5 Foodie Finds: London

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.Borough Market

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.

http://boroughmarket.org.uk

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.

http://www.bruttiandboni.com

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, fiRichmond Marketsh, 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.

http://www.totallyrichmond.co.uk/Richmond/Richmond-Farmers-Market.html

4. Paperback Coffee (South Ealing)Paperback Coffee

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!
  • Tea

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.

http://www.paperbackcoffee.com

Foyles5. Foyles (Charing Cross Road)

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!

http://www.foyles.co.uk/Public/Stores/Detail.aspx?storeid=1011

 

Recommendations welcome whilst research for ‘5 Foodie Finds: London #2’ continues…

 

TV Review: BBC’s Cider with Rosie and Lady Chatterley’s Lover

BBC iPlayer is a godsend. It has saved my life more than once.

Like when the TV was juddering and I couldn’t tell whether Paul Hollywood’s dubious frown resolved into a positive comment or not.

Like when I was on the train home after a weekend away and wasn’t going to get back in time for the start of Poldark.

Like when I didn’t know the BBC was doing a series of 20th-century literature adaptations until it was almost over simply because I don’t watch enough TV in order to find out about these things. (Only on Wednesdays at 8pm for the last ten weeks…)

Cider with Rosie and Lady Chatterley’s Lover are two books I have on my lengthy to-read list. Their bucolic, time-gone-by settings are just the kind of thing I like to indulge in now and then, so, naturally, I turned to iPlayer for my fix.

Cider With Rosie, BBC

Source: BBC

At the immediate entrance of a horse-drawn cart trundling through a field, I had a good feeling about Cider with Rosie. The settings throughout – fields, woodland, the wildly overgrown cottage, the picturesque village – were idyllic, heightened by Timothy Spall’s voiceover of Lee’s text, full of beautifully poetic observations.

While these things enjoyed their screen time, however, the story began to bustle on through insensitively. The film soothed us into its handsomely painted environment and yet we were suddenly expected to be emotionally primed for when Laurie is on the verge of death! …and then better again! …and then when Frances dies! (…who?)

Throughout the whole hour and a half, I felt quite detached from Laurie. Rosie’s defiance amused me, but that only partly made up for the fact I felt sorry for Jo (Laurie’s first love interest), who was a relatively undeveloped character anyway.

Laurie’s mother, Annie Lee, played wonderfully by Samantha Morton, was the only character towards whom I was truly sympathetic. The strength of this adaptation is its representation of what must have been a physically and emotionally draining experience for her.

The first few minutes of Lady Chatterley’s Lover also tore through what seemed to me to be a sizeable helping of storyline. Yet the cleverly interwoven stories of the marriage of Constance and Sir Clifford Chatterley and Sir Clifford’s later experiences in the war immediately stirred my concern for these apparently doomed lovers. I briefly thought he would not survive, but it was worse: he returns, disabled, and promptly attempts suicide.

This sequence establishes the tone that runs throughout, the tone that has been criticised for not being that for which the novel is notorious. Knowing that Lady Chatterley would soon have a lover, I began to acknowledge how the strains of her marriage would drive her to this, despite clearly still loving Sir Clifford.

It matters not that this particular adaptation lacks full-frontal nudity, as the 1993 adaptation apparently boasts. We have Game of Thrones for that. In the words of director Jed Mercurio, what was titillating in DH Lawrence’s novel is no longer ‘groundbreaking’ and therefore his interest lay in the love triangle.

Lady Chatterley and Oliver Mellors… fully clothed.

So my expectations for Cider with Rosie are left sadly unfulfilled and my enjoyment of the DH Lawrence adaptation is nevertheless besmirched by the awareness that the story was told through a 21st-century tinted spectacle.

In both cases, I feel a need to reform my opinion by reading the books themselves. Never judge a book by its adaptation… no matter how good.