August was a seriously good month.. we were absolutely spoilt for good weather and a lot of good food went down! Now that the Summer seems to have vanished overnight I’m hoping the warm weather comes back for September, but in the meantime here are some of my favourites from last month.. enjoy!
Those of you that know me personally may be surprised to find a pasta restaurant on this list! I certainly don’t dislike pasta, but I’d just never choose to order it if there were other options on the menu – pizza always beats pasta for me, or if pizza isn’t available then I’d usually opt for meat or fish instead. Like every good Italian, the menu is simple but perfect – a variety of dishes with different types of pasta, served alongside wonderful sides, salads and antipasti. The dishes are uncomplicated, focusing on just a few quality ingredients – something else I love about Italian restaurants. Heritage tomato and burrata salad came simply dressed in olive oil, with the sweetness of the tomatoes and the creaminess of the burrata needing nothing else. Toasted ciabatta came with just a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt and it was absolutely perfect. Both of our pasta dishes were stunning – they certainly rivalled any pasta I’ve had in Italy – and the desserts were wonderful too. Again unfussy, a simple but delicious lemon cake came with vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of honey, and coffee was served with lovely Italian biscuits. We were also lucky enough to go in the height of the lovely warm weather and sitting outside in the sun by the docks made for an absolutely unforgettable lunch.
Another place that’s been on my list for a while, this beautiful little coffee shop in Neal’s Yard is such a wonderful place to spend a weekend afternoon. Serving simple breakfasts, light lunches and a selection of small cakes and pastries, I only ever had my eye on two things – their almond croissant and banana bread. Having come late in the afternoon before (when they’ve been sold out), I was lucky enough to get the last almond croissant and God was it a good one! Soft, squishy and absolutely packed full of filling it definitely didn’t disappoint, but the banana bread was just as good – an absolute slab, served warm with butter. Their coffee is served in the most beautiful green mugs, and with the gold tables and natural lighting outside it’s an Instagrammer’s dream!
I’d had my eye on these wheelcakes for ages – soft and fluffy stuffed pancakes – what’s not to love!? Light enough to rival any buttermilk pancake, yet dense enough to be satisfying, these wonderful things are stuffed full of your choice of chocolate, vanilla custard, matcha or red bean. Admittedly I wasn’t brave enough to get the red bean – am I the only Asian person who thinks beans do NOT belong in a dessert!? – but the others were absolutely heavenly!
When the UK’s first Japanese soufflé pancake shop opened up a new branch in central (Bloomsbury – previously only at Westfield) I had to give it a go! I wasn’t sure whether or not to include this on the list, as I found the pancakes too light for my liking, but I didn’t feel that was a fair reason to miss them off, as they do exactly what they say and more. Serving up gravity-defying pancakes that are lighter than a cloud you cannot miss this place – anyone who’s a fan of Asian desserts this place is not to be missed!
I’ve been to Caravan for breakfast and brunch many times before and I’ve never been disappointed, but their newest location in Fitzrovia is undoubtedly my favourite. With their new ‘Caravan to Go’ range, there’s an entire counter dedicated to pastries, cakes and other baked items – absolute heaven! With offerings like jalapeno cornbread and cheddar muffins, kouign ammans, cruffins, cookies and banana bread you’re guaranteed to be happy no matter what you choose, but trust me when I say their twice baked matcha cheesecake and cherry croissant is something else!
This place had been on my list for ages, but the trek to SW London meant I’d never got round to going, and true to form on the day the District line was down and my friends were one hour late. One HOUR. But I’d go through it all again for another brunch here. An extensive menu with plenty of specials, lovely friendly staff, a pretty outdoor seating area if you’re lucky enough to get a table, quality food and huge portions (my breakfast came with two huge slabs of sourdough!) – what more could you want!? I absolutely loved it and I’ll definitely go back.. plus it’s in a beautiful area of London – my hour wait was put to good use wandering round the lovely local delis and independent food stores!
Last but most definitely not least..
When the lovely (and incredibly talented!) Amy – the wonderful baker behind Rate Good Brownie Boxes offered to send me some of her brownies, I couldn’t possibly resist, but nothing could prepare me for just how good they’d be! In a ridiculous range of flavours from white kit kat blondies to everyone’s favourite Freddos they’re available online to order, making them the perfect present for any sweet lover! Most importantly the brownies themselves are incredible – deliciously fudgy yet still firm enough to hold / withstand postage which is obviously so important as an online company. If there’s any good chocolate you can be almost guaranteed that Amy will have baked it into a brownie – I’ve tried several flavours (and have yet to be disappointed) but my personal favourites have to be the cherry bakewell blondie (complete with a bakewell tart!) and the Millionaire’s brownie – one taste of her homemade salted caramel and you’ll want to order a lifetime supply of the stuff!