january in london: biddiekitchen’s top ten

London is by far my favorite city in the world. I was lucky enough to spend the past three weeks there visiting the people I love, seeing some pretty cool things, and eating incredible food. I ended up cooking a fair amount because of the tiny but glorious market located right by my boyfriend’s house in Herne Hill, which sells the most beautiful produce I’ve ever laid eyes on. Most days I would wake up, make coffee, go for a run, work on my thesis research, and make myself a cute little brunch. In the evenings, Leo and I would usually cook dinner (he did most of the work) while watching episodes of MasterChef Professionals (the best show to grace television screens). Pretty much my idea of a perfect night in.

I also ventured out some days to explore. My friends and I played tourists at The Globe and Tate Modern, bummed around Brixton, and went clubbing in Camden (slight cringe). This past weekend we even took a little road trip to Bath and Bristol that may or may not have ended with a six hour tow back to London after Leo’s car broke down on the A4 (the struggle was, in fact, real). Despite that minor drawback, we had a great trip. It was mostly planned around food and every place we went never failed to impress.

Here, in no particular order (mostly because I am too emotionally attached to all of these foods to rank them), are my favorite eats from my January in Londontown:

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Brick Lane Bagels at Borough Market

I pretty much die for a hot salted beef bagel with a ton of mustard. This one was made even better with a few different kinds of pickled veg, too. My favorite place for a good bagel in London is Beigel Bake, but this food stand in Borough Market really hit the spot.

Lido 

Bristol’s Lido was amazing all around, but the smoked Ibérico cheek that I ordered really stole the show. Not that the roasted quail, parsnip, date, and yogurt salad was anything less than extraordinary. Oh, and the two bottles of rioja and salted butter caramel ice cream weren’t too shabby, either.

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Cereal Killer Cafe

Disclaimer: this picture doesn’t do justice to the bowl of chocolatey goodness I consumed here. Don’t let that discourage you from experiencing this place for yourself. I was curious about this Cereal Killer Cafe ever since I read about it on BuzzFeed and vowed to visit it the next time I went to London. One day I was doing some work in a little shop on Brick Lane and realized I was right next door to it…I knew then that it was meant to be. Cereal Killer has gotten a lot of hype but it definitely lived up to my expectations. I was in cereal bliss. I got a cereal “cocktail” of Cocoa Krispies, Hazelnut Krave, a Kinder Hippo, and hazelnut milk. It was pretty much like eating an ice cream sundae, except without ice cream and with cereal.

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Homemade Shakshuka with Ciabatta

Leo had never tried shakshuka before so we decided to whip some up for lunch one day. Eggs with gorgeous runny yolks are always my number one choice for brunch. Our shakshuka did not disappoint.

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Sunday Roast from the Herne Hill Market

The Herne Hill Sunday Market is extremely small but its vendors are top quality. My first Sunday back in London, Leo and I went out to the market and got loads of fresh veggies, two partridges (!!), fresh figs, and some absolutely luscious Medjool dates. Possibly the best Sunday roast ever, second only to the one we made the next weekend with an entire shoulder of lamb. I also bought my very first Scotch egg at the market and I smiled because it was nice.

Haché’s Peanut Butter Burger
I first had the Louisiana Burger at Haché in Camden on my birthday two years ago and I tried it again this time around to see if it was still as good as I remembered. Luckily it was. Crunchy peanut butter + bacon + steak = heaven.

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Love and Cake Brownies

Love and Cake is a vendor at the Herne Hill Sunday Market, but their brownies are so delightful that they need to be talked about on their own. I can easily say that their salted caramel brownie is the best baked good I have ever consumed and their peanut butter brownie is a close second. This time around I had a Ferrero Rocher brownie, which I assumed would simply have hazelnuts in it. I was wrong. There was an ENTIRE Ferrero Rocher inside the brownie. I screamed. It was perfect.

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Pork Belly and Roasted Veggie Salad from Sam’s Kitchen

For our first meal in Bath we chose Sam’s Kitchen, an adorable café with good coffee and even better daily specials. Leo and I both got the pork belly, which came with an awesome roasted vegetable salad. It had hazelnuts in it. I love hazelnuts.

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Crepes with Roasted Citrus and Persimmon

My favorite fruit market in Herne Hill was selling some pretty attractive blood oranges so I decided to roast them and use them as a topping for crepes along with persimmon and kiwi. I had never tried persimmon before, but it’s definitely a new favorite. A little color goes a long way on a rainy morning. Spoon University seems to think so, too.

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Cake and Tea at Bea’s Vintage Tea Rooms In Bath

Bea’s is a classic English tea room with amazing sweets–the perfect place to indulge. I ordered a piece of light, fluffy lemon cake with a crunchy meringue topping and a pot of oolong tea. Yes please.

Now I am back in Connecticut attempting to return to the health grind and dreaming of international indulgence. London, I’m coming for you again soon.

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