I’m back again with the second installment in my London trip series, this time to tell you all about the food! I’m not going to lie…the way to my heart is through my stomach, and maybe that’s just another reason I’m in love with London, because the food was amazing! From having High Tea (I’m a born tea lover, so of course this was a given while in England), to local eateries and icons, to our first Michelin star dining experience, London did not disappoint.
If you missed the previous segment, no worries! Catch up with Part 1.
Places to Eat
There are few foods more iconic to England than fish and chips. It was something that I ordered multiple times from multiple restaurants because no one does fish and chips better than the Brits, in my humble opinion. We stopped at pubs, hole in the wall stalls, and restaurants alike and there wasn’t a bad catch in the bunch. The fish and chips pictured above are from a little pub called The Perkin Reveller by the Tower of London, which sadly has since permanently closed. But you’ll find this staple on just about every menu offering traditional British foods.
Le Pain Quotidien
Our first taste of restaurants while in London was brunch at Le Pain Quotidien, which was recommended by our Airbnb host and was very close to our lodgings. It was amazing! I loved the atmosphere and the food was delicious. We came back to this place for breakfast two more times.
Hard Rock Cafe
This location of Hard Rock Cafe is the very first one ever. I have a collection of original / classic Hard Rock t-shirts from the various places I’ve traveled. I’m not sure what to do with them yet, maybe a blanket, but for now, I’m acquiring my collection. Funny side note, we were so jet-lagged and exhausted that by the time our burgers came, we about fell asleep on them!
Fortnum & Mason
As a girl who chooses to drink hot tea on a summer day and can’t stand coffee, High Tea in London was an experience I was adamant that we do. My husband humored me with only a **teeny** bit of eye rolling, but in the end, he loved it just as much as I did. There are so many places around the city that will serve a tea service, but we were of the “go big or go home” mentality, and we chose Fortnum & Mason, dining in the Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon. It was amazing! The atmosphere, the service, the scones and clotted cream, the tea, the jams and lemon curd, the quiche, the finger sandwiches, and, you guys, fun fact…it was all you could eat! That perked my husband right up! It was one of my most favorite experiences of the trip. If you decide to do this, make sure you call ahead, as most places serving High Tea require reservations; and be sure to allow yourself a couple hours, as it is multiple courses served at a leisurely pace. Also worth mentioning are the store front windows, which at the time we were there, were decorated in an Alice in Wonderland tea party with the Mad Hatter. They were amazing! This is a great place to buy some edible souvenirs from your trip or gifts for people back home. The offer an extensive collections of teas, jams and jellies, and lots more!
This was a last minute, let’s see if we can get a reservation kind of thing. I’m sure most people know who Gordon Ramsay is, courtesy of shows like Hell’s Kitchen and Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares to name a couple. So my husband thought, hey, let’s see if we can eat at one of his restaurants! I never suspected that we would actually get a reservation, and we hadn’t planned clothes for a restaurant of this caliber, but we cobbled something respectable together and off we went.
Pétrus, a Michelin-starred restaurant, was such an amazing and memorable experience. It was so much more than I expected it to be thanks to the staff, particularly the sommelier for that evening, who pretty much double-dog-dared me to try foie gras, in an entirely posh way of course, then rewarded my courage with a perfectly paired complimentary glass of wine. And while we waited between courses, the restaurant manager at that time, Ricardo, asked if we would be interested in taking a tour of the wine cellar and the kitchen, which we of course jumped at the opportunity. When he presented us with the very bottle of wine that inspired the idea and name for the restaurant, the manager asked us, “do you want to hold a £40,000 bottle of wine?” I wasn’t taking any chances of fumbling it, and thus declined, but I love that he offered and filled us in on the story behind the restaurant before showing us the kitchen, where the culinary magic happens. It really made our dining experience there so memorable and special.
In the heart of the financial district, aka The City, you will find Leadenhall Market, which boasts an ornate Victorian structure to provide cover for the market. It is one of the oldest markets in London, dating back to the 14th century, when it served primarily as a source of fresh fish, meat and poultry. Now home to many food stands, restaurants, and shops, it is a great place to go for a bite to eat and to do a little shopping. Fun fact, Leadenhall Market was used as the area of London near The Leaky Cauldron and Diagon Alley, for you Harry Potter fans.
I hope you enjoyed this segment of the London series! While these restaurants are hardly the only ones we ate at, they were the ones that really stood out to us during our trip. I’d love to hear about any other recommendations for food in London if you have them, so leave word in the comments below! Up next week, my recommendations if you have more time on your hands in Part 3: Shopping & Beyond.
See the other posts in this series.
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