london restaurants

i have come into a new acceptance recently that i don’t love to cook. i DO cook. and i love good & quality food, i love nourishing my family, and i love those gratifying occasions where i end up cooking for a bigger crowd. but when listing things i like to do with my spare time, or unspare time really, cooking is not one of them. until recently, i saw this as a deficiency in my womanhood. i admire those who put love and energy into the creation of beautiful brunches and perfectly timed baked goods and complex dinners. surely, that must be what makes a woman roar…
and while i feel like i’m continually writing posts about the importance of us females loving ourselves and embracing ourselves JUST like God made us to be, this post is way more shallow than that. this is a shout-out to all of the amazing food spots that we have frequented in london. part of the euphoria that occurred last week when ashley was in town, included our food and she really helped remind me of how good it really has been. and i’m loving the fact that she had approximately 5 of her “best ever!!!” meals/drinks. a few of those are on here. so, without further adieu.
gourmet burger spot in chelsea. small, no reservations. i enjoyed a falafel sweet corn veggie burger that was off the charts. the sweet potato fries were good, however, all fall short compared to the sweet potato fries that changed my life. and ashley got a canadian burger topped with sweet cure bacon and melted mature cheddar cheese. to which she replied: “best burger of my life.” enough said. oh yeah, and the strawberry & passion fruit mojitos. amazeballs. great atmosphere, the kindest waiter, and definitely will be revisiting soon.
modern locally-sourced food, rustic décor, belgravia. a bit of a scene at the bar and quaint cozy tables on the first floor. we went on a double date here with one of bryon’s colleagues and we decided to forego the fancy dining room on the 2ndfloor for the first come first serve ground floor. well-played. there was chardonnay, (extra) dirty martinis, chili salt squid with smoked chili & lime dressing, wood fire pizzas, market fish, and a pineapple sorbet that was about as crisp & refreshing & perfect as it sounds.
they have a stand at the duke of york farmers market in chelsea. they served me a “caribbean roti wrap” filled with every color vegetable you could imagine. including pink. we were in london 6 saturdays this summer, and I think i was able to consume 5 wraps in that time. i planned our days around it.  it’s raw food and i’m pretty sure the extent of the whole eating for medicinal purposes they shoot for is lost on me. but that wrap is incredible. and brings me back to our first couple of months here in london. and it has me counting down to next summer when the market starts back up.
the big easy: (careful, this link makes noise)
“oh, a little taste of home…” said my hair stylist as i shared our date night venue. but i never visited a place like this at home. menus are written in chalk on the walls and there’s really only one thing you need to know: lobster, chips, margarita 17ish pounds. and the margarita will be frozen. it’s lively, it’s laid back and i’m still convinced that they somehow snuck butter or cream or extra richness into the meat of the lobster. AND, being the kind of odd soul who enjoys having to work for things, the crack/twist/pull/spritz the neighboring table that ensues as you try to get every last bit of lobster is all part of the experience. this place sticks out for the food but also for the excitement of meeting my husband there. and since then, i’ve been a supporter in meeting at places for dates. “hello, my name is clive…”
or any of the geronimo-inn pubs that we’ve tried, really. we took my parents here before we saw spamalot. classic british pub, amazing fish & chips and mint pea puree, and just a cool, cool place. and they just are cool, so they don’t have to try hard to be cool. and my favorite memory about this place that has nothing to do with the place, took place in the loo. my mom excused herself to go find it and i followed in about a 2 minute delay after her. as i walked in, i saw her sweet little feet and i cheered: “helloooooooo!” to which she replied, “hellooooo…..” not quite as excited as me, but she played along. upon exiting my stall, i was a little surprised she wasn’t still in there so we could wash up together and walk back to our table. so i hurried along behind and as i approached the table, i realized that she had no idea that it was me cheering “hellooooo!!!” and while that’s a bit funny in and of itself, what kills me is that she did it right back to whom she thought was a total stranger. dare i say, even with a little bit of a fake british accent. and it makes me laugh so very hard and miss her bubbly spirit so very much. that said, the clarence, yes. great spot.
located all around london. always, always quality food and delectable selections. they have these little salad pots that i salivate just thinking about. like the tuna, butter bean & spring onion with lemon and dill or the red quiona salad with smokey aubergine. omelet sandwiches, caprese & pesto baguettes. oh and they also have seasonal scones. and in the summer, this included a white chocolate and strawberry. as fallon would say “did you know some people call good food, diiiiiiiviiiiiine.” yes, fallon, yes. gail’s is a very regular part of our week.
ok, just a few more because i can’t not mention these…
kitchen & pantry: notting hill. coffee shop, comfy couches, great food.
aubaine: incredible food, all over london. sunday brunch @ brompton cross is our spot, though.
trafalgar: while we are one of the few families with 3 littles that frequent here, we go early enough to stay out of the way and always try to get the table by the window with 2 brown leather couches and one big barn-door style table.
boundary rooftop bar & grill: shoreditch. we just grabbed a drink here, but wish we would’ve done our whole meal here instead of in the basement restaurant.

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