I must be a foodie. There is no other explanation for the amount of thought I put into meal plans, shopping lists and when I’m going to eat next.
Many of my weekend outings are structured around eateries, but being in London presents so many choices. There is almost too much choice. Trying somewhere new is great in theory, but there’s always risk involved. It could be awful or it could just be okay… and okay just isn’t good enough.
Time Out and Trip Advisor are normally good for ideas, but here are five of my favourite foodie finds in London. Tried and tested.
1. Borough Market (Southwark)
Visiting Borough Market was one of my first major foodie adventures in London and it is somewhere I would happily visit again and again. The Year 10 food tech group went on a trip here and I, in my capacity as editor of the school newsletter, was sent all the photos from the trip… that was all the convincing I needed!
What amazes me about this market, aside from the array of groceries and prepared food available, is that it is on almost every day of the week. In that sense, it’s almost old-fashioned, but the multicultural vibe is anything but. You can also find fine specimens of the latest baking hypes.
2. Brutti & Boni (Kensington & Chelsea)
Simple food, a small menu, but so perfectly flavoursome, just as Italian food should be. Here, the waiters are Italians, as are a number of customers, which immediately gives me high hopes for a place.
Their specialty is tortellini (filling yet mouth-wateringly moreish), but the paninis are great too. Eat in or grab to go and eat in Hyde Park.
3. Richmond Farmers Market (Richmond)
So I found this gem by chance within about two weeks of living in west London. There are stalls selling pastries, bread, brownies, cheese, fish, meat and more. You can also buy food to eat right away for lunch, like Moroccan chicken wraps, burgers and boreks.
What this market can boast that Borough Market cannot is the availability of sitting space (benches and grass, if it’s dry) just down the steps. It’s the perfect spot for enjoying your purchase, reading a book and looking out over the river.
4. Paperback Coffee (South Ealing)
A tea-loving friend, whose opinion I naturally trust, took me here first with the promise of excellent homemade cakes. I was not disappointed. From my visits so far, I am able to confidently recommend:
- Courgette cake… I felt adventurous
- Coconut cake… impressive as I don’t like coconut
- Homemade marmalade on soda bread toast… mm!
They also have a selection of second-hand books, hence ‘Paperback Coffee’, which are around £3 to £5. Books found on the shelves outside are the biggest bargains.
I struggled to decide whether the flagship Foyles shop would make it onto this list, but decided it is appropriate alongside the above (#4). With more floors of shelving than I can remember (is it five or six?), this bookshop is perfect for a Sunday afternoon of solitary browsing. Even if you’re with a friend, you’ll lose each other within three minutes.
After browsing (and purchasing), head upstairs to reconvene in the café. They serve a small but eclectic range of food, from tasty sandwiches and cakes to a more substantial meal option, which all seems to change every time I go!
Recommendations welcome whilst research for ‘5 Foodie Finds: London #2’ continues…