Brew for Two

Brew for Two

After a girly day out of mooching around the discount Burberry store in Hackney, Renata and I found Brew for Two, a cute coffee shop across the street.

IMG-20130421-WA001

IMG-20130421-WA000

The interior is shabby chic, full of eclectic and quirky little treasures. All the tables have a large empty red wine bottle used to hold up long red candle sticks, a mix match vintage type furniture, and a chandelier.

IMG-20130421-WA002

We decided on a large pot of Darjeeling (£4) and a homemade carrot cake (there’s a daily selection of cakes and pastries to choose from) to munch on.

IMG-20130421-WA003

IMG-20130421-WA004

The best bit of a carrot cake is the icing on the top and this was divine. Not too sweet. And with a little marzipan carrot on the top. The cake was moist with little bits of carrot to give some texture.

Served on gorgeous, antique looking china, which made it feel like a proper tea party. I definitely recommend Brew for Two for a good weekend brunch or afternoon tea.

Fine food and a warm welcome

Street Feast – Dalston

The girls (Astrid, Emma, Kate, Charlotte, and Tash) and I made our way to Dalston for Street Feast after work on a Friday night. It is in Merchant Yard right outside Haggerston Station and very easy to find – just look for a big sign that says Street Feast and a long queue of people underneath the sign, waiting to get in. We waited in line for about 20 minutes, with the aroma of food getting our stomachs rumbling, before we finally got in.

It was about 9:30pm when we got in and a couple of the stalls had closed already but it was still very exciting seeing what all the traders were cooking.

IMG-20130420-WA005

I decided to get some Gyoza from Rainbo (£4 for 5 pieces). The Gyoza was perfection and very more-ish. The outer layer was the perfect thickness and slightly chewy, wrapped around a juicy chicken and spring onion middle. The two owners of this food truck donate a percentage of their earnings to a project in Nepal that help struggling children to grow their own produce.

http://www.rainbofood.com/

IMG-20130420-WA009

I have heard so much about Big Apple Hot Dogs and their amazing Franks; so we all decided that a hot dog was the way forward. I went for the Big Dog (£5), which was a blend of beef and pork, smoked on German Beech-wood. On the side are lots of sauces to compliment the dog and its great smokey flavour.

IMG-20130420-WA007

http://www.bigapplehotdogs.com/

A great way to spend a Friday night. I would definitely recommend trying to get there earlier than we did so you don’t miss out on any stalls.

http://www.streetfeastlondon.com/

Jerusalem Falafel – Berwick Market

Jerusalem Falafel - Berwick Market

If you work in Soho you will definitely know about the food stalls on Berwick Street. And if you don’t, you’re missing out! So go!

I’m currently working in Soho and the market is a great place when I’m in the mood to treat myself, and I had one of these days last week. James and I went to the Jersusalem Falafel stall which is a favourite.

Westminster-20130419-00523

Westminster-20130419-00522

They have a little wooden hut where the falafels are freshly made and you can choose a wrap with 3 (£4) or 5 (£5) nuggets.

Hummus is spread on the wrap then its layered with lettuce, tomatoes, sliced gerkins, grilled aubergine slices, parsley, pickled chilies, garlic yogurt, a very mild chili sauce, and 3 falafel nuggets. Then its toasted so its got a slightly crisp outside and a warm soft center.

Westminster-20130419-00524

The falafel is freshly made and so it still has that crunch on the outside. Its absolutely delicious. I took it back to the office to devour and it properly fills you up for the whole day.

Great eat for anyone in Soho during the day!

Wright Brothers – Borough Market, London Bridge, London

Wright Brothers - Borough Market

What to do on a sunny April day? Go for an oysters and bloody mary brunch, obviously.

Hannah, Liz and I found ourselves at the Wright Brothers just outside Borough Market one glorious sunny April day. We sat out side where there are make shift tables made of barrels and stools. We decided on a mix of a dozen oysters (above) which were presented and explained to us by the server. From bottom and clockwise, we had Northumbrian, Irish, and Jersey shells. They were absolutely delightful and eating them in the warm sunshine, I felt like I was swimming in the sea with the creamy and fresh texture and tang from the lemon (I’m a huge fan of oysters in general, hence my dramatic explanation).

Southwark-20130413-00457

As we were waiting for the oysters, they brought us some fresh sourdough bread and butter. Delish!

IMG-20130413-00459

Overall a great way to start a sunny spring day! CHINCHIN!

http://thewrightbrothers.co.uk/

It was £30 for the mixed dozen oysters and £7.50 for a bloody mary

Meat Liquor – Bond Street, London, UK

Claudia was visiting and we decided to check out Meat Liquor.

All the blogs and reviews that I read explained the 90 minute queue in the cold so I was mentally prepared for the experience (they do not take reservations). It was a Wednesday night and we arrived at the restaurant at 7:30pm. The queue was fairly long, but moved quite quickly and we were in the restaurant within 30 minutes. We got a bottle of wine at the bar while we waited another 15 minutes for our table so it really was not too bad. Instead of wine glasses, we were given cleaned Bonne Maman jam jars to drink out of, which I love the idea of.

IMG-20130411-WA011

IMG-20130411-WA008

The interior has a very grungy, dark, rockabilly feel to it. It is graffitied to look quite bloody and sinister. There is loud music playing and a good vibe in the air.

If you are not a burger fan, its not the place for you because all the menu serves is a handful of different burgers, fries, and sides.

IMG-20130411-WA007

IMG-20130411-WA009

I opted for the cheese burger, plain and simple and easy to judge. The waitress came with our food on a tray to put in the middle of the table and a roll of kitchen towel. It was time to get down and dirty. The burger was absolutely amazing and even better than I expected. The burger meat fit perfectly in the bun (none of this huge-dry-bun-and-tiny-patty business). It was thick and juicy and the meat just melted in your mouth. Unbelievably good.

IMG-20130411-WA012

Yianni, I must say, you have definitely perfected the burger. I definitely recommend going and, even if it ends up being a long wait, it is most definitely worth it!

http://www.meatliquor.com/
It is an average of £7.25 for a burger.

Claudia is also a big foodie. Check out her blog at:
http://miperfectplate.wordpress.com/

Borough Market – LONDON, UK

One of my favourite ways to spend the day on a Saturday is to go to Borough Market, which is what Renata, Astrid, Emil, and Mel decided to do this particular Saturday, as it happened to be the first warm Saturday of the year (in London this is a big deal). Located by London Bridge Station, the hustle and bustle of the market, the vast varieties of choice, and the freshness of the great independent food stalls makes this a proper foodie’s paradise. It is open Thursday to Saturday and a good place to grab an interesting lunch or a shop for fresh produce.

Below is just a small selection of the many stalls to discover.

Southwark-20130413-00462

Southwark-20130413-00463

Brindisa is a Spanish store that specialises in iberico ham. They explain the different types to you and it is freshly sliced in front of you. They also sell other great Spanish foods such a chorizo, cheeses, and even paella pans. They also own Tapas Brindisa, a sit in tapas restaurant around the corner.
http://www.brindisa.com/

Southwark-20130413-00467

Southwark-20130413-00468

Southwark-20130413-00469

Ham and Cheese Co have a great selection of hams and cheeses (I bet the name didn’t give it away) freshly sourced from France and Italy.
http://www.thehamandcheeseco.co.uk/

Southwark-20130413-00473

The Borough Cheese Company are famous for their Comte cheese, which is made in France. They explain the story of how the cheese is made and, as all the stalls, are very passionate about their produce.
http://www.boroughcheesecompany.co.uk/

Southwark-20130413-00474

Pate Moi, owned by Flip Dunning, sells hand-made organic mushroom pate, from Flip’s secret family recipe.
http://www.mushroompate.co.uk/

Southwark-20130413-00476

Cannon and Cannon is a British charcuterie, which sell a large variety of different local and artisan meats. Passionate about their meat, they are very good at recommending what you might like depending on what you are looking for. I would definitely recommend the wild boar, chili and chorizo stick.
http://www.cannonandcannon.com/britishcharcuterie/

Southwark-20130413-00487

Southwark-20130413-00492

Southwark-20130413-00490

Richard Haward’s Oyster Stall is probably my personal favourtie (maybe because of my great love for oysters). A family run business, the Hawards have been cultivating oysters since the 1700s. They have fresh oysters (native and rock) and clams of all sizes which are chucked in front of you after you have chosen your shells. You can’t get anymore fresh than that.
http://www.richardhawardsoysters.co.uk/

Southwark-20130413-00480

Southwark-20130413-00481

The market is filled with the best butchers and fish mongers. The most interesting is The Exotic Meat Company from the Gamston Wood Farm, which sell everything from ostrich eggs, kangaroo steaks, to horse meat burgers. They have a barbecue on the go with kangaroo burgers and beef burgers, which smell divine.
http://www.gamstonwoodfarm.com/index.html

Southwark-20130413-00505

Southwark-20130413-00508

Southwark-20130413-00507

Veggie Table sells vegetarian burgers and vegan burgers served on the choice of a bun, a leaf, or a salad box and a choice of onion chutney or salsa (or both) on top. It is absolutely delicious. I opted for a vegan burger on a leaf with both sauces.
http://www.theveggietable.co.uk/

Southwark-20130413-00504

There are great bakeries that sell all sorts of breads and cakes if you have a sweet tooth.

Southwark-20130413-00484

And New Forest Cider have a range of organic ciders to wash it all down.
http://www.newforestcider.co.uk/

Southwark-20130413-00502

Overall, I would have to say its a fabulous outing for a foodie. The only downside would be the crowds, so prepare yourself for hundreds of other food lovers to be wondering around the stalls as well.

http://www.boroughmarket.org.uk/

Palm Court Brasserie

As a birthday treat for Renata, I took her to Palm Court Brasserie in Covent Garden for afternoon tea.

It was the perfect indoor afternoon tea kind of weather as it was snowing pretty heavily outside on this particular day. We walked into the restaurant, umbrellas dripping wet and coats spotted with soggy snow flakes, our coats and umbrellas were taken for us and we were shown to our table.

Dimmed lights and tables lit with candles, the atmosphere is very much like one of those small Parisian brasseries you would come across in a tiny little lane in Paris.

IMG-20130323-WA003

The sandwiches were very English-tea-time. Cucumber and butter on white bread, smoked salmon and cream cheese on brown bread, egg and mayo on white bread, and ham and mustard on brown bread. All with the crusts off, of course dahling.

The Eton Mess was perfect. Perfect size in a mini glass ice cream cup. Perfect textures with enough crunch from the meringue, fluffiness from the cream and zing from the strawberry cooley and freshness of the strawberries.

IMG-20130323-WA006

The cakes were very very rich. Thick cheesecake with a raspberry topping and an extremely chocolatey, moist brownie topped with a toffee sauce.

The scones were still warm from the oven and came with clotted cream and strawberry jam.

We also had a pot of tea each of our choice. We opted for djarling tea.

IMG-20130323-WA005

All in all, it was a lovely (and sophisticated) way to spend a cold snowy afternoon. The only negative I can say is that they had another booking at our table after us so we could only have the table for 1.5 hours, but it turned out to be perfect timing for us anyway, so it all worked out.

http://www.palmcourtbrasserie.co.uk/
The afternoon tea menu is, unfortunately, not on the website. It is £14 per person for the set afternoon tea.