July highlights

Although I love writing, I’m finding less and less time to do it these days, and I often find that I have neither the time nor the inclination to write up a long post about one place, unless it’s truly special! There have been so many times that I’ve come across a lovely cafe or coffee shop that I simply don’t have enough content to write a whole blog post on, or I might even have just eaten one incredible thing that I felt I had to share.. so I’m going to try and make the effort to write up posts with little snippets of smaller things I wanted to share 🙂 So onto some of July’s highlights..

A (ridiculously!) brief trip to Venice and Verona – I spent less than a day in each. Despite being most excited for all of the pastries and bakery stops (of which there were many!) my favourite two spots were actually savoury believe it or not! A pizza spot – Saporè Downtown – just minutes’ walk from the open air opera theatre in Verona with five different types of pizza base was an absolute revelation and I loved every single one, from thin and crunchy (surprisingly good given my dislike for thin pizza bases – almost like a crispy focaccia!) to the cutest little steamed bun, topped with the most wonderful crispy octopus. Most unique was the Aria de Pane – I was expecting this to be the type with thick fluffy crusts (my favourite type!) but instead it was an incredibly light sourdough dome – an absolute dream!

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My other favourite place was a gorgeous deli by the river – Salumeria Gironda – where you can choose from a huge selection of meats, cheeses and antipasti, which they pack up in a cute picnic basket for you with bread and crackers and you take it outside and enjoy it in their outdoor area at the back – an absolutely perfect way to enjoy a lazy lunch with a stunning view.

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I can’t talk about Italy and not at least mention one bakery though.. my favourite had to be the most simple one – Pasticceria Rizzardini.  A tiny (and seriously old!) bakery, so small that you there’s just a bar where you can sip your espresso, with a tiny counter offering cream puffs, strudels and the softest, fluffiest, most heavenly doughnuts I think I’ve ever eaten! You can see more on my Instagram highlight @nickichanlam 🙂

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Lunch at Amber
I’d been wanting to go here forever and when I finally made it down it most definitely delivered! Choose from a beautiful array of colourful salads, with the option to add fish or meat to make it more substantial. Of course being a middle eastern inspired place they’re hot on my favourite things – bread and dips.. choose from delightfully fluffy warm pittas, simit or sourdough, and their hummus is honestly the best I’ve had in a seriously long time (and I’ve tried a hell of a lot of hummus!).

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The Athenian
A favourite of mine – it’s pretty much all of my favourite things rolled into one. I still want to go to their actual restaurant in Victoria but their stall at Boxpark Shoreditch is so convenient for me that I often can’t resist resist stopping on the way back from work! It never fails to deliver – crammed with hummus, tzatziki, chicken (or lamb/pork belly if you’d prefer!).

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Cinnamon bun @ My Cookie Dough
I’d been excited for months about this flavour and was lucky enough to get a preview before it launched! Yes I love their incredible stacks, and with kinder being one of my favourite chocolate bars that one is always going to be up there in my top few, but for me this was absolutely perfect.. cream cheese frosting topped with cinnamon sugar then toasted in the oven until it just caramelised – absolute perfection!

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Dinner @ The Orange
I’m always on the look out for lovely pubs for when my in laws come down and The Orange was absolutely perfect. One of a few in the Thomas Cubbitt portfolio, I’d previously been to the Grazing Goat so I knew it was going to be good, but the service (the waiter brought my mother in law a mini platter with every rosé on the menu to try when she couldn’t decide), the stunning location and the flawless food made it such an incredible evening. I won’t be forgetting this almond sponge for a while!

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Biscella pie @ A Pie Party
I absolutely love Victoria Park market but it’s a little out of the way for me, plus it’s only open on a Sunday which is the one day of the week I try not to come into London to give me at least some hope of relaxing. If there’s one reason to make the trip in it’s Claire’s wonderful pies though – and with Biscella being on the menu this month (hopefully longer!) how could I possibly miss it!? If you think there’s a better flavour than biscoff and Nutella then we can agree to disagree.. and everything is better in pie form, right!?

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