I love it when places take bookings. You know you can be guaranteed a seat at an exact time and you don’t have to guess how long the wait will be, or stand outside in the freezing cold for what feels like hours. I completely understand why most popular London brunch spots don’t take bookings though; they’re small, always packed, and people (including me!) are prepared to queue for quite some time to eat good food. It sucks though, when a place claim they don’t take bookings then they close early for a “private function” (read: booking!!) meaning you can’t get in. The problem is with some of the best brunch spots too, is that they’re a little out of the way so it’s not ideal when you’re left unable to get in.
Once in a while I eat at a place that just blows me away, I leave feeling so incredibly satisfied. I just can’t wait to blog about it. It’s been a while since I felt like that to be honest but this was undoubtedly one of those places. I don’t know if it was just the sheer uniqueness of their dishes, the fact that I was in an amazing mood because I’d just bought the most ridiculous array of nutella stuffed pastries, biscuits and macaroons at the Christmas markets, but it was literally my perfect meal.. and something so, so different to what I usually go for.
I always find it really difficult to answer the question ‘what do you want for Christmas?’ I love spending hours thinking about the ‘perfect’ present to buy someone, but I must admit that sometimes I do find it really tough to decide what to get, particularly for those who are working as they buy everything they need so there’s often not much that they want when it comes to Christmas. My mum must have asked me hundreds of times what I wanted, and when I failed to answer she started putting suggestions out there – a bag? A jumper? Shoes? But I’m not materialistic at all – I live in comfy casuals when I’m not at work! – and I really didn’t want her to waste her money on something I didn’t want. Eventually I just suggested that she got us a hotel stay away – I’m never back up North and I rarely get the opportunity to spend time with my parents. As I’ve got older, I’ve realised that I much prefer spending money on experiences rather than material objects – I guess that’s pretty obvious from the amount I eat out! – but I just find that I prefer spending my money on enjoying time with the people I love 🙂
There are a lot of restaurants around London serving middle eastern food, and my unrefined palate often doesn’t make much of a distinction between them; to me, good middle eastern food is pittas with all the dips, crispy fried parcels of heaven stuffed with meat/cheese, halloumi and various combinations of rice and grilled meats. I’ve eaten at a Turkish place in the city (Haz), a Turkish place round the corner from this place (Sofra) and a few others, but for me Comptoir Libanais stands out .. The mezze platter alone has everything I could want and more! For me it’s an absolute must-order – it has so many elements and each one is amazing – it makes the perfect starter!
Continue reading Comptoir Libanais
Bourne and Hollingsworth. Or Bourne and Hollingsworth Buildings as they call themselves. Every bit as pretentious as it sounds, it’s definitely a ‘ladies who brunch’ type of place – think bottomless cocktails, designer handbags and large groups of gossipy women exchanging expensive gifts. I mean this with a hefty touch of satire of course; I’m both heavily generalising and the stereotyping (we quite clearly don’t fit that group and I’m sure there were many others there who didn’t) but there’s no denying that it felt more exclusive and refined than our average brunch spot.
Yet another amazing restaurant in Shoreditch! I’d spent the entire week trying to decide whether I wanted to go here, where the menu is huge and has everything you could possibly want from a British-style Italian restaurant, or whether to go to Lardo, which looked to be a little more authentic, with a much smaller menu and more alternative/unique options. In the end, I decided that I wanted a giant pizza, a huge variety of food and after a long day in London, I couldn’t be bothered to travel to London Fields to go to Lardo, so I finally came to a decision!