. My trip from Amsterdam to London went by so fast, I wasn’t even able to edit and write 2 articles before arriving! 🙂
2. Crumbs & Doilies (cupcakes)
Although many of you probably don’t know her, in the food blogging community this lady has become somewhat of a star! Who am I talking about? Cupcake Jemma! Together with her business partner, Jemma (who’s the primary reason for me to start + learn (to love) baking) has opened this flagship store in Soho. Their collection of cupcakes (and other goodies + merchandise) is dazzling! I couldn’t help but to try each one of the cupcakes and since they offer bonbon sized versions as well, I did! Whether it’s a quick shopping break or a massive sugar craving, Crumbs & Doilies is an absolute must-visit when in London. I’d like to consider myself as their #1 fan! 😉
3. Caravan (brunch/lunch)
A friend of mine told me to go to Caravan on my way back, but honestly after having a quick brunch there before heading back to Amsterdam I totally wish that I’d tried out all their food! The atmosphere is somewhat hipster(-ish) and totally laid back at the same time. The location: right behind King’s Cross/St. Pancrass station. Now although I can blabber on and on about their fantastic menu, open kitchen with the coolest bunch of cooks, the most charming floor manager you’ll ever meet and absolutely fabulous staff, I decided to share some images of the environment outside. Why? Because it’s f*cking brilliant! A huge pattio with sprinklers, a tiny canal that reminded me of my hometown and wide steps covered with fake grass turn give his area somewhat of a festival vibe. Fantastic duing summer months! Please skip the Big Ben and spend some time at Caravan! You won’t regret it, I promise! 🙂
4. Chinatown (neighborhood)
As a former citizen of (almost entirely Asian) Vancouver I’m always drawn to Chinatown whenever I’m in any capital city. Although I’ve never been able to find the same level of food authenticity as in Vancouver, I love strolling around the narrow, red colored streets of Chinatown. Walking around is one thing, but discovering the slightly bizarre food offerings (and an overdose of Hello Kitty crap of course) is so much fun. London’s version of Chinatown literally has everything, from streetfood (cheap as hell!) to all-you-can-eat buffet concepts, from small restaurants with 100 menu items featuring one specific food item to bakeries with super sweet goodies. In the heart of this colorful neighborhood lies a bakery (named Chinatown Bakery…thumbs up for marketing guys!) that toasts cute little (Nemo-look-alike) fish-waffles with an unspecified filling. Although I never discovered what it was that I ate, it was the perfect ending to an afternoon stroll through this lovely, city center neighborhood.
5. iRobert (restaurant)
The posh vibe of Mayfair always carries that elegant London feeling that most of us around the world like about this city. Minutes away from so many fantastic landmarks, in a brand new building lies what at first seems like a tiny restaurant, but upon entering you discover a fabulous, two-floor establishment named iRobert. When the restaurant owner invited us to this brand new addition to the countless London food establishments we of course went to try-out their food. With a great mix of Mediterranean cuisine, beautiful artwork throughout and very friendly staff I think that this restaurant is an excellent addition to the Mayfair area. Make sure to go for a walk down in Green Park after! I’ll leave you with a bunch of visuals of the delicious dinner that we enjoyed at iRobert, London.
For more information on Thalys click here
For more information on Eurostar click here
For more information on Crumbs & Doilies click here
For more information on Caravan click here
For more information on iRobert click here