I suppose it's no secret that I'm a foodie at heart. I've only lived in London for a couple of months, but I've already had friends and family ask me for recommendations of where to eat when in town. There's still so many places I'd love to try (there's no shortage of amazing restaurants in this city) but I've already developed a short list of my favorite places to grab a bite or a drink. Here are my favorites:
Why go here? Traditional British afternoon tea at it's finest!
What to order? Afternoon tea, of course! The scones are heavenly and adding a glass of champagne is a must for special occasions (but isn't any visit to Fortnum's a special occasion?)
Don't forget... To check out the shops on the ground floor. Teas and treats in the most adorable packages make for perfect gifts for friends back home!
Why go here? Afternoon tea in a majestic setting - grand columns, big windows, all set next to Kensington Palace and its gardens.
What to order? Afternoon tea! And for an English touch, have a Pimm's Cup to start.
Don't forget...To stroll through the adjacent Hyde Park afterwards (if only to walk off the scone coma!). It's one of London's largest parks and pretty in any season.
| Nopi |
Why go here? One of Yotam Ottolenghi's establishments, come here for the signature middle-eastern flavored dishes, which are generally on the healthier side. In the trendy Soho neighborhood, Nopi feels upscale, yet relaxed and warm.
What to order? Order a bunch of dishes for the table and share family style. And make sure to check out the drink menu for fun and inventive cocktails - I'm partial to the pineapple and sage martini!
Don't forget... To check out the loo. It's a mirrored work of art perfect for an artsy selfie or two!
| Dishoom |
Why go here? Really, really good Indian dishes plus an upscale, yet rustic vibe. I love the energetic atmosphere here almost more than I love the food.
What to order? Get a Bolybellini at the bar while you wait. Definitely order the Pau Bhaji to start followed by the Black House Daal and a biryani, plus some some garlic naan on the side....can you tell I love the food here?
Don't forget... To make a reservation! Dishoom is very popular, so unless you want to wait an hour plus, be sure to book ahead.
| The Castle |
Why go here? This happens to be my neighborhood pub and I love coming here for the yummy (and surprisingly vegetarian-friendly) food, a glass of wine (beer for the husband) and the cozy atmosphere.
What to order? I'm the weird person who order the hummus plate at the pub, but it's really phenomenal! Just give me that and a glass of Prosecco and I'm happy.
Don't forget... To relax and stay a while! Pubs in London are basically an extension of your living room - well, if your living room served alcohol and food!
| Maître Choux |
Why go here? The most adorable little eclairs that taste as good as they look! The one in the photo above is pistachio, my favorite flavor.
What to order? A box so you can pick multiple flavors and have your own little choux taste test. Or just go for the prettiest colors. Either is acceptable!
Don't forget... To ask to take a photo of the lined-up choux. Your Instagram followers will approve!
Why go here? The food halls. If like me, you can't always afford the handbags at Harrods or the shoes at Selfridges, the food halls still allow for a feeling of department store indulgence!
Don't forget... To wander through the stores. Each one is magical, even if you aren't planning to buy anything. Harrod's has it's famous Egyptian escalator and a literal "shoe heaven." Selfridges feels more modern and their beauty displays are always stunning.
| Pret A Manger |
Why go here? For a quick, relatively inexpensive lunch or snack. They're literally on every corner in London and have saved me from my hanger many times!
What to order? I prefer the Posh Cheddar sandwich, but really it's hard to go wrong here. It's all made fresh the same day and there's a huge selection of sandwiches, salads, soups and treats.
Don't forget... Many people come here for coffee, but they don't serve any iced beverages! So if you order iced lattes like me, I'd head elsewhere for your caffeine fix!
| Granger and Co. |
Why go here? Smack dab in the middle of Notting Hill, this is an amazing spot for brunch. If you don't believe me, just look at the line of people waiting for a table!
What to order? You can't go wrong with the Ricotta Hotcakes with bananas or the Avocado Toast. And since it's brunch, order the White Peach Bellini!
Don't forget... There's almost always a wait here on weekends, so try to come early or wait for a weekday.
| Ottolenghi |
Why go here? If the wait at Granger and Co. is too long! Actually, this is a really good deli-style spot with amazing salads and vegetable dishes, plus baked goods that are as pretty as they are delicious!
What to order? Get a box and try a few of the salads (which are all on display). If they have it, I love the spicy broccoli with garlic and the saffron rice dish. And pick out a sweet treat for later.
Don't forget... There's no seating here (unless you'd like to pay more), so take your box and find a bench or a park and enjoy the atmosphere of Notting Hill while you eat.
Until next time,