Fleet River Bakery in London

Fleet is quite the no mess no fuss eatery that Holburn desperately needs more of.

Quite simply, it was Monmouth coffee that attracted me… and most of the bleary eyed office workers in the area.

Bring your good humor though, as this place feels like it was set up to be a stylistic nightmare. You queue into the oversized door that opens inward, and the staff remain equally flexible int eh way they take orders, so that you will never be sure if you are doing the right thing in the right order to get served!

The offer some lovely breakfast option (fresh fruit was in fact fresh) with bakes good and some proper meals for those hard Mondays.

Loads of space, and a delicately decorated interior (glass topped old wooden doors for tables as one effect) and a large space below is also available to hire. Now all we have to do is get a sign out front of W-spoon place to direct people around the corner!


Belgo Centraal in London

I was treated to quite the introduction at Belgo’s recently. I was invited to a tasting for their Oktober Fest 2010 menu, 3 courses each with a specially selected Belgian beer to go with it- for £33.

Great concept, perhaps a bit too ambitious to ask us to try all 3 options for each of the 3 courses though. I hear you counting up those beers… it was one between two with another before it all kicked off and tasters aftwards (it’s like a math riddle isn’t it?). Basically I had 5 1/2 beers in the end, but I know some others did better than I!

So what can you expect from the menu?

A choice of starters:
Parsnip and ginger soup served with Juniper Pilsner
Moules mariniere served with Belgo Witbier
Champagne, duck and truffle terrine served with De Koninck Blonde
I found it hard to choose a favorite here, all of them struck me in a different way, well balanced flavours and great accompaniments of the beer variety. If pushed I think I would choose the terrine as a narrow winner.

Main Courses:
Beef carbonnade served with Witcap Stimulo
Mushroom Bouchee served with Palm Amber
Moules Portugaise served with Bruges Zot Blonde
The beef was a little too sweet for me, but hearty and very filling. The muscles have roast chorizo in them, which was too strong for me (I’m not very good with very meaty flavours) so my winner was the tasty and well executed bouchee.

Poached peer served with Floris Apple
Belgian chocolate pudding served with Westmalle Double
Belgian waffle served with Mort Subite Gueuze
The pear was good, the pudding amazing, but I have to say I was properly blown away by the perfect waffle, sitting in white chocolate sauce with ice cream (I was totally full by this point- and ate it anyway).

Staff were really great, attentive, knowledgable, and you did get the feeling not only do they know their stuff, but they are eager to learn more.

One thing I learned- some beers are fermented using coriander! That is a little hidden secret for those of us that despise that particular herb- and explains why some beers just dont sit right with me- for that gem I will be eternally grateful.


Urban Golf in London

Going to urban golf is what I imagine to be the modern day equivalent of going hunting in BC times.

There were other girls there, but they were with me, so there was a distinctly man flavour about the whole experience, from the wooden flooring and leather couches, to the shouting, grunting and thrusting that went on post shot.

However, after taking the lass macho men aside and mixing them with us feeble ladies we did actually have a bit of a laugh. It interactive part is a bit hard to work out- like how to play against each other vs in a team around the course. Golf is golf, it’s not overly simple, but once you get the hang of it it’s not that hard really. Plus you have to get over the fear of hitting a tough ball as hard as you can into a wall a couple of meters away from your face (yes it looks like a golf course, but I know there’s a wall there and I’ve seen nasty rebounds in real life!).

The staff here are really good, attentive and sharp, the venue is clean and smart looking. If I had a sophisticated stag do to organise I would definitely start here- of course I wouldn’t be invited and that tells you everything.


The Meatwagon 

It really is hard to explain why the Meatwagon is so fantastic.

I guess when you hear the words Meatwagon you really aren’t sure what to expect, and when you hear the words ‘the Meatwagon is a car park in Peckham’… well you would be excused for raising an eyebrow.

I did find the Meatwagon a bit closer to home, comfortably parked in the front area of The Red Lion and Sun in Highgate. How? Well, it is actually a wagon, so they travel to various spots and set up their meat filled camp, normally right on top of a happy publicans venues, so you can drink away the wait.

What’s so special you ask? Well firstly I would like to relate that two chappies sipping on pints beside me told me that they had travelled from Brockley- I got excited. Why would you travel so far for a burger I asked.

“Let’s put it this way, I would travel to Scotland and back for a night with the Meatwagon, and I ordered two chili cheese burgers and a Philly cheesesteak.”

“For the two of you? That sounds like a lot of food..”

“Oh no! that’s mine. You’ll see…”

Ands so I did. These portions are insanely huge, that is the first thing to note. But anyone that has been before doesn’t eat all day, just to fit in multiple meals. The two guys I was with got stuck into their burgers and promptly ordered seconds. They really are that good.

Anyone who has had a really good American burger will rate these guys, never mind being one of the few places I know this side of the pond offering the impossible to find and delectable Philly Cheesestakes.

Do yourself a favour and follow them on twitter to find out (about a week in advance) if they will be coming to ignite the meat addiction near you!


Giant Robot in London

Word on the street was that this was a pretty decent joint, so I took the plunge on a Saturday afternoon and trekked over. I say trekked because you all know that Clerkenwell is like a shut down zone of London outside of Monday to Friday (tube works don’t help).

Naturally I arrive tuckered and thirsty, to a welcoming bar, with some great options. I know a lot of the staff left the burnt out husk of the East Rooms to work here, and with that kind of high level of cocktail experience you know you can relax without worrying that you’ll be served some kind of adult slushie masquerading as a cocktail.

We decided to settle in and have Bellinis, and then the magic happened. Instead the three of us got a bottle of bubbly and our own little squeeze bottles of peach puree to make a table mix, cheaper and more fun :)

They seems to have a fab food menu, and I would be keen to try out a few of those dishes I saw coming out.

All in all a fab experience, now I have to seek out their new venture… Tiny Robot!


Canteen Limited in London

I have to say that I am a fan of a good bubble and squeak. I also have to say that most places mess it up. Canteen got it right though, making my early morning start that much better!

They served it with a sunny side egg on top, and no toast- perfection.I am struggling to think of many other places that offer toast free breakfast options as standard.

The venue is canteen styled (see what they did there, with the name and all that?) which normally I don’t find that inviting, however in this case it worked. It’s having the market stalls right out in front of you, and the bustle of Spitalfields that makes the minimalist interior work so well.


Princi in London

LondonEating & DrinkingRestaurantsItalian & PizzaEating & DrinkingCafes & Coffee ShopsCafes

I’m reviewing the cakes alone, because although I think the dining area looks lovely in the past I have struggled to, queue, find a space, and eat off a stone pillar.

So today’s review is all about the cakes. Now if you can make an Italian buy your cakes, esp your tiramisu I think you’re onto something amazing. That is what happened today. My lovely fellow Qyper susana_cri trotted off to Soho to get a box of heaven. Creamy cheese cake, pear and chocolate bits in a crumbling muffin, sour cherry and ricotta? Genius.

Check out my review of Princi – I am rachelle_thompson – on Qype