London, baby!!! I was excited to go back to London after two years since my maiden visit there. Of course, the currency had dipped to 5.8 to the pound. That's no where as bad as it is now but I was worried about what I could afford to eat there for two weeks.
This foodie guide is in no way a budget guide. I splurged on food and didn't shop much. One must make sacrifices in the name of good food!
So, my first stop was Borough Market. I had heard great things about this place. Everyone who knew I was visiting London insisted that I make at least one trip to Borough Market to try their fresh offerings.
The duck confit wrap (£4.50) came highly recommended by friends and was easily my favourite of the lot.
The market is a great place to shop for quintessentially English food like pies and blood pudding and other delicacies of the sort.
The scotch eggs (£3) were also recommended and though it was my first time trying it, it was possibly the best scotch egg I would ever have.
We had a couple of spoonfuls of the paella - they give out plenty of free samples at the market. So even if you're not buying anything, if you're a small eater, you could be full just from tasting everything!
We even tried their version of a Malaysian Chicken Curry. While quite flavourful and spicy, it lacked the Malaysian authenticity and punch you'd find from the neighbourhood mamak stall. It also smelled a little too "clean" for my liking.
We also sank our teeth into cream-filled doughnuts (£2.50). Those with a sweet tooth mustn't miss out on this.
We sampled freshly squeezed fruit juices (£3) - none of that overpriced bottled cold press nonsense here!
There was a line for the fish & chips and by this point we had only seen half the market and eaten our way through a fair share. So we gave this a pass. It was also quite pricey.
The artisanal chocolates are to die for. Just take a small sample piece for taste because it might be a little too decadent to indulge a whole packet all by yourself.
I couldn't resist buying a bratwurst (£4.50) to try. No regrets. Though, there was a grilled cheese stall right next to this one and I really wanted a sammie but had to forego it because I was really running out of stomach space at this point.
We even saw a gumbo stall at the very far corner of the market.
We saw this in a jam shop and had to snap a picture. Our new motto to live by!
Camden Lock Market
Our next stop was Canden Lock market, just a 10 minute walk from our hotel in Hampstead.
It gets crazy packed on a Sunday morning.
But I indulged in rich dark and milk chocolate covered strawberries coated with crushed hazelnuts (£4.50).
And the iconic English dish - fish & chips (£6 - we opted for no chips). The line looks long but moves quickly.
You can even enjoy a nice canal view while you snack on your spoils.
The paella stall will draw you in with its tantalising scent. But skip the paella and instead try a kebab skewer (£2.50).
Or perhaps go for a foot long pork belly wrap (£5.50)that serves as a full meal on its own.
Camden Lock area is picturesque and acts as a meeting ground for a huge number of hipsters. You can buy local art, trinkets and random items at the various stalls. But the crowds mainly flock there for the food.
Burger & Lobster
We also "fancied" it up a little and hit Burger & Lobster - a popular restaurant chain that everyone goes to for the lobster roll and lobster. But not so much for the burger. And those three items literally make up their entire menu of dishes.
Fancy = having a wet towel.
Prepare to fork out £20 for this monster of a dish. If you're a huge lobster fan, go nuts with this!
I really enjoyed the lobster roll I ordered. Also £20. It comes with a thick, almost addictive garlic ranch sauce. Truly, these dishes would fit in in any southern restaurant in America.
Paradise by way of Kensal Green
This is worth a mention. It was where my uncle held his wedding ceremony and the traditional wedding breakfast that accompanies the civil ceremony.
They bake the most tender and succulent fowl served stop a bed of lentils. So perfect in every way.
If you're a big fan of cheese, the burrata is delicious and the portion is more than generous.
If you're more into lamb, try their lamb shank.
But certainly, dessert is equally important. They serve up one of the best chocolate tortes I've ever tried.
Chase that down wit a watermelon sorbet for a sweet end to the meal.
This one is specially for coffee lovers. Get a really good cup of coffee here at Monmouth, just a stone's throw away from Borough Market.
I felt that our UK trip was so incomplete without a proper English breakfast, so we found this cute little breakfast place near our hotel in Hampstead and paid a whopping £9.95 for a big breakfast.
Felt like having a cup of steaming hot chocolate because it was a particularly chilly summer morning.