When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.
– Samuel Johnson
After spending six weeks in Bombay, I returned to London in early October to find the city revelling in it’s autumnal glory.
Blink and two months have flashed by in a blur! As I ready myself to head back to the Bay later today, I’m looking back on a jumble of fantastic memories to take with me…
Starting with UK Chocolate Week, as I arrived in town just in time for the cocoa extravaganza that was the Chocolate Show!
Things have generally been quite exhilarating on the foodie front with a string of exciting new launches from Caprice Holding’s outrageously fun Sexy Fish in Mayfair to Alan Yau’s sumptuous Park Chinois a few doors down (alas, for this vegetarian though, all that glitters was not gold when it came down to the food at the latter.)
The folks at Caprice Holdings have clearly had a busy couple of months, recently opening a neighbourhood Ivy café in Marylebone as well – mother and I found it a cosy spot, perfect for whiling away the good part of a free morning.
Speaking of which, I also enjoyed a bit of me-time over coffee and cake at Parcafé, the Dorchester’s new in-house café on Park Lane.
But among the new openings – my favourite actually has to be Hoppers, the new eatery from the restaurateurs behind Gymkhana (another favourite) – their latest venture brings a taste of Sri Lanka and South India to Soho. Whenever I’m in India, dosas are a must on the weekend and I was glad to see my fix so deliciously sorted over here too!
New for me
I FINALLY made it to a few restaurants that have been on my list for an age now… the best of which was Patty & Bun for their decadent Portobello mushroom burger…
… And Chiltern Firehouse for its weekend brunch! While I’ve often found my way here for a cocktail and light bite in the picturesque courtyard, a full-blown meal was a delicious first.
And of course I spent a lot of time revisiting classics, like 34 for my weekend waffle fix…
Roka Mayfair for veggie Japanese delights and Sumosan for its epic dark and white chocolate fondant!
And the Palomar for it’s cultural melting pot of a menu.
A pizza crawl was also in order, with multiple visits to Home Slice and Del Fino’s for an all-round carb fest… While I also found that even after all these years, my cosy Prezzo local (yes really) on Hertford Street could still hit the spot for a Sunday dinner!
And lest I forget, I was also incredibly thankfull for all the Thanksgiving celebrations underway in London this year – it meant pumpkin pies a-plenty! I enjoyed mine deconstructed at 45 Park Lane…
London’s thriving coffee culture is one of its aspects I miss most when I’m in Bombay (although it did lead me to undertake a coffee crawl to discover my options there)… And so I was excited to try a rich new coffee blend developed by Origin Roasters exclusively for the Brass Rail at Selfridges. If the famous department store were a coffee, this nutty, chocolatey yet slightly fruity flavour profile would fit the bill quite well indeed!
Although if you’ve been following my feedfeed on Instagram of late, you might have noticed that this caffeine junkie has been swapping coffee for cocoa on more than one occasion… It’s all part of the festive fun.
From the Mount street christmas lights party to poffertjes at Winter Wonderland and a spot of après-skate at Fortnum’s Lodge (at Somerset House), I’ve definitely been making the most of the Christmas cheer, breezing through my festive bucket-list…
… And recently going all out at a Christmas afternoon tea at the Connaught!
Although I’ve been careful to virtuously balance out the festive indulgence with healthier elevenses.
Aside from the major nomming, I’ve also loved taking out the time to explore the cultural treasures that London has to offer, managing to see the retrospective of Ai Wei Wei’s iconic works at the Royal Academy in its last week.
The Mademoiselle Privé exhibition was another very memorable experience for the innovative and immersive manner in which it embraced digital technologies to plummet us directly into the glamorous world of Coco Chanel.
And on the subject of inspirational figures in fashion, I have to say that it was an immense pleasure to meet Roland Mouret over a beautiful evening at Harrods…
… As well as to see stunning Burberry designs paired with iconic modern British art at Sotheby’s, whilst hearing Harpers Bazaar’s prolific editor, Justine Picardie, speak of the inescapably intertwined worlds of art and fashion.
Back to food, it was also incredibly interesting to explore the art, culture and science behind our favourite past-time at the recently opened British Museum of Food in Borough Market!
But the best part about being in London has been seeing all my friends, old and new.
I loved having my school friends around for a mochi-marvellous tea, while Megs, my bezzie from university days, and I had the perfect Sunday evening at the Grill at the Dorchester where we discovered the best soufflé in all of London town…
It’s been so lovely to finally meet my internet blogger friends in person too. The vivacious Steph Blondoner and I had a regal time at the launch of Darbaar in the city, an Indian restaurant inspired by the royal banquet halls in India of old…
While Angie Silverspoon and I found much to talk about over endless cups of coffee and while exploring charming Shepherd’s Market during the christmas lights party!
Other great foodie fiestas I’ll fondly remember include a Mexican feast at Molé Taco Bar and a pre-Christmas party organised by Craved London, where I finally met Andrea.
I even had a chance to go to blog school, courtesy the friendly folks at Yelp who organised a really fun bloggers brunch at the Botanist. We heard the inimitable Frankie (aka the Mayfairy) speak on ways to create engaging blog content… the most useful takeaway? “Your blog is like a brain slug from Futurama.” It seriously makes so much sense in hindsight, if you’d like to know more – you can read Frankie’s useful tips here.
Gosh it’s been busy, hasn’t it?
Please do keep me updated on the latest and greatest in this fair city, while I’m away. There’s so much more on my list that I have yet to do and upcoming restaurants to look forward to… But until 2016, London.
In the mean time, the adventures are set to continue over on the India Chapter and travel series of TFD…
Great to see you a couple of times, what a lovely autumn and winter!
Thanks Angie! So lovely to catch up properly , looking forward to that glass of champagne at the Connaught with you when back 🙂 xxx
Patty and Bun is wonderful, isn’t it! Thanks for the Hoppers recommendation, I hadn’t heard of it
Patty and Bun is SO worth the wait that inevitably accompanies it…. As is Hoppers, queues are mammoth but they serve up the best dosas and appams in London 🙂
Good grief, I regret looking at this post as I am way too hungry again (after a big bowl of pasta) and feel like I’ve got to chain myself before licking my screen! I do want to try Hoppers soon and I’ve not been back to 34 in yonks!
Seriously though, this looks like a delicious coupla months for you. =)
Hope to have coffee in the new year! x
Honey x The Girl Next Shore
I’d really love that Honey, we must pencil a date in for as soon as I’m back please! And haha looking back on my #feedfeed always makes me hungry too 😉 you definitely must try Hoppers, they have the best dosas and appams in all of London Town! Hope you have a lovely Christmas and looking forward to catching up soon xx
Oooooh you eat ALL THE GOOD FOOD! I’m in awe of that chocolate fondant. Lovely to see you at blog school, looking forward to catching up again in the new year xxx
#FoodieLife 😉 Was so great to see you too, excited for New Year catchups, we must plan it for somewhere suitably tasty! Hope you have a lovely Christmas Xxx
So delicious! I want to eat everything in this post:)
Really its a very good article with lots of foodie items..
Apart from all these I like mostly Portobello mushroom burger and pumpkin pie..
Thank you! That mushroom burger was pretty epic, as was the pie 🙂