Food Shopping in London

Let me tell you what I think about shopping in a supermarket in London.
I have travelled a lot and lived in 9 countries. Believe me, you are not always in places where there is a wide choice of things to buy.

Try living in Malindi and then we’ll talk about it!
In short, I’m used to having to settle and adapt.
This means that I also have a very broad and general vision of what there can be in the world in terms of food. Living in London for me means being super lucky because I have an infinite choice of food to choose from. From every culture, from every country and infinite choices for just about anything, really!

It's expensive, isn't it?

Absolutely not. And the reason why it is not expensive to shop in a supermarket in London is that you have so much choice, it’s up to you to decide how much to spend.
If you want to shop at Whole Foods every week, you already know that you will spend more than the average, it is up to you to decide where to go and what to buy.
Tesco and Sainsburys, as well as Asda and Morrison, are supermarkets that are absolutely super stocked with everything and with normal prices. Then of course we have LIDL and ALDI, and why not mention one of my favourites: ICELAND. Where to find all the frozen foods you need. Great prices and good quality!

Then there are obviously the various markets, to buy fresh vegetables if you want. Of course, you can also find fresh vegetables in the supermarket, but going to the neighborhood markets is always a good habit and experience. So, why not!
I also think it is nice, when possible, to support small businesses, so green light for shopping from the local butcher and greengrocer!

Inoltre credo sia bello,q uando possibile, sostenere i piccoli businesses, quindi via libera alla spesa dal locale macellario e fruttivendolo!

London Pub: The Bull

Here we go again.

Where are we going for lunch today? So, John and I literally marched up and down Upper Street one day looking for a nice place for lunch. After having scraped off the usual Café we have been several times already, and after having scanned every menu pinned outside each and every restaurant along Upper Street, we ended up here.

The Bull Pub.

It looks very pretty. A mix in between a traditional British pub and a Mexican restaurant, with a mezzanine floor for bigger parties and a lovely bar area right in the entrance space. We picked a table right next to the window, scanned the QR (hey, we are going through a Pandemic!) and decided what we wanted to eat.

I went for fried chicken because that was what I was craving, and John picked a lovely pie. Everything was super delicious, the waiter was also very sweet and patient with John who, as usual, asked for extra mash and gravy. I have chosen sweet potatoes as a side for my chicken and that, I guess, was the best thing to do: so yummy and crispy.

From their Website: “We pride ourselves on serving up a seasonal menu that’s packed with hearty, traditional British pub classics. From mouth-watering starters and tasty sharing platters to sensational roasts and freshly grilled burgers alongside sumptuous steaks and great vegetarian and vegan options — we’ve got a dish for you this season.”

The rest of the menu looked interesting too, and they have a great selection of drinks, beers and cocktails.

From their Website: “As is the custom in any Great British pub worth its salt, properly poured drinks are at the heart of what we do. So, from our annual Craft Beer Residency to our limited edition On Tap Beers, we’ve got something to tantalise your taste buds.

Not a beer person? Not a problem. We have a fantastic range of wines from around the world for you to sample, along with a great selection of spirits. For those of you who fancy something a little lighter, we have an amazing selection of low & no alcohol drinks.”

Do I recommend it? Yes, great lovely place, great food and the location is perfect too. Ideal sport after a nice shopping session in Angel.

The Bull: 100 Upper Street, London, Greater London, N1 0NP

Mac & Wild | Great Scottish Meat | London

So, I had someone visiting back in February 2020, and this someone loves meat. Like in “good meat”. Did some research and MAC & WILD came up. Ok then let’s try it.

We booked a table at 7 pm, the restaurant in central London is lovely and I am going to tell you this straight away: the staff is very nice and very knowledgeable, especially when it comes to talking about meant a whisky. Which is what this place is all about.

The Menu is Scotland-themed, from the starters to the desserts. We decided to go for a “trio” when it was time to choose the dessert: the best choice ever! Honestly, desserts here are super good!

As for the main meals, I don’t think I have to tell you much, you can see the pictures: good, aren’t they? Yes, the meat was top quality, and the waiting staff very helpful in explaining what was available and how to pair it with their wide selection of whiskeys.

I wanna tell you a bit more about this lovely place, I will paste here a short description take from their website, you can read the rest of it by clicking on the link at the end of the text.

Scotland is home. It’s where we both grew up, and the warm Highland way of life is the constant inspiration for Mac & Wild.

In the Highlands, most folk are closely connected to the land and the produce we gather from it. Perhaps that’s why many traditional farming practices have blessedly been preserved. You won’t find industrialised animal practices here – animals are reared the ‘right’ way – on open pastures, with natural feed and without the use of any chemical nasties. “ CLICK HERE TO READ MORE.

Do I recommend this place? Yes. Of course, it is not cheap, but I don’t think you can place “cheap+good quality+meat” in the same sentence. I believe that when it comes to meat, especially, you need the pay for its value if you expect quality. Great quality, in this case.

Would I go back? Absolutely yes. Because as I was mentioning at the beginning, the experience was super from the starters to the desserts.

Thank you Mac & Wild, we will be back!

Address: various locations. We went to the one it Fitzrovia.
65 Great Titchfield Street, London, W1W 7PS

More Places Where to EAT while in LONDON? Click here!

London Local Cafe: Cafe & Latte in Pretty Highbury

Yes, another lovely Local café I want to tell you about.

But today I also want to tell you about the area in which this Café is located. It is called Highbury. If you are visiting London, chances are you might never end up here. Or maybe you will since it is where Arsenal Stadium is, and I know a few people love to go and visit that Stadium.

Highbury is a residential area, a lovely “villagy” area. This is where you can find your local butcher, the nice pubs, and a lovey greengrocer too. Located near the posh area of Islington and Angel, where the majority of the houses are very nice looking and expensive, and where many VIPs live.

So if you by any chance find yourself here in Highbury, please do go and enjoy a great traditional Full English Breakfast at CAFÉ & LATTE CAFÉ. They also serve lunch and dinner.

My partner ordered here his breakie with a Bubble and squeak, and if you don’t know what that is, I have an article where I tell you everything you need to know about it 😊

I went for bacon and chips, with a good portion of baked beans too. I can’t have gluten often and not even eggs, so when I do find yummy alternatives I go for it. And everyone loves chips and baked beans, innit?!

The staff is super lovely, and the menu is filled up with a good variety of options. You won’t be disappointed. A lovely traditional café with a nice interior deco: exposed brick walls and a very comfy looking armchair. Everything you need to feel at home.

After the meal you can have a walk going south, and back to Highbury Barn. It is just a few mins away and if you still have a little bit of space in that tummy, please visit Highness Café. I used to go there pretty often when my partner lived in Highbury (born and raised there!). It is a nice family-run bakery and they make every single cake from scratch with the best ingredients. You can read more here, in this article.

Hopefully, you now have an extra option for your traditional breakfast in London. Remember that many more “where to eat” options can be found HERE.

Enjoy your breakie!

Address: 147 Blackstock Rd, Finsbury Park, London N4 2JS

Local Cafe in London: Cafe Express | Dollis Hill

The name of this place truly sounds like another cafe I have told you about. Star Express. Well, lets say many do look the same and have similar names! This one tough, is on the opposite side of London. I will be very honest here: it is not located in a tourist area, actually there is nothing truly interesting around here. Please do visit this Cafe if by any chance you end up in Willesden or Dollish Hill area.

It is not far from Neasden Temple, so that might be a great chance! It is a traditional workers cafe. The owners are super kind and the food is very good. Price-wise of course, amazing. We normally spend £10 for the 2 of us, and just £13 or £14 when I decide to go for a more subsantial plate. As I have mentioned you many times in previous article, I am intolerant to eggs, gluten and dairy. So I try not to have those ingredients very often. I know, I then go to Ole & Steen and have muffins and buns… I should not do that, but sometiems I truly cant resist! Anyway.

Cafe Express is located on the main road, just opposite B&M. So if, eventually, you end up here, do go and visit B&M too. Not much that you need in there if you are a visitor (homeware and tinned food mainly!), but a great place to buy if you live in London and need nice cheap stuff.

Address: 404 High Rd, Willesden, London NW10 2DS

I recently had here a jacket potato with tuna. The potato was nicely baked, huge and I must add they used great quality butter on it, it really was tasty!

Ole & Steen | Danish Bakery

This adorable bakery has been a marvellous discovery. I can’t recall how I got to know about it, I just know that I fell in love with it even before stepping inside it!

It is a Danish Bakery and I have a thing for danish pastries, a real thing. I thought it was going to be kind of touristic and chaotic since it is right in central London, just a few meters away from Piccadilly Circus.

Happily surprised to see that it is actually the opposite. Nice dark, modern, sleek, and rather minimalist interiors. As soon as you enter you must take a numbered ticket, go to the pastry counter and tell the staff what you’d love to have, they have pastries and sandwiches, but also avocado on toast and stuff like that.

Everything looks so yummy!

You can also order your drink and collect it from the cafeteria counter. Take your tray and enjoy this fab place!

I love going upstairs, it is so nice. Dimmed lights (that’s why the pictures are nothing good, unfortunately!) and a long nice counter with stools. Free wi-fi and you can stay there as long as you wish.

I fell in love with their Mini Apple Pie. I’ve been baking apple pies for a few years while running my own bakery & cafe, so I guess I can recognize a good apple pie, and Ole & Steen Apple Pie is made to perfection. Tasty with a very good pie crust, filled with flavoured apple chunks, and so-ooo very moist.

Cinnamon Social is another pastry that is to die for. So-ooo flaky and buttery, but at the same time light and tasty. I highly recommend to buy this pastry on your first visit, it is their best seller!

Who are they?!

They have been serving delicious bread and pastries for over 20 years,  products made with the very best ingredients, always.

In 1991, Ole Kristoffersen opened a small bakery in Copenhagen, he wished to create the best pastries ever, baked every day to perfection, by hand. It didn’t take long for the bakery to become very well known in town.

But he was not the only one who actually opened a bakery back in 1991: Steen Skallebaek was opening his own bakery too, this time in Jutland. Similar products, similar ideas, and projects.

In 2008 Ole and Steen decided to join forces.

Nothing much has changed, they still bake the best pastries and bread every day, freshly, at any time of the day.

Very cool and nice place with great quality food.

What else can you ask for?
Prices are affordable, not too high and still, remember you are right in the heart of London.

London Local Cafe: Star Express

Here we are, a lovely local cafe in Angel. This particular one was some kind of surprise. My partner and I were in Angel, as usual, looking for a local cafe, and to be honest with you we wanted to skip the market area, but then we ended up having our fab breakfast here

It is a traditional local café, and even though it is located right on Chapel Market, prices are still very good and in line with a traditional café in a more residential area. We’ve spent an average of £12 for the two of us, and we have been there twice so far.

In these pictures you can see you can have a lot more than the usual fry-up, my partner went for an omelet! Me, being intolerant to a lot of things, I have to adapt and my plate always looks kinda sad! 😊

I have lots more suggestions on local cafe HERE

This area is so nice, the market is a traditional local market, not a tourist one so I strongly recommend visiting Angel. Also, on the nearby (1 min walk away!) the main road you can find lots of restaurants, shops and there are 3 supermarkets in the area too.

Address: 71 Chapel Market, The Angel, London N1 9ER

London & Food: 10 books you Must have! 

Londra & Cibo : 10 Libri che Devi avere! in italiano

If you come to London and then say you eat badly, the problem is yours, let’s face it. Perhaps 25 years ago there was no culinary culture that we have now, it was a city made largely for commerce and tourism, which at the time was certainly not aimed at food. At the time, London was mainly focused on  features such as Piccadilly Circus and the Queen! The good, indeed yummy, typically British dishes had no reason to be offered to tourism. But things have changed. Not only now you can find places where you can enjoy some typical British dishes, done properly, but the city is full of places where you can eat really well, for all budgets and for all tastes.

Here’s a list of 10 books you ‘must’ because they give you a perfect general idea of how this city can give you so much in cafes and restaurants.

Continue reading London & Food: 10 books you Must have! 

British Pubs – Did You Know?

I Pub Britannici – Lo Sapevi?!in italiano

Pubs, Inn, Open Houses. What are they? You can’t possibly say “Britain” without adding soon after the word “pub”, can you? A Pub here in the UK is not just a place where you go for a beer, it is very often the focus of a whole community. If you have been to London, you have seen men in a suit standing outside a Pub after 4.30 pm having a drink. That’s what we do, very often, to let our hair down after work. If you venture out a little, outside the touristic areas, you will see local pubs with locals having a laugh while sipping a good beer. Continue reading British Pubs – Did You Know?

British Chips | Why are they so ugly?

Le Chips Inglesi, perchè son cosi’ brutte?  in italiano

Now, let’s be real, have you ever looked at British chips carefully? I mean the ones that usually come with Fish & Chips?! They are ugly, aren’t they? They often look mushy, wrinkly, not inviting at all. But then, you have the first one and totally forget about how they look. British Chips | Why are they so ugly? Continue reading British Chips | Why are they so ugly?