A couple of days after arriving in London it was my birthday (coincidence? I think not!) and I spent the day with my sister and her man.
Thankfully, Islington where we stayed (north of the city) is a hub for restaurants and just up the road from popular Ottolenghi so of course this was my first choice for a birthday lunch.
It was a warm Sunday and as recommended we met mid morning to line up as they don’t take lunch bookings. What do you do while you’re waiting? Ogle the extravagant display of sweets in the front window. We wait for about 20 minutes to be seated on the long communal table and it’s worth the wait.
The menu changes daily and I was chuffed to see it showing off the date! We start with a bottle of white wine and fresh mixed breads with oil. Then it’s time to walk over to the salads on display and pick which ones to have. They are all so fresh, light and healthy – it’s the perfect lunch for a sunny day in London.
The salads I had were:
- Char-grilled broccoli with chilli and garlic
- Mixed green beans with capers, chilli, turmeric panko, mixed olives, cherry tomato and orange zest
- Saffron cauliflower with caramalised red onions, pomegranate seeds, sultanas, pine nuts and celery
There were so many amazing sweets, it really was quite hard to choose. I went with the orange and almond cake with chocolate ganache. Light, moist and not too sweet. It was a fantastic lunch, I’m so glad we went.
Afterwards we went for a few cocktails then headed to bustling Brick Lane to check out the markets and do a little shopping, had a few more cocktails then shared an Indian feast for dinner. Best birthday ever? I think so!
So friends, what did you do on your most memorable birthday?