Hi all! Hope you're having a great week so far. I am finally coming around and feeling almost close to normal (thanks to massive amounts of my delicious paleo brownies I made, recipe here, and ice cream) so decided to sit down and write my London guide (part 1). London is a city similar to New York, with major activities happening on every corner. Whether you're looking for a cheap or expensive date night, amazing shopping, or a quick cupcake on your way to a meeting (or you're just hungry!) this guide is for you!
I'm not a huge fan of Lebanese cuisine. Jamaican, Mexican, Japanese? Count me in. So when I stumbled across Maroush in Kensington close to my hotel, I decided to take a leap and try the cuisine. I was nothing short of pleasantly surprised. Maroush is a trendy and intimate restaurant, with the most delightful and insightful staff who are willing to give you lots of advice when it comes to deciding between lamb or chicken. Along with some of the freshest and tastiest food, every item is suitable to be shared with many, so I recommend opting for a few appetizers along with a main course. Don't forget to try the insanely fresh juice, made right in the back of the restaurant!
You haven't experienced frozen yogurt unless you've been to Snog. Pinkberry, be warned. Snog was one of the sponsors of London Fashion Week, so at the majority of the shows I went to I got to sample different flavors. Along with being delicious, the uber chic and fun shop in Covent Garden offers 4 signatures flavors (all sweetened with only agave) and a huge variety of toppings. This is chocolate and green tea froyo with pomegranate, gluten-free brownie pieces, mochi and coconut. DELICIOUS!
For the best Chinese food: Hakkasan, Hanway Place
After a long day of shows, my friend and I ventured to a restaurant in Hanway Place for an end of day Chinese food celebration. I walked into Hakkasan expecting your average greasy (but delicious!) Chinese food, and was surprised. Hakkasan Hanway Place offers Dim-Sum Sunday, which is a selection of 5+ courses to split with 2-4 people, including dumplings, salad, dessert and more. I'm definitely not a duck person, but the crispy duck salad hasn't left my mind ever since I left London. Best part? Hakkasan has locations in Dubai, New York, London, so you can experience the cuisine everywhere.
Boooooyyyyy, Primose, you have my heart. Recommended by Goop, Primose is a place like no other. The Covent Garden shop is quite tiny and often crowded, but if you're looking for a fantastic, moist, indulgent cupcake, this is your place. I got the gluten-free chocolate cupcake, and my friend got salted caramel, and both were fantastic! Plus, the staff were helpful and gave us great advice on what to choose.
When it comes to afternoon tea, I'm not sure where to begin. Along with being a European tradition, afternoon tea was by far my favorite part of being in London. I heard rave reviews about Fortnum's afternoon tea, and it was especially appealing because they have a gluten-free menu, perfect for people sensitive to gluten, like me. Fortnum's is quite similar to Harrods, only more food oriented. 3+ floors of everything from tea to treats and a huge dining area- this place is overwhelming (in the best way possible).
The women at Fortnum's are very high-class, even the men are insanely well dressed and upscale. Little blue plates are brought out with tiers of flaky and chewy scones, light pink and girly macarons, and a selection of tea larger than Whole Foods could ever offer. Fortnum's is a MUST if you are taking a trip to London soon.
I told you, I'm obsessed with afternoon tea! On my last day in London, I went to the department store, Fenwick's, for afternoon tea at their salon, Bond and Brook. I'm very wary about eating overpriced food in department stores (at least in America) because why would a department store want to sell food along with clothing? Bond and Brook completely changed my vision of eating and shopping. They offer gluten-free sandwiches (not any of the desserts are gluten-free, but yolo) and delicious teas and fresh juices. Best part? The made in house clotted cream. What we thought was ice cream was actually clotted cream, how cool!
Stop here after a long day of shopping at one of the fanciest department stores in town.
I love sushi. You could consider sushi to be one of my favorite foods. Another Goop recommend restaurant is Chisou, with 3 locations, but I ventured to the location in Knightsbridge to check out what the hype was about.
I arrived quite early, around 7 PM, which is apparently still very early to eat dinner, even in Europe. The scene got interesting around 8:30 PM, when a crowd formed and the place got much busier. The sushi isn't anything out of the ordinary, but what is different is their small plates. The beef (above) was one of the best foods to ever hit my mouth so far in my entire life. The dumplings were perfectly crispy and rich. Come here for unusual and tasty Japanese cuisine (make sure to get the beef and marinated black cod.)
Please explain to me how I was once a vegan. The May Fair Hotel was another one of LFW sponsors, so what better place to head to for insanely delicious steak and frites!? My waiter was so informative and sweet, he was definitely one of the best parts of the meal, and the food was just as good. Perfectly cooked steak with crispy fries, and an intimate selection of desserts, like salted caramel ice cream and panna cotta with popcorn.
I'd stick with the main courses over dessert, because the main courses are filling and tasted better than the dessert (but that's just me). Steak and frites for breakfast, lunch and dinner anyone?