I’m SO excited to tell you about our third and last day in London. We really managed to cover a lot of territory in 12+ hours so put on your stretchy pants and get comfy because there’s a lot of food in your very near future. Like a lot of food. (PS – if you missed day 1 and 2 in London, check it out here.)
First up, Borough Market. I knew the minute we got out of the tube station that we were in foodie heaven. You can get anything and everything – baked goods, traditional Scottish eggs, paella, any type of Indian food in one spot, even a whole pig.
When my sister, Lindsey, and I arrived at Borough Market we did an inital lap before coming up with a game plan. We spotted a butcher with Scottish eggs close to the entrance so we circled back and ordered one to share. I’ve never tried one before but it’s a pretty fascinating food item. It’s really tasty but, fair warning, it’s heavy and sits in your stomach a bit. I recommend sharing one, if you can.
After the Scottish egg, we were ready for meal #2. The vegatarian Indian food from Gujarati Rasoi was winking at us so we headed over to the food stalls on the perimeter. Linds and I split an amazingly delicious dish that was a mixture of cauliflower, peas, tomatoes, onion, rice, curry, yogurt and cilantro. I don’t remember the name but I dream about this meal. Honestly, if I could eat it everyday for the rest of my life, I would. After we grabbed it from the vendor, which smelled AMAZING btw, we ate it at a picnic table with a nice adult bev. Time check: it’s only 12 and we’re already crushing this day.
After we ate our way through Borough Market, we headed toward One New Change. It’s a shopping center with a roof top restaurant and terrace that happens to have an AMAZING view of the entire city. The terrace is completely free so if the restaurant is out of your budget just hop on the elevator and take it to the top floor. Then proceed to snap all the pictures you want. (FYI the first picture in the London Part 1 blog post is from the One New Change rooftop.)
Once we reached the terrace, Linds and I realized we were parched from the long walk from the Market (and by long, I mean it was less than a mile), so we decided to snag a seat at the terrace cocktail bar and have a glass of champs. And even though we weren’t hungry after our morning o’ eating, we decided to split some goat cheese and black pepper popcorn because who can say “no” to goat cheese and black pepper popcorn?! Champagne and popcorn is one of my favorite snack and drink combos. And the goat cheese and black pepper flavor didn’t disappoint.
The sky looked ominous so we wrapped up at One New Change. I wanted to head over to Convent Garden to see a temporary art installation and since we’ve already had three meals, we decided to risk walking. (Suprisingly, it didn’t rain. Winning.)
French artist Charles Pétillon created a temporary art installation of 100,000 white balloons at Covent Garden. As you can see, it was massive. I really enjoy public works of art. There’s something so lovely about stumbling upon an installation like this while you’re just having a day. The exhibit was only up for a month (it ended on September 27, 2015) and I feel very lucky to have seen it in person.
One of the many things I just HAD to do on this trip was have a proper British tea. I did a lot of research prior to the trip because the last thing I wanted was to go to a lame, over priced touristy tea. In the end, I landed on the Dean Street Townhouse in Soho.
It’s a charming boutique hotel that is perfectly cozy for an afternoon tea. Their “Afternoon tea” comes with a selection of crustless sandwiches, scones, British fancy cakes and tea. And at £19.50 per person, we felt like this was a bargain. (Seriously, some places charge £39.50 per person.) We also ordered a glass of champagne because why stop now.
After a morning and afternoon of walking, Linds and I were happy to hunker down at our table for a couple hours.
I can’t speak for all British teas, since this was my first, but this was PHENOMENAL. I could easily crush the platter of cakes and sandwiches on the reg, but the scones with clotted cream were ridiculous. Drools while I’m typing.
We had plans to meet up with our cousin, Nick, for our last night in London. He suggested we rendezvous at The French House around the corner from Dean Street. The French House is a no-frills type of place to grab a pint. It’s low key and perfect for conversation (because they have a no cell phone policy). If you’re looking for a chill place to hang with friends in London, I totally recommend this pub. And I would just like to point out that I have no pictures of The French House, because I keep my phone in my bag THE WHOLE TIME. Go me!
After a few bevs, we walked a couple blocks to Soho Kitchen & Bar for a few small bites. We shared a plate of pate, cornichons and sourdough, and some yummy fries with aioli. (Yes, that’s a Snapchat pic. Follow me @meaghan_snaps.)
My cousin is a food writer so up next was a King’s Cross restaurant opening. As we headed towards the restaurant, Drake & Morgan, I resisted every urge to find Platform 9 3/4 at King’s Cross tube station. Honestly, if we had more time, I would have forced it more. (Shout out to all the Harry Potter fans!)
Back to the party… it was fun but, in my opinion, it’s hard to get a good feel for a place when they are just getting started. The good news was that the champagne was free and the British small bites were aplenty. (Bite-sized fish and chips? Yes, please.) The atmosphere and decor was a mix of retro, modern, and industrial. Definitely my style. I could see myself there grabbing drinks with my girlfriends on a Saturday night.
At this point, it’s around 8/8:30pm, and I had one last thing to do on my London trip bucket list. Eat at Dishoom. Dishoom is a wonderfully beautiful Indian restaurant. Just looking up the link for this post had me salivating.
I could say order everything but how realistic is that? If you do order everything, leave me a comment so I can send you an Internet high five. Here’s how we tackled the menu: start with the Far Far while you’re waiting for your table or for your food. It’s a really interesting flavor and texture. Then order the Vegatable Samosas, Dishoom Tikka Masala, Black House Daal, Garlic Naan, Raita and Kachumber.
I’m definitely missing a few things because I remember us ordering SO MUCH more food. Or maybe it was all the alcohol. I don’t know. Either way, make sure you ask the waitstaff for recs as well. They will not steer you wrong.
After Dishoom, we walked back to Shoreditch via Rivington Street. Rivington is a super cool street. Lots of restaurants and bars. I recommend checking out Tramshed by Mark Hix, a trendy, casual chicken and steak restaurant. Or Callooh Callay, a Lewis Carroll themed bar with a great cocktail menu. We stopped at Callooh Callay. I tried the Smooth Hoperator which is Bulleit bourbon, hops, lime and ginger ale. It’s delicious and very similar to my favorite cocktail, the Moscow Mule. (Also, just between you and me, there’s a secret room behind the mirror. Ask to sit in there.)
After we drank our cocktails in the secret room behind the mirrored bureau, we stumbled our way back to the flat and crashed hard. The next morning Linds and I hopped on the tube back to Heathrow and flew home.
All in all this trip was exactly what I wanted – to act like a local and explore off the beaten path. I can’t wait to go back and do it all over again.
Cheerio old chap!