In the not too distant past, on visiting London, you’d have been faced with some rather strange and uninteresting options for local cuisine. Once, common traditional delicacies, sold throughout the London streets, included jellied eels, a particularly gelatinous meal, along with pie and mash, (also originally made using London’s abundance of eels). Over time, eel pies were thankfully replaced with those made from minced meat or mutton, as meat became cheaper and the eel population declined! To accompany these treats, another London favourite, usually served as a side dish, were cockles winkles and whelks, or a portion of cod and chips, served in newspaper!
Thankfully, with the huge influx of multicultural influences within the capital, ‘British’ cuisine has developed out of all recognition during the last few years, through the welcome introduction of ….flavour!! From a simple ‘meat and two veg’ society during the 60’s and 70’s, Britain is now addicted to the spicy, more interesting foods of today’s London eateries and food outlets. This long awaited, dramatic turning point in British eating habits, along with our love affair with the ‘new era’ of experimental British cuisine’, has resulted in many fabulously exciting restaurants and special cafés surfacing throughout the capital. London is now on the ‘foody radar’ and is becoming one of the most popular cities in the world now for its inventive array of superb dishes, often inspired by overseas cooking.
Celebrity Chef Restaurants
There are a plethora of excellent celebrity restaurants dotted around the city. The Ivy, for example, situated in Covent Garden, is a long-standing ‘celebrity haunt’ within art- deco surroundings, which excels in providing modern British food, and Ivy classics along with other contemporary dishes, suited to any palette.
Covent Garden is also renowned for other well- known celebrity chef haunts, such as Jamie's Italian. This restaurant is perfect for al fresco dining, whilst you soak up the atmosphere of this famous ancient, London market. It features fantastic, rustic dishes inspired by the traditional food of Italy, incorporating flavour and flair with a great cocktail or two!
Or why not head to celebrity chef Angela Hartnett's Cafe Murano, a spin -off of her restaurant in Mayfair, where you’ll experience her take on cooking, using big, bold flavours. Delicious classics such as braised lamb shoulder with Tuscan beans and celery will take you beyond heaven, whilst the jewel in their crown is the veal tartare, a melt in the mouth delicacy.
More Modest Options
For a menu dedicated to the bounty of the sea, try J Sheekey, which serves fabulous oysters and shellfish along with old-fashioned snacks like herring roe on toast. Alternatively, try their more upmarket dishes, like Dover sole or lobster thermidor. The comforting fish pie is outstanding, whilst the shrimp and scallop burger takes the taste buds to a whole new level.
Or for an even more affordable dining experience, why not seek out ‘Battersea Pie’ in Covent Garden Market, which has the aim of making proper British food and sharing it with as many people as possible? Here you’ll get a truly authentic and delicious British dining experience, enabling you to sample a wide range of succulent pies, with of course, the inevitable mash!
Whilst exploring the eateries of Covent Garden, to make your stay even more relaxing, why not stay at one of Euracom’s serviced apartments within the area, such as…
These apartments are close to the wide variety of shops, markets and restaurants and are perfectly located between Covent Garden and Leicester Square. Each impeccable apartment offers designer furnishings and modern appliances such as digital LCD TV, DVD player, internet access and fully equipped kitchen. The penthouse apartment boasts a fabulous kitchen and a huge private balcony, plus much more!
Other features of these apartments include:
- Balcony / Terrace (upon request)/Central heating/ Daily cleaning service
- Desk / workspace/ Dining table & chairs
- Fully equipped kitchen/ Dishwasher in some apartments/ Laundry / dry cleaning facilities available
- Door entry phone/ Lifts/ Meet & greet arrival service
- DVD player/ Hairdryer available/ Iron / Ironing board
- Radio / Alarm clock/ TV / Freeview
So why not combine a ‘celebrity chef dinner’ or night on the town, with a luxurious stay in these fabulous apartments?
Try the Unusual!
Moving closer towards Regents Park, a few of the more unusually named restaurants include ‘The Potato Project’, the baked potato company. The owners are passionate about giving you a quality fresh menu in atmospheric and homely surroundings and providing an exciting experience for everyone. Their menu shows that the humble potato can be more than just something you have with beans or cheese! Typical twists on the classic jacket include, a smoked ham hock, pesto mayo, sun-dried tomato & melted mozzarella filling. (Makes you wonder whether you can get a potato that’s big enough to accommodate this lot!)
Or, a mere stones- throw away, near Shoreditch, is the The Ginger Pig Café, which is an unpretentious, reasonably priced eatery. The Ginger Pig Cafe is a rustic, yet cosy place, within Hoxton Market. Apart from the typical breakfast and brunch dishes, there are delectable burgers and rib eye steaks on the brunch menu. A warning though, these sizable dishes aren’t for the fainthearted!
A trip to the Archipelago Restaurant (W1), will send you on a sensory dining journey amidst palm trees, Buddhas and giant peacock feathers! A globally inspired cuisine awaits and will ensure that your senses are awakened through fragrant and indulgently tantalising dishes. If you want to sample crocodile, wildebeest and kangaroo, then this restaurant is for you, whilst if you prefer classics like chicken and fish, then these are also firmly on the menu. If you want to part of ‘London’s culinary portal to world cuisine’ then this restaurant will give you a night to remember!
The Alchemist (EC3) This experimental cocktail lounge and eatery in the heart of London is well worth a visit. Here, mixologists ‘create every cocktail with an obsessive eye for detail, presented in vessels orchestrated to add a devilish dash of theatre.’ Also specialising in a range of menus, which, according to customers ‘cross between genres’, inevitably making this an extremely interesting, entertaining evening! They serve huge main courses, along with ‘naughty nibbles’ to accompany a drink. The rather oddly adorned walls and weird and wonderful artworks, provide an additional talking point! do.
Whilst sampling some of London’s best West End eateries, why not also sample Euracom’s amazingly spacious, yet affordable serviced apartments at the following location?
This property, set in the heart of London's West End, is a short walk from London’s major amenities and attractions. It features a range of one bedroom apartments accommodating up to 3 people, along with a studio which can accommodate 2. For a weekly rate of only £650 p/w, the building is in a prime position for all central restaurants, bars and pubs, and has good accessibility to the underground.
Other features include…
- Desk / workspace
- Dining table & chairs
Fully equipped kitchen/Dishwasher in some apartments / Laundry / dry cleaning facilities available
- Door entry phone/ Property supervisor nearby
- Telephone/ TV / Freeview/ Wifi
- Twin or double beds in some apartments
Venturing ever more eastwards towards East London, the ‘Cereal-Killer Café is a must!
Situated in Brick Lane, at the heart of the East End, this colourful, nostalgic eatery boasts more than 120 cereals, plus a selection of milk and toppings. Ranging from the bog standard cereal (it is anything but!), to ‘CEREAL MILK ICE CREAM’, which is an excellent way to cool down during our long, (hopefully), hot summer, this café provides excellent value for money, even catering for the little rascals in our life, by offering such delicacies as ‘Disney princess cereals’ or ‘Frankenberry’, for the boys! For a breakfast with a difference, this is a must!
Alternatively, the Frog Restaurant (E1), run by chef of the year (2014), Adam Handling, is worth a visit if you want beautifully presented food sourced with the finest ingredients. Adam’s love of all things Asian has inspired him to create dishes prepared with a number of different techniques and styles, thus delivering a real depth of flavour to his recipes. Dishes to delight your taste buds include crab doughnuts, which will both surprise and wow you! Adam’s ingenious cooking and flavour combinations, demonstrates just how far British cooking has come along since those heady days of the jellied eel!
If you are intending to make your visit to London’s eateries an extended one, then Euracom’s serviced apartments listed below will make an ideal base.
Ideally suited for travellers wishing to stay in the very heart of London's City centre to access the major tourist attractions, these contemporary styled, self-catering apartments have been tastefully furnished those personal touches giving them a ‘home from home’ feeling. From a nightly fee of £129p/n, these spacious living quarters are fitted to a very high standard, featuring a comfortable lounge, fully equipped kitchen & modern bathroom. Furthermore, many of the apartments have balconies, giving scenic views of London’s striking skyline. There are excellent transport links and the apartments are close to many of the trendy, quirky bars and restaurants mentioned above.
Other features include:
- Balcony / Terrace (upon request)
- Bathroom / En-suite bathroom in some apartments/
- Fully equipped kitchen/ Dishwasher in some apartments/ Iron / Ironing board
- DVD player / Satellite TV/ Freeview/ Wifi
- Concierge / security / reception/ Lifts / Lobby / waiting area
- Daily or weekly linen change
- Dining table & chairs / Tea / coffee making facilities
- Sofa bed (upon request)
By CCFoodTravel.com - PC304602, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=40777508By Rob at 11 Jul 2017