A little bit of insight to London; art, bars, cafes, clubs, restaurants, and other things to do in this wonderful multicultural city.

Monday, 30 September 2013


Pitfield is a really nice home decor store that doubles as a café. Its really cute, welcoming and the food is really delicious. The people who work behind are all French, and to me that means they must know something about food, as well as their coffee. Because the French, the Spanish, the Portuguese, the Greeks and the Italians know about food. We have a saying "We live to eat" whereas the others "eat to live". We look for the joys in food, and I think that's what makes me a foodie too. 
I walked in with a few friends, and we went straight to ordering food, I hadn't had anything to eat yet that day. I got a salad, but not one of those weird leafy things. I got a mix of feta cheese, tomatoes, olives, and olive oil as well as cold pasta. And as an Italian I usually stray away from cold pasta salads, but this one was incredible, it almost made me wish I had only gotten the pasta part of it. 
I loved the inside of the place too, because there was a random bronze octopus in the corner and there were loads of cute little details. The section of it that was a store had really strange colour combinations, it was kind of eclectic but somehow everything looked like it was in style, and it fit. Maybe that's just because the place is in Shoreditch. 
Here's the website of the place: http://www.pitfieldlondon.com/
Also do you think I should start including mini maps to show the locations of the places? Comment to let me know what you think.

Saturday, 28 September 2013


My friend and flatmate Emily works at Costa and she invited me to go out with her and her coworkers one Friday night. We went near their work place to a place called Anise near Liverpool Street Station. By the time I got there everyone was already a little buzzed and I soon found out why. All Friday night the cocktails are 2 for 10 pounds. And these cocktails are amazing, different, unique, and obviously delicious. 
The venue is a little bit Moroccan themed with dimmed lanterns as lights, and coffee tables and comfortable couches for the customers to enjoy. They also have a DJ there on Friday and Saturday nights, and the staff working at the bar really like to dance. Everyone seems to be having a good time. Its the type of place where normally only business men (and women) would go for a slightly high class drink but they let me in wearing jeans and a t-shirt so as long as you're buying they'll be happy to see you. 
Its a great place for a girls' night out and making yourself feel better. I had a lot of fun and I want to go back, just for those wonderful spiced martinis. Here's their website: http://www.cinnamon-kitchen.com/Anise

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Beigel Bake

One of the reasons I wanted to live near Brick Lane was the two Bagel places or as they say "Beigel". They are open 24/7 and the staff is always nice no matter what time it is. There are no tables for you to sit and eat, there's a sort of bar area which you can lean against while you eat. But it doesn't matter because these bagels are amazing.
They make the bread freshly themselves and they have huge packages of all the toppings. They do tuna and sweetcorn, ham, cream cheese, smoked salmon, cucumber, salt beef, and a few others that I haven't tried. One salmon and cream cheese bagel only costs 1.60 pounds. Which I think is incredible, even Tesco food isn't that cheap, and the quality of these bagels is so good. They also make cakes, and pastries, but honestly I'd rather have two bagels than cake. They also have drinks, for reasonable prices too unlike other places which charge 2 pounds for a Coca-Cola. 
Its set up in a way that you walk in a line up at their glass cased bar, and stand on your tiptoes to see over the bar to talk to the people serving you. If its full the queue starts outside, but even when the queue is bad the longest I've had to wait is 10 minutes to be served, and queuing gives you time to know what you want to order. Here's their timeout page: http://www.timeout.com/london/restaurants/brick-lane-beigel-bake

Tuesday, 24 September 2013


On a sunny Friday afternoon a cocktail or beer was needed. So I headed to the Boxpark in Shoreditch to grab a drink. This cute little box on the upper floor was serving frozen margaritas and American beer so we had to stop there. The place was called Bukowski. The waitress was really nice and while she got our drinks ready I looked around the little box. 
They had the kitchen at the far end of the box, and they were able to fit in a few booths for people to eat in when the London weather is not so nice which happens to be most of the time. There were a few small details around the restaurant/box which made me like the place even more. My favourite detail was a light up sign saying "Bukowski" in flowing writing as though it had been hand written. 
One of the reasons Bukowski is popular is because they cook their food on a charcoal grill, and therefore the meats have more rustic flavour. Sadly they don't seem to have anything vegitarian on the menu, but if you go with some meat loving friends then you're alright. I just really enjoyed the atmosphere inside their little box, as well as on the open terrase with picnic tables on the top of the Boxpark, its perfect for a casual afternoon. Here's their website: http://www.bukowski-grill.co.uk/

Monday, 23 September 2013


Just off of Piccadilly Circus there is a sign for a "Brasserie", this is where you find Zedel. Zedel is a very special eating experience especially if you care about aesthetics. You walk into a dark bar room and follows signs and arrows leading you down a staircase. When nearing the end of the staircase you see a huge glass chandelier. It really catches you by surprise. 
At the bottom of the stairs you have to choose a room, we chose the Brasserie room but the other options are the "Bar Americain", "The Crazy Coqs" and the "ZL Cafe". Each one has different ambiances and different food and drinks. When walking into the Brasserie we got a little nervous, because after passing the door the room opened up into a huge marble ballroom filled with people dining. And we hoped we didn't need a reservation. The Concierge gave us a card and told us to wait at the bar until a table would be ready for us. So we joined the crowded bar and ordered some wine for the wait. Feeling a little under dressed we looked around trying to catch a glimpse of the food. After about an hour or so we were seated. 
The menu was very French, and I overheard a woman say that they change it every time she's there. We decided it was worth getting a starter and a main because how often are you in a beautiful ballroom having dinner? I got some paté as my started because its one of my guilty pleasures. I just love how good paté tastes. And as a main I got duck confit with lentils.
I think what I enjoyed the most about this dinner was that I had food which I love and it was up to my standards. Of course we didn't pass on dessert therefore we each ordered a creme brule. This was when we should have stopped, and maybe gotten one to share. The creme brule was delicious but it left us feeling much too full, uncomfortably so. Other than leaving the restaurant with the impression I was about to explode it was an incredible meal. It wasn't even too pricey, I think I spent around 35 pounds for the whole meal and the wine at the bar. I will definitely go there again, I just need a new food-loving buddy.
Here's their website: http://www.brasseriezedel.com/

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Le Fin Gourmand: Luxembourg

Last week I asked my dad if he could take us to eat somewhere nice before I went back to London, especially because I hadn't been to eat anything French the whole time I was in Luxembourg. So we booked a table at Le Fin Gourmand, a well known francophone restaurant in Luxembourg city. Upon entering the restaurant we were greeted by a woman who took our coats and then showed us to our seats. The restaurant is well divided so that it doesn't get too loud in each of the rooms, and from my seat I could look into the kitchen. 
While glancing through the menu I couldn't choose what to eat, I was hoping they'd have at least one dish with crab, but they didn't because they had just switched to their autumn menu. In the end I had sautéd duck liver on a bed of mushrooms and spinach. And as a main dish, veal with canelloni filled with mushrooms on the side. Overall the food was really well prepared and the waiting time between dishes wasn't too long. I hate when they make you wait an hour between the starter and the main dish. Compared to the UK the service was a bit slow, because they don't expect to seat each table twice, so they pamper you a little more. The waitress had a conversation with us about the road works happening outside, and stopped to give her suggestions as well. 
One of the other things I loved was the restaurant's "catch phrase", we don't eat, we dine. And I truly believe that with very good food not only do you care about the flavour but you care about the eating experience and who you share the experience with. 
In conclusion, I ate really well and I had a good time. I'd gladly go there again. But to put it nicely, its not cheap. Here's their website: http://www.lefingourmand.lu/

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Onesto: Luxembourg

Spending most of my summer in Luxembourg meant that I got to eat at some of the places I loved when I lived here full time. One of the best places to eat near the pedestrian area of the town is "Onesto". They advertise themselves as a pizzeria but they have so much other good Italian food too. Being Italian I rarely want to go out and order a dish of pasta so I always opt for things I can't make at home. Last time I went there with my friends Katie and Caoimhe, I had "frittura mista di verdura", meaning, fried and sautéd vegetables. They were cut really thin, and they were perfectly salted. I loved it. 
One of my favourite Italian dishes is fried zucchini (or pumpkin) flowers. I know it sounds weird, but you have to try them. Onesto serves them as dish of the day occasionally, and they stuff them with cheese before they fry them. Its amazing.
Another thing that is super cute about Onesto is that they have an external terace hidden in the back of the restaurant. Its like a mini oasis, you can see a few other restaurants and the back of some buildings from your seat. Its the perfect place to catch up with friends. And another super cute detail is that the chairs are all multicoloured. 
Here's their website: http://www.resto-onesto.lu/

Friday, 20 September 2013


One rainy day in London we went to Richmond park to have a picnic under a big tree, and see the deer. We chose to take the bus to the park (371) and get off at the American University stop, near the Richmond Entrance of the park. We discussed what the defines a park, I think I came to the conclusion that a park is any area of nature/green land which is somewhat monitored and controlled by humans. As we were walking through the park towards the lake we noticed that a section of the woods had wire around it so the animals of the park wouldn't damage the plant growth. 
After enjoying our picnic under a large group of trees we walked through the path in the middle of the lake and looked at a few ducks. At this point Daniella intelligently jumped from one side to the other landing in the water making her foot soaked. So we relaxed on a bench while she tried to get dry. We then walked through  an area of the park where the deer were grazing. They were just all relaxing together, eating, pooing, you know the usual things deer do. But we were able to get pretty close to them without them getting frightened which was pretty cool. After we took about a billion photos of them we walked further on near where the young "Bambi's" were. They were a lot more scared of us than the other older deer.
We then went to relax and read our books in a shaded covered forest area, where we were lucky enough to see some bunnies pass by. I think that was the highlight of my day. The cold weather made it difficult to enjoy the nature around us, but it was fun to be out of the city in a group and see what a less populated area is like. I recommend going to Richmond, but not on a rainy day. 

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

TGI Fridays

When I was in Nottingham my friend Tatiane took me to TGI Fridays, because I said "no way" to Wagamama's (I've been there way too much). Walking in I already notice the obsessive American theme and the blasting music. They sit us down in a booth, and hand us the menus. While choosing what to eat I notice the different American memorabilia scattered through the restaurant, and the moving images on the Televisions. We both ordered fajitas and large coca-colas. 
The staff was all really polite and served us everything well, even checking on us if we wanted more free refills of cola or if we needed different sauces for our food. The music was all quite catchy and fun, making the ambiance good, and it was nice to not be close enough to hear the conversations at the other tables. We were both really tired and when the food arrived we didn't say much. But I think the amount of food given was good and they gave the right amount of tortillas for the meat and dressing given. Also the salsa wasn't too spicy so I could actually put it on my food. 
The food was good for a stop on a Saturday afternoon, and I know they have a TGI Fridays in Leicester Square in London too. So if you're looking for a place that will accommodate a big group of people for affordable tasty meals you can go to them. Here's the website: http://www.tgifridays.com/

Monday, 16 September 2013

Jamie's Italian

A few weeks ago I went to eat at Jamie's Italian in Angel with some friends. We had a table near the window on the furthest edge from the entrance. It was really full and really loud. But everyone seemed to really be enjoying their food. I glanced over the menu a couple times choosing a different dish each time but I settled with Wild Rabbit Tagliolini (pasta). I didn't really feel hungry enough to have a starter, so I waited as the others ate theirs.
Their starters looked really incredible, and I was looking forward to getting my dish. The service throughout the meal was pretty slow, and we were getting a little impatient because we already had been given so much time to choose our order, and way too much time between the starter and the main. Our main dishes did not arrive all at the same time, but instead I had to wait a few extra minutes. Once receiving my dish I jumped straight in. But after the first taste I was really disappointed. They had really over seasoned my dish, I could barely taste the rabbit due to the flavour of pepper covering all of my taste buds. 
Knowing how much people had raved about Jamie Oliver's cooking I had expected it to be good, but I guess as an Italian I really shouldn't expect much. I would have sent the dish back if the waitress had walked past our table, but by the time she had come round to check on our food I had slowly swallowed more than half of the dish because I had been hungry. I did however leave some of the pasta behind, and I really rarely don't finish what I've been given. Overall, I don't recommend it, maybe I just had a bad experience but if you want something more authentic look for somewhere truly Italian. Its really a shame because so many things on their menu seemed interesting and if it had been good then I probably would have gone back really soon after that meal. 

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Exmouth Coffee

Living near Aldgate East tube station meant that I've walked past Exmouth Coffee a million times. It hasn't always been open because I tend to get home pretty late, but when it is, everytime my mouth waters due to their cakes and snacks in the window. Its hard to see what the name of this place is because the name of it is only written on a wooden bench they have outside when they're open. It looks like a black painted café with sandwiches and a lot of other food. 
Sadly, its one of those places where they charge you a little more if you eat in, so I've only eaten in once. But other than that I love them. I used to try to go there before uni to get freshly squeezed orange juice, because its the best. I think what I like the most about them is their food, but they brew pretty good coffee too. I just love that somehow their food all looks and feels healthy. If I had the money I'd get lunch there every day. Maybe next year I'll treat myself to it once a week. 
The atmosphere there is really nice, everyone seems happy to work even if they're tired. And sometimes if you're lucky you can even see some of the staff dancing and singing along to the music they have playing. Now that I've been thinking about it, I could really use one of their turkey sandwiches. 
I can't find their webpage so here's their page on yelp: http://www.yelp.co.uk/biz/exmouth-coffee-company-london

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Belmacz Gallery

The Belmacz gallery is a tiny little gem in Mayfair. My friend Kristin's cousin showed his work there so she was invited to the opening of their new show. The gallery is tiny, with one room on the ground floor and a smaller one below but the space is used well. The pieces are shown in the window and one along each wall, except for two smaller pieces on the largest wall. Sculpture is also well integrated into the exhibit and it is set up in a way that you can truly only focus on one piece at a time, which I really liked.
One of the organizers of the gallery (Julia Muggenburg) has her own jewelry brand and make-up brand. Her necklaces and other items are shown throughout the gallery in a metal glass display hanging from the ceiling on the ground floor and in a wall display on the lower floor. Also, when arriving on the lower floor you can peak into their offices which gave me a bit more understanding of the process behind it. 
The night itself went really well, we drank a few whiskey sodas and mingled with a few artists trying to understand their thought process behind their work. The more traditional pieces were by artists who had very strong technical skills whereas the most controversial piece (Kristin's favourite) was done by a man who programmed the whole image on a computer. He was able to create a person in 3D form digitally and then map out the shape. His friend then drew the whole image that was then mapped back onto the digital body. The other layers in the piece were also created by the artist using digital software. This was really interesting to us because it shows how much the world is changing with technology, and it was really great to see what we could create. 
Here's the gallery's website: www.belmacz.com

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Hard Rock Cafe

I've been to the Hard Rock Cafe many times in several different countries, but I've never eaten there. My parents aren't fans of chain restaurants so I've gotten used to avoiding chain restaurants as much as possible. But after talking about it a few times with my friend Miguel he convinced me to go there for lunch with him while his sister was visiting in London. 
I liked the music straight away when I walked in. And I loved that they were able to seat us the second we got there even though it seemed really busy. Looking through the menu and having had a burger a mere 48 hours before I decided to opt for a chicken sandwich. But this wasn't just a plain sandwich, it had honey mustard, cheese and bacon. Definitely my type of sandwich. Also, similar to other American restaurants they do free refills for all the sodas (soft drinks). 
But I think what I liked the most of the restaurant and the store is that they have memorabilia. I know that's what makes the Hard Rock the Hard Rock but I really liked being that close to all that music. Especially since they were playing a set of songs that I really like but had forgotten about because I've been having a house and electro music phase. Overall, I'd probably eat there again, but I'd hope to be seated somewhere else just so that I could see some other items left behind by musicians. 
Here's their website: http://www.hardrock.com/