As much as I was sad to say goodbye to Italy, my belly full of pasta and pizza had me looking forward to a change in cuisine. I left Rome, got on a plane to Heathrow Airport then jumped in a black cab to meet up with lady pal Corridor Kitchen and her beau for a few hang days in the trendy / arty / hipster part of London – Shoreditch.
While exploring Shoreditch and Spitalfields there were two very important things on the hit list: prosecco and scones.
A short stroll from our apartment took us to Old Spitalfields Market, a fabulous and rather big undercover area home to markets with goodies new and old, shops and restaurants. It was here that we stopped for a glass of prosecco, the perfect way to kick off a holiday with friends.
We had amazingly light scones at Canteen in Old Spitalfields Market, served with homemade jam and clotted cream. This batch had just come out of the oven and were light, crisp and wonderfully soft and buttery inside.
Word on the street is Poppies serve the best hot chips around so we snacked up with chip butties and ate them on the sidewalk. These were proper fat, crispy chips. I know double carbs sounds all kinds of wrong but it’s just so dang good.
Getting a dose of culture by hitting the theatre seemed like the right thing to do while visiting London town. We went to the Queen’s Theatre to see Les Miserables and it was fantastic – the set of this long-running production is incredible.
As a kid I remember listening to the audio tape over and over after my folks went to see it. Knowing all the songs (and having seen the recent movie with Aussie lads Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe) made it all the more entertaining. Two four six oh ooooone!
It’s no secret that I have a grandpa crush on Antonio Carluccio so you can imagine I was more than happy to join my pals for their first meal at Carluccio’s. We ordered a tasting trio of pasta to share which was a great choice – penne giardiniera (enormous penne with zucchini, chilli and fried spinach balls), gnocchi al gorgonzola (potato gnocchi with gorgonzola and spinach) and pasta con funghi (papardalle with shiitake, oyster, porcini and button mushrooms). Delizioso!
There is a cute little cafe on Brick Lane called Suzzle and the scent of freshly baked banana cake lured me inside. They had the loveliest slabs of cakes on display in the window which are sliced for each customer. There was such a homemade feel about these treats, it was like munching on something Ma had just made. I’m sad that I came across these beauties towards the end of our stay – I would have loved to pop back in and try more!
Leading up to this trip I received loads of dining tips from friends and readers including a visit to the Beigel Shop for a soft, fresh bagel loaded with pickles and cream cheese with chives. Incredibly cheap and absolutely worth the visit.
As a pet owner, one of the things I miss when I travel is a daily dose of animal love. I was pretty happy to score some kitty smooches at the end of our street. A small, old pub called The Pride of Spitalfields is home to Lenny the friendly pub cat. Lenny lives with his owners upstairs but likes to spend time hanging out with customers on his very own bar stool.
Lenny is looking a tad gloomy here but I can assure you he was one friendly fellow.
And there you have it folks, the beginning of my England adventure! Stay tuned as I share more posts on the other places I visited.
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