When it comes to cake, there’s no denying that we Londoners are spoilt to pieces! From the absolutely stunning (but slightly overhyped!) cupcakes and layer cakes served up amongst flawless pink and floral décor at some of London’s most “Instagrammable” spots, to tiny little cafes and coffee shops offering tray bakes, loaf cakes and beautifully rustic home-style bakes, London has it all. As possibly my favourite baked item (after cookies!), I’ve probably had more cakes than any other type of food in London, but it’s rare that I walk into a small coffee shop and am truly blown away by their counter! Most coffee shops have a fairly modest offering – with pastries, simple cookies, brownies or (often very sorry looking!) loaf cakes, but to find homemade cakes this impressive is definitely something I sadly rarely ever see in coffee shops around London.
Murger HanHan is the Mayfair branch of Euston’s Murger Han and the pair of restaurants are specialists in regional Chinese cuisine from Xi’an City in the Shan Xi Province – the home of the legendary Terracotta Warriors of the Qin Dynasty. Along with various other unique aspects, they’re apparently the only restaurant in Europe to serve traditional drinks from Xi’an City such as Ice Peak Orange and Xi’an rice wine.
Although it may seem like I’m always eating out (okay.. yes admittedly I do eat out a lot!) I really struggle when it comes to choosing dinner places. Often when I eat out during the week I go for simple options, and with pizza being one of my favourite foods I do end up at places like Pizza Pilgrims and Franco Manca more often than I probably should.. but they’re just so good! My decision making is poor at best, and it’s hard enough to choose a brunch spot, but when it comes to dinner options I can’t even decide on a cuisine, let alone a restaurant!
Maggie Jones’s first opened in 1964 as Nan’s Kitchen, and was reportedly Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon’s favourite restaurant at the time. Restaurant owners say that they would slip in at around 9.30pm, sit in a discreet booth at the back on the ground floor and order their favourite dish – the chicken pie. In the early seventies the restaurant changed its name in honour of its most famous client, who used to book under the alias ‘Maggie Jones’. Over the years, it has actually welcomed most of the Royal family.
Earlier this month I was lucky enough to be able to travel to Australia for the first time! It’d been on my list of places to visit for so long, so I felt so lucky to have the opportunity to be taken there for an event! Since I was competing I didn’t have much free time and having just started a new job I couldn’t justify extending my time there to fly to Melbourne and Sydney (where my list of brunch spots is growing at almost as rapid a rate as my London list!!) but during the couple of days I still managed to discover some amazing places!
Lists. Where would every sane person be without them!? Ironically I have more lists than I can keep track of, but I’d be totally lost without them – with the longest undoubtedly being my ‘places to eat’ list. In fact, that list got so long that I split it into separate lists for different meals, but then the brunch list got so long that I needed to split that again, with different lists having different priority levels! Surely every food-lover does the same..