Returning to London after having lived here is indeed a great sensation, even better if you also meet a fellow blogger and friend and there is a lot to catch up on.
What about you? Do you know London well? Do you like food in all its expressions? And do you want to design your own kitchen utensils, taste and buy food or maybe read about it? If so, this post is exactly for you.
Together with Annalisa and her awesome photographs, I will take you to Kens High Street and Notting Hill avoiding the common places for tourists you’ve surely seen already.
Kensington High Street
Get off at Kensington High Street and….
… you’re first hard choice of the day. Will you indulge in Lola’s cupcakes or Ben’s cookies?
Did you already have breakfast?! Yes? No? We actually did have breakfast but we decided that there was still a bit of room for something tantalizing and so we had one super soft and buttery cookie each: triple chocolate for Annalisa and chocolate with orange for me. The results? Dirty fingers, melting chocolate, big smiles, pure delight.
Do you want to enjoy your day at best? Then take the Tube!
The Bus is indeed more panoramic, but you risk to get stuck in the traffic jam and if you only have a few days to spend in London, it’s a loss of precious time.
Keep your back to the station, turn left and walk for 10 minutes or so towards Holland Park. Less known than Green or Hype Park, Holland Park is a lung-filling green area with lovely Japanese gardens (called Kyoto Gardens). At the very entrance of the park is the new, recently opened Design Museum.
The internal structure is impressive, super bright and entrance is free, except for some temporary exhibitions. The industrial design section – the one we visited – is freely open to the public, and you can easily browse, touch and take pictures. I had so much fun trying to design in-flight cutlery, and it was incredible visualizing a potential kitchen just from its wooden structure.
Curious to know about the projects behind a tea pot or an Alessi juicer? During your tour, you’ll find all the answers.
At the end of your visit, walk down kens High Street again but in the opposite direction and once you reach Old Church Street, turn left and climb the hill till you get to Notting Hill.
Yes, Notting Hill, the one of Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant, the one of Portobello market, but luckily also Notting Hill of quiet private gardens and pastel colored buildings, just a few minutes away from the crowd.
LUNCH IN THE DRUG STORE
For lunch, my suggestion is to give Farmacy a chance. This “posh” place was conceived and designed by Camille Fayed, daughter of the well known Mohammed Al Fayed.
Normally I’m not a big fan of glamour places by definition only, but I had read several positive reviews so I accepted Annalisa’s suggestion, my lovely lifestyle blogger friend, and was very satisfied with the choice.
If you go during weekends for lunch, better to be there very early or very late, otherwise the queue could be quite long. Alternatively, ask to be seated at the bar, especially if you’d like to peek at the barman while mixing fruit and veggie juices with spirits and spices.
There is a very wide choice of vegetarian and vegan dishes but not only; dairy free and raw dishes, as well as desserts with unrefined sugar complete the menu. All extremely mouthwatering. Try it to believe it.
(because ok, the location is trendy, but we went there for good food and we definitely found it)
“Something about Mary” to start with. A spicy reinterpretation of the traditional Bloody Mary
Farmacy burger: a millet, black bean and mushroom burger with garlic aioli, goji ketchup, avocado, pickles and tomatoes, in a whole-wheat bun, with sweet baked potatoes on side.
Quinoa, vegetables and avocado bowl.
Raw chocolate tart: naturally sweetened with dates, served with vanilla coconut ice cream and chocolate crumble.
Great experience, nice place and fine food, surely worth 35£.
Satisfied but still willing to buy some food to take home?
Keep walking on Westbourn Grove till you reach Daylesford.
When I lived in London I used to come here quite often – also with Annalisa and her husband or with my parents when they were visiting – for brunch, afternoon tea or even Christmas gifts. They have another two shops, one in Marylebone and one in Pimlico.
Daylesford is a high end grocery shop, but also a kitchen supplies and books store or even a place for breakfast, brunch, lunch and afternoon teas. Most of the food served at the restaurant comes from the Bamford family’s farm. You’ll find cheeses, high quality organic meals, fruit and vegetables and delicious cakes, pies and biscuits baked on site.
Honestly, the only limits you’ll have here are your wallet or how many kilos you can manage to carry in a bag or in a trolley, as you’d probably like to buy almost everything.
Liked it but not enough? Literally just around the corner you’ll find Ottolenghi. Yotam Assaf Ottolenghi is a Israeli-British Chef and TV star who wrote many books on Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine with simple recipes, easy to replicate at home (already tried some a few times). Here also you can have some dishes to stay or to take out or you can simply do your food shopping.
There are branches in Islington, Belgravia and Spitalfields too.
The granola !!! When I’m at Ottolenghi’s I cannot leave without buying at least 2 bags of their delicious granola with maple syrup, dried fruit in big chunks and salted almonds. It normally expires in 15 or 20 days, so no preservatives at all.
Watch out, it’s so good that you’ll become an addict after trying it.
Are you homemade granola lovers? Make your own granola with Tortellini&CO’s recipe: Homemade Granola
Last but not least, you don’t want another bite but you’d like to read about food? Head to Books for Cooks, book store with ONLY – and I mean ONLY – cuisine, food and recipe books, from all over the world.
Red front door, unusual opening hours and a chance to eat at the back of the bookstore just “what’s available”, for roughly £15, while leafing through the books you’d like to buy. Brilliant idea!
Now, what’s that saying that London is nice but you don’t eat that well? Really? Still? Fish & Chips and nothing more?
C’mon! Try some of these places and then let us know. Have fun!
Luisa e Annalisa
For those of you who are looking something new in London, look at our: Mini Guide to London 5 itineraries to fulfill you.
Articolo disponibile anche in Ita