Most people who visit London usually have a visit to Harrods on their agenda. Located in Knightsbridge, Harrods is a 5 acre department store with over 330 departments and sells pretty much everything from pets to jewellery it also has 32 restaurants serving everything including champagne and oysters to doughnuts.
The main draw however (well for me anyway) is the food hall. Harrods Food Hall is as high end as you are ever going to get in terms of food. Spread out over several huge rooms it consists of; Butchers, Fishmongers, Patisserie, Tea and Coffee, Bakery, Greengrocers, Deli, Fromage and Sweets, I've probably forgot something but you get the picture. To give you some example of pricing of products, a single pomegranate costs £9. In the Fishmonger there are tiny tins of cavier (25g) that sell for several hundred pounds depending on the type. Needless to say we didn't buy much although the Other Half couldn't resist buying some rather strong smelling cheese from the Fromage. I would recommend a visit just to marvel at the amazing displays of food, it can however get very busy so beware.
*I was unable to take pictures due to the vast amount of people, have a look on google images for pictures.
87-135 Brompton Road
London SW1X 7XL
020 8479 5100
Monday, 30 August 2010
Walk up Camden high street and keep an eye out for the decorative shop fronts, its worth a walk just to check these out. After awhile you will see a bridge with Camden Lock in big green and yellow letters, congratulations you have arrived in a small slice of food heaven. Turn left towards the canal locks for the main food area.
Camden Lock market is amazing, dozens of food stalls selling everything from tapped coconuts, pina colada filled pineapples, some of the tastiest Chinese food you will try, specialist coffee and tea's, fish and chips, Argentine steak burgers, various Indian creations, milkshakes, freshly made pizza, Turkish wraps, flafal and many many more, chances are if you have a favourite food its probably here. Most stalls, faced with all the competition, offer free samples usually by shouting over to tell you and I reckon you could easily get fed by just wandering around a few times but do buy a few things and keep this market going.
If you take a right turn at the bridge, you will end up in a small foodie section consisting of mainly Chinese stalls although there was one stall that caught my eye that sold huge calzones which looked lovely, in this area there is also a line of vespa scooter seats overlooking the canal to enjoy the many foodie delights available. Further on into this area and you will encounter more shopping stalls selling products including t-shirts and handmade jewellrey.
So if you have a few hours to spare and are very hungry head to Camden and have a wander around.
*I didnt take any decent pictures for some reason (im blaming temporary insanity) so check out the website below or try Google, or visit yourself!
Open from 10am daily
Nearest Underground Station: Camden Town
Sunday, 29 August 2010
The Horniman is located on the bank of the Thames next to Hays Galleria.
The pub itself is nothing special or unique and styled in typical 'Nicholsons' decor with vast amounts of dark wood beams and panels. It serves around 10 real ales from around the country including Cumbrian and Yorkshire beers. (keep an eye out for a current cask ale loyalty card that the Nicholson chain is running, buy four pints and get the fifth free.) What makes this pub worth a visit is it location. It is located directly on the bank of the Thames next to the HMS Belfast and in between London Bridge and Tower Bridge, the Tower of London and the London Gherkin are in eyesight. If you can get a seat in the beer garden (this pub gets exceptionally busy) then it is a perfect place to drink away a summery night in London, just ignore the strange name of the place.
The Horniman at Hays,
Nearest Underground Station: London Bridge
Last Christmas on a visit to London we wandered into the bar at Claridges for an after dinner drink. Located in the right hand corner of the hotel's lobby.
Being a huge Bond fan I had wanted to try a Vesper Martini since watching Casino Royale but in my quest to find a place that made this drink had proved fruitless. After finding a table a friendly waitress came over to take our drink orders so I thought I would try my luck and asked if they knew how to make a Vesper, the waitress responded with 'yes our bar staff know how to make all the classic cocktails' Result! upon telling my friend this he got very jealous so we made arrangements to all go next time we were in London.
Claridges bar as you would expect is very upmarket, a round for 4 people will set you back a small bank loan with normal cocktails costing £12.50 and champagne cocktails £15, what you get for this however is a superbly made drink by highly trained bar staff, table service, a constant supply of superb bar snacks including savory popcorn with paprika and sesame and cheese bread sticks and a chance to experience one of London's most stylish and sophisticated bars that the city has to offer.
The atmosphere is cosy and friendly but if you are not in a shirt you may feel a bit under dressed.
If you are feeling a bit cash happy, having a celebration or just want to live it up for a bit then head here, just make sure your finances are stable beforehand.
3 measures of Gin, Tanqueray Import Strength 47.3% is a good choice
1 measure of Vodka, use a good quality vodka at 50%
1/2 measure of Lillet
Shake over ice and serve in a Martini Glass with a twist of lemon peel.
Nearest Underground Station - Bond Street
Dirty Martini is a cocktail bar located at Covent Garden beneath Tuttons Brasserie. Monday to Thursday the bar does a very good happy hour from 5 to 8pm, with martinis for only £4 and half prices glasses of champagne amongst other offers. we popped in to take advantage of this at around 7pm on a Wednesday and found the place was rammed, we decided to battle our way to the bar anyway and after a bit of a wait we managed to order a drink. The Other Half went for a Passion fruit Martini made with Gin, Passoa and fresh passion fruit, i went for a Japanese martini made with Saki, fresh watermelon, apple juice and lychee liqueur. I ordered this expecting a green cocktail, for some reason I didn't engage my brain enough to remember that watermelon is not green or yellow and as such received a very pink cocktail, very manly! They were however very nice cocktails and mine came served with a lemongrass straw which I thought was a nice touch. I would recommend a visit but go at a different time than us.
11-12 Russell Street
Dirty Martini Website
Thursday, 12 August 2010
The pub itself is small and cosy but it can be quite intimidating on first wandering because it is quite a 'local' pub but the regulars and the landlord are very friendly, the pub is part of the Huddersfield Pool League and such possesses a high quality pool table for the very reasonable price of 50p per game.
The pub is decorated with pictures of Huddersfield's varied history which makes for a very interesting slow wander around, pint in hand.
The Flyboat is not considered part of the Huddersfield Ale Scene, partly because of its location and its lack of guest ales, it does however maintain Tetley's Cask Bitter and Mild superbly and a bad pint of either of these in this pub is almost unheard of.
A regular quiz night with a free supper also takes place on a Thursday at 9.50pm.
The pub is open from 5 in the evenings and all day at the weekends and worth a visit if you are that end of town.
Thursday, 5 August 2010
Me and the Other Half, on the back of recent academic successes and the fact that she had recently relocated to Headingley, decided to go for a celebratory meal at Salvos Restaurant. Having heard good things from various locations not least a certain programme by a certain Mr Ramsay we were looking forward to a good meal.
We arrived at around 7pm and were told there would be a 45 minute wait, we were expecting this after being told they do not take bookings. Instead of waiting in their bar we instead decided to head over the road to Arcadia Bar for a drink.
On returning we were pleasantly greeted and immediately shown to our table to look through the menu. The staff brought over some complimentary olive bread and oil to nibble on whilst deciding. After much debate, I settled for a starter of Grilled Sardines with lemon, garlic and a spicy caper mayonnaise and a main of Venison with garlic mashed potatoes, grilled courgettes and onion and red wine gravy. The Other Half went for rare roasted thin strips of steak with horseradish coleslaw and a langoustine and king scallop risotto.
The food was stunning, the sardines were perfectly cooked, crispy with soft flesh, I previously had grilled sardines in Barcelona in the middle of the seafood market and these were better than then. I was half way through the second huge sardine before I remembered there was a dressing for them which complimented them perfectly when I eventually tried it. The venison at the Chefs recommendation was served pink and was cooked flawlessly, huge strips of soft juicy meat on buttery garlic mash, my food heaven. The other half’s risotto was also cooked to perfection especially the scallops with creamy flesh and were beautifully seasoned.
Due to it being a celebration we decided to splash out on a dessert and decided on a sharing platter of Salvos five desserts;
Vanilla Panna cotta with berries
Each were as delicious as the last, even after being forced down due to lack of stomach space. I had chickened out of taking pictures of the other courses, due to the close proximity of other diners but this course just begged for a picture especially with the surrounding tables just staring at for several minutes after its arrival. An aperitif of a Grappa and a cup of coffee finished off the meal and put the finishing touches on the impending food coma.
The service was impeccable, very friendly and accommodating, the restaurant whilst being small with many tables did not seem crowded or cramped but intimate and cosy with a superb atmosphere. The final bill came to around the £80 mark but do not let that put you off as we did go all out with 3 courses, wine and coffee. It is quite possible to eat here for half of that with pasta and pizza dishes around the £9 region. Get yourself there for some fine Italian food.
109 and 115 Otley Road
Headingley, Yorkshire LS6 3PX
0113 275 5017