London: a Tennis Tea, a Pasta Bonanza, and a Caribbean Feast

I always love planning a trip to London:  figuring out what museums have cool exhibits running, which neighborhood I want to stay in, and what new-to-me sights I want to see. But the thing I love most, by far, is planning out my meals. There are always so many new things to try – and so many old favorites I’m dying to revisit. If I can manage to put together a good mix of both, then I’m a happy traveler – which is exactly what I was during my trip to London last summer.

My first meal wasn’t fancy at all: my friend and I headed to the pub to catch the USA vs. England World Cup semifinal (we won!). While watching the soccer (errr, football) at the White Hart, we stuck to the classics: fish ‘n chips and Pimm’s Cups. Can’t go wrong with that combo.

Back home in NYC, I’ve never made it to Dominique Ansel to try their famous cronuts – from what I’ve heard, you still have to get in line rather early to score one. But in London, I breezed right in and grabbed one from the counter. To be honest, the cronut was not really my cup of tea – I’m not sure the hype is justified – but I guess now I can say I’ve tried it.

It isn’t a trip to London if I don’t try a new tea or two (or three, let’s be real). When I heard that the Rosewood London had a Wimbledon-themed tea, I booked it right away. Truth be told, though, I was mildly disappointed: the tea was lovely, don’t get me wrong, but the Wimbledon theming was pretty light.

Continuing the tennis theme, we grabbed dinner at Cambio de Tercio, a Spanish tapas restaurant that is allegedly one of Rafael Nadal’s favorite spots when he’s in town for Wimbledon. Alas, we didn’t spot him (and I forgot to take any actual food pictures), but it was still a nice meal.

At Lina Stores, we had a pasta feast, ordering five or so different types to share. All of them were pretty fantastic, and the cannoli for dessert were great as well.

I’m a fan of the Big Mamma family of restaurants in Paris, so when I heard they had opened a restaurant in London – Gloria – I knew I had to pay it a visit. Featuring beautiful decor and great pizza, this was definitely a fun spot to brunch.

One of my very favorite London spots is Cake & Bubbles, a champagne and dessert spot that I seem to gravitate to on every visit. This time around, I tried their fantastic cheesecake, their flan-in-an-egg, and their little strawberry ice cream sandwiches. All were excellent!

In east London, I ventured to Island Social Club, a new-ish Caribbean restaurant, for dinner. Everything was fantastic: the jerk chicken wings, the chicken curry with coconut milk, the roti bread. That’s not even to mention their rum punch, which was seriously delicious. I could have easily drunk several glasses (but limited myself to a tasteful one). All in all, one of my favorite meals of 2019.

On my last day in town, I popped into Chez Antoinette, a little cafe in Covent Garden, for breakfast. It wasn’t necessarily a groundbreaking meal (I mean, I ordered avocado toast), but it did the trick and was cute to boot. I mean, if you give me a flower wall that I can take pictures of my cappuccino in front of, I’m fully on board.

When I saw the London Landmarks tea at the Kensington Hotel, I knew I had to try it. Served on a tea tray that evokes the London eye and containing many London-themed treats, this was a super cute tea! I also adored the hotel’s baby blue china. Swoon!

I finished my time in London with dinner at Lucknow 49, an Indian restaurant in Mayfair. Even though I’m a spicy food wimp, I paradoxically love Indian food, and this was all really good. From the galawat kawab (melt-in-your-mouth lamb patties) to the goat biryani for my main, I enjoyed every bite.

And those were my London adventures in eating this time around! For more London culinary odysseys, see here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.


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