Wednesday, August 25, 2010

What I Ate in London

I think I ate a crawfish sandwich on brown bread every day in London from Pret A Manger, but this looks like a BLT from Marks and Sparks.

Did I eat rashers of bacon for breakfast?
Up the whazoo

Greens and salads are hard to find when you're traveling but I had this healthy dinner at artist Ian Siddaway's. His wife, Lydia is a chef. Every artist needs a chef for a wife/husband in my opinion. All applications will be given careful consideration.

One of you told me to go to Sketch Parlor for tea and thank goodness for that. I ordered a 'jellied' dessert by Paris chef Pierre Gagnaire, which according to the BBC Food Programme is very in now.

You told me to go to Kensington Gardens Palace for tea. I did as I was told. Very nice indeed.

You did not tell me to go to Afternoon tea at Fortnum & Mason. I did that on my own by going up too high in the elevator. Very high in the pocketbook too.

Ottolenghi haven't I raved enough about the place? Are the Passion Fruit meringue tarts still available or did you gobble them up?

OK, my favorite place to eat in London (and has been for years) is FOOD FOR THOUGHT in Covent Garden 31 Neal street.
I'm including the times for next trip so I won't show up and find them closed.

It's very informal, very small - just a few seats. And French girls were sitting nearby - always a good sign.

AND VERY good! Plus you get lots of those hard-to-find salads.

Almost everyday I ate a Grannie Smith apple from Pret A Manger rather than

These potato chips at the Chunnel station. I tried a bag for research purposes called, 'Chedder N' Onion'. All I tasted was potato - no chedder, no onion. It must be me.
Here's a shining example of the hair bow worn on a giant pin from savvy French jewelry company, N2. They have a stand in Galeries Lafayette as well as a new concept store on 3, rue Bourg L'Abbe, 75003. I bought an all-macaron bracelet that is 2-die-4, even though it has no French bows...


  1. Carol,
    I used that little winsor newton paintbox from Green and Stone in Italy this summer though I bought mine in Rome. I saw it the the window of ditta G. Poggi art store and had to have it. I loved the size of it for the small sketchbook. I wish Kremer pigments made something similar.
    Love the illustration at the top of your blog!

  2. First of all, I love your blog so much! Usually I'm shopping in London, so when famished I usually find myself in the Food Halls of Harrods; but I love the 5th floor restaurant at Harvey Nich's. Last time I was there, I saw Princess Diana's brother.....what a handsome man.

  3. Anonymous8:45 AM

    What a fun post. I love English tea-so civilized along with giving you an energy boost in the late afternoon. Most hotels serve very nice afternoon tea-wonderful on a rainy cold London day.


  4. Oh, that little paint box is one I have! I recognize it. I love it--I bring it to work in my pocket sometimes.

    Your foodie tour is great fun, Carol--I enjoyed every moment of it and now I have to eat a biscotti because you've made me very hungry.

  5. There are so many little places throughout the UK I love to eat, but when I am in London, I really love Wagamama ( ). It is really a chain of Japanese street food, but it is truly lovely and a great place for some fresh veggies. I think they have a few of them in Boston, a couple in Brussels, but they are mainly in the UK. I sure wish they would take off here, then I wonder if the food would taste as good.

  6. Looks good and glad you found salads and other healthy things. But we can't pass up the desserts especially fruit ones!
    I will try those places next time I get to London.

  7. Ooo...I love that aqua china at Kensington Gardens. And that breakie looks incredible. Thanks for taking us along with you, I say sweetly, drooling.

  8. We rented a one-bedroom apartment in the Lancaster Gate/Hyde Park area of London in October 2008. It had a full kitchen and we stocked it with breakfast foods we bought at Sainsbury's in Paddington Station. We would usually find an EAT or Pret a Manger for lunch (they are everywhere). Coming back late from day trips to Oxford or Bath we would most often opt to get some take-away from one of the many quick food places in Paddington. We can recommend Paul's (tucked away on the upper mezzanine) and West Cornwall Pasty Company (on the main concourse). Or we would buy some wine at Sainsbury's (very good selection and inexpensive) and get a pizza at a charming Italian restaurant a block or so west of the station named Bizzarro; best pizza I have ever tasted....or maybe I was just really, really hungry. And if you are missing Paris, the Laduree in Harrods is not to be missed!


  9. You still didn't have bangers and mash, or fish and chips. Mate you missed out. Like I said before, when in Britain, be like the British.

    That includes pubs and all :)

    Hope you had a good time anyway, enjoy the rest of your week.


  10. Anonymous10:26 AM

    Oh how I love London! What are my favorite things to eat in London? Well, scones w/clotted cream and fresh strawberries, ice cream (why does it taste so much better?) and even the ice cream trucks that sell the Flake cones are wonderful. The Flake being that lovely little chocolate stick with layers of chocolate.

  11. OMG, love all the fotos and grandparents were British and ate fried eggs, fried tomatos, bacon of course, and my favorite, thick slabs of fried bread (fried in the bacon grease of course) I had that exact same brekkie in Bourton-on-the-Water and thought I'd gone to heaven!

    At a couple of places on the cheap in London...they had 'stewed' tomatoes and beans...ugh!ick! yuck!

  12. Too much......
    Will you be in Paris early September Carol? xv

  13. Anonymous11:22 AM

    Love your post, Enjoy your creativity you know how to put pictures together.

    Human being needs to be surrounded with beautiful things like food music art ect.. it lift the spirit and your work does that.

    Ok now I am hungry time for lunch I wish I was in London having tea.

  14. OMG! I feel like an international traveller! Finally, ONE place I have actually been to: high tea at F & M! Did you visit the ladies room? It was amazing!

  15. Ahh how I miss British food! I really like shepherds pie and fish and chips. yum~

  16. Elizabeth12:28 PM

    Thanks for the suggestions! I also like Pret a Manger.
    The Cafe at Liberty was charming! I also enjoyed Harvey Nichols (expensive).
    Have you tried fruit beer?
    One brand is Fruhli, I think. I've tried Cherry, Strawberry, and Mixed Berry.
    This stuff is really good.
    Sold at the Young Vic Theatre and on tap at BFI.

  17. I love Ottolenghi! I've been known to trawl their website for food erotica er...ah I mean recipes.


  18. Lovely as usual, Carol. I'm blanking on what I eat in London. But one thing I don't eat, as it does not exist in any establishment (unless highly ironic resto -- not out of question in London, I suppose), is..."high tea."

    A high tea is served in the late afternoon or early evening (5 PM to 7 PM) taking the place of dinner.

    My grandmother used to shake her head (she lived in the States) when people asked her if she was having them over for "high tea" & what should they wear? (!) That would've meant she was inviting them over at suppertime when my grandfather came home from a hard day's work at a steel mill. He would've loved to see her friends, but not to eat tiny sandwiches, etc. after such a soul-sucking day.

    (Sorry, but I promised her that part of my life's work would be to eradicate this usage from America. I've done a miserable job. And I realize that you, Carol, did not say 'high tea'. But it will show up again. I'm just trying to prevent embarrassment & mocking of Americans by some Brits...)

  19. @Ijeoma
    Sheperds pie-had it long ago and once was enough. Same goes for fish n' chips, egg-in-a-roll, and minced pie.
    Been there, done that.
    I used to drink Ginger Ale... a Bird
    I too have trawled Ottolenghi..
    Try the Guardian recipes on sundays instead..

  20. Anonymous3:29 PM

    - a pub lunch (esp. the ploughman's lunch and the cottage pie)
    - lamb chops and mint sauce
    - steak and kidney pie
    - leek and stilton flan
    - fish'n chips
    - cheese cake (raspberry/ lemon/ or plain)
    - scones

  21. ok at first i felt that a 20th entry would really be fairly extraneous but........apparently this has been a banner year for english plums, and it is now full on blackberry season in there. and the english themselves are probably eating a whole lot less of gooseberries, red currants and blackcurrants than they used to but MY GOD. if anybody gets the chance to eat any of these things at the height of summer in england, rain or shine, you absolutely must. because you will realize that you never tasted fruit in your life before until you had a few of these, bursting with sunshine and tartness and delicate whispers of flowery flavors, cooked down into a flaky lightly sugared pastry or smushed inside a juicy summer pudding. so there!

    and p.s. it's also possible to purchase poilane bread in london. and eat fresh oysters on the half shell at the farmers mkt at sloane square (duke of yorks square) on the weekend. and......i do!

  22. I lived in the UK, on and off, for 20 years, and have to say that the food has become sensational. I lived in Cornwall, so often went to London on my own, but never found it difficult to find beautiful treats. Mark and Spencers does a variety of scrummy foods for a hotel picnic. But, if I am dining out, I love Wagamama, Pizza Express, most places in Chinatown, but one of my favourite places for breakfast or lunch is The Wolseley on Piccadilly. It is worth the visit. Your blog is wonderful, love to see all the goodies.

  23. Yum-yum! I would love to taste the town with you. Great question: I have loved and will go again if I ever get the blessed chance: Wagamama Noodle Bar, Belgo Centraal (Belgian cuisine, near Covent Garden), and Pizza Express. But our treat on our last two trips to Londontown (spaced 3 years apart) was the crepe stall on Westminster Bridge. We happened upon it our first family trip to London (Nov 2005, cold time of year) and it was dreamy munching on the bridge at night looking at Big Ben, the Thames, and the London Eye. When we returned to London last August (2009) we had to have another and they were delish but the spot was so crowded. If we went back we would try again if we could.

  24. So far
    Wagamama Noodle Bar is winning hands down!
    It's been so long since I've had a Ploughman's Lunch..with a Lime Shandy
    The crepe stand on Westminster Bridge sounds appealing too...

  25. Everything looks good :)
    I'm not a big tea fan, though - that could pose a problem!

  26. In London - anything from Slefridges food hall, especially meat; cheese from La Fromagerie; gian sausage rolls from Ginger pigs; Italian pizzas and pastas from Princi; high tea from Botanist; Morroccan from Momo and breakfast by Gordon Ramsey at Heathrow terminal 5.
    Really fun post ;)

  27. Of course, I want it all - and I just ate dinner!!!!

  28. I love traveling...being of a globetrotter family.

    My pick ( if you like sushi) is to head for the reopened Yosushi on 5th at Harvey Nichols. It's their first ever silver and white restaurant.

    Enjoy your stay,

  29. Food for thought is one of my favorite places to eat in LondonToo. I loved to take people who were visiting there. I also love World Cafe in Covent Garden. Oh, so homesick now....

  30. Food for thought is one of my favorite places to eat in LondonToo. I loved to take people who were visiting there. I also love World Cafe in Covent Garden. Oh, so homesick now....

  31. What a lovely trip! I only spent one day in London but we had a blast! My husband and I went to FORTUM & MASON but I could not pay their price for tea...looking back we should have just gone for it...was it 35 lbs...$70 American?...

    We went to the theater that evening and ate at a really funky Moroccan Restaurant (lots of gold) with neat 2nd fl table you had to climb up a latter to get to..cant remember the name. I remember i had a grilled brie sandwich for lunch at a little shop.
    hope to go again! Jennifer aka Gigi

  32. I like to check out the pub's in London and of course afternoon tea is a must!

    And I always bring home a tin of Harrod's No. 42 Earl Grey. The best tea on the planet!

  33. Carol, you really are killing me here!! its a beautiful cloudy morning in Lahore and now you have me thinking of my absolute favourite place to eat in London.....Pret a Manger!! Today is thursday so the mushroom risotto soup will be on the menu, wish i could be in london having some now...perhaps followed by their lemon cheesecake...YUM!!

  34. oo oo i almost forgot, as you ascend the steps from bond street tube station to oxford street you start to smell the most delicious belgian waffles....its so good you almost float instead of climb!!
    And ofcourse the best fish and chips ive ever tasted was at a pub while visiting a friend in wimbeldon!!

  35. It's not you, I think British potato chips don't have enough flavoring too. Compared to American chips anyway.
    Hm, my favorite place to eat was at the markets, especially curry from Brick Lane on the weekend. Cheap and delicious, and you can eat while walking or sit at a crowded table and people-watch.
    Also, jellie babies, but only the kind in the black packages. Don't remember the brand name.

  36. I must admit a secret...I found the food in London more "friendly" compared to in France. Your eats look DELICIOUS and fresh and beautiful. I love love love pret a manger, so thanks for the good memory :)

  37. Well Carol: all these images of and talk about food, and tonight I leave to teach a workshop, in Provence. But I DO NOT want to gain any wieght, while there.
    Am I being a fool? Maybe when I get back, I'll tell you what I DIDN'T eat.
    (fat chance.) hee-hee

  38. Those British really like their sandwiches. My Gent would eat one morning noon and night if he could (with oven chips, of course). The flavors of both sandwich and potato chip continually amaze (and in some cases) repulse me. They really will put anything between two pieces of bread. Even the potato chips.

  39. when I go to London my favorite places are Brown's Brasserie for lunch and Liberty's Cafe :>


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