Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Breakfast at Caravan, King's Cross London

Caravan is one of those London establishments which infuriates me, no reservations at the weekend means by the time you trek all the way to King's Cross at a respectable time on a Sunday you're often faced with a two hour wait. This queue-factor means that us Brits want to join it even more to find out what all the fuss is about. And despite no longer being a new restaurant, it is still very popular at the weekend meaning hungry Londoners are snaking their way out of the door desperate for a mouthful of pumpkin waffle of jalapeno corn bread with a glug of their famous coffee.

The only way to get around this frustratingly long wait is to go on a weekday, which is exactly what I did. Mid-week this cavernous old grain store is pretty empty, which is great for getting your grub minus the wait, but it doesn't exactly provide a good atmosphere. The high ceilings, open kitchen and bar crave people, business and excitement, which a quiet Tuesday morning doesn't bring unfortunately.

The fountains outside on Granary Square
Lonely city worker

But while the atmosphere was lacking, the food most definitely wasn't. My colleague and I went for the courgette and corn fritters, chilli jam, herbed feta, rocket (£8.50) and a portion of coconut bread, lemon curd cream cheese, rhubarb (£7.50).

We also couldn't help ordering a cheeky side of grilled chorizo (£4.00) to accompany the fritters we had chosen to share.

The fritters were crisp on the outside and soft and delicate inside, while the chilli jam and salty feta really hitting the spot.

I loved how the coconut bread was presented with the rhubarb, it felt like a child's pudding with the lemon curd cream cheese mimicking a thick vanilla custard. Very comforting, even if it takes quite a sweet tooth to eat this first thing in the morning.

And don't forget to order one of their "mighty fine" own roasted coffees, guaranteed to put a spring in your step before heading to the office.

Caravan Restaurant, Bar and Roastery
Granary Building
1 Granary Square (Off Goods Way)
London N1c 4aa
020 7101 7661

Monday, 15 June 2015

Heart shaped raspberry buttermilk pancakes

Sometimes it's the little things in life, like drinking out of your favourite mug on a Saturday morning, tasting your first British strawberry of the season, or even using your favourite pen to write in a crisp new notebook. These moments can perk you up on what might otherwise have been a normal day.

Pancakes make me happy. They also show others you care. And by using a little heart shaped mould and a small amount of extra effort you can make these heart-shaped pancakes. Try and tell me they don't make you happy just looking at them?

I liked this recipe from Nigella's website, and I simply took half a pack of raspberries and heated them up with a spoonful of sugar until they melted down to a gorgeously bright compote. Serve on top of the heart pancakes with a handful of fresh raspberries.

Enjoy x

Monday, 8 June 2015

Breakfast at Bel-Air, London

This bright and breezy little takeaway in East London provides a breath of fresh air for breakfast or lunch.

While Bel-Air isn't a sit-down cafe, picking up one of their build-your-own Breakfast Pots or colourful salads to take back to the office really improves my day. I'm a sucker for its sunshine yellow stripes and 'sunny everyday' stickers on the cardboard cartons brimming with vegetable goodness which I cling on to as I scurry back to my desk.

In 2014, Bel-Air founder Andrew Bredon was in LA trying to escape the English winter and he came up with the idea to bring Californian, fresh, healthy food back to with him to London. Bel-Air was born and with it, a taste for healthy yet exciting meals for breakfast and lunch.

For breakfast try a courgette hash with smoked paprika and scrambled eggs (£4.25) or a msucle beach pot with grilled steak smokey spinach, sweet potato hash and a poached egg (£7.45).

Or more simply build-your-own with granola, raw oats or buckwheat and almond porridge (£2.00-£2.95). All three include one topping, but for an extra 50p, go wild and help yourself to as many as you like. Toppings include goji berries, raw cocoa nibs, matcha powder, nuts and seeds.

Small but mighty

And don't forget to try and come back for their beautiful salad boxes as well as a number of hot dishes like ginger and chili crab cakes or black quinoa and goats cheese risotto.

54 Paul St,

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Mug of the Month: Queen's Coronation 1953

I'm always keeping my eyes peeled for special mugs to feature for my Mug of the Month post, and on a trip back to Wales to visit friends and family, my aunty presented me with this beautiful mug from the Queen's Coronation in 1953. 

As it's the 62nd anniversary today, I thought it was very appropriate to share with you. Her reign is to be marked with two gun salutes in London later on. The first – a 41-gun-salute – in Green Park and a second an hour later with 62 guns at Gun Wharf near the Tower of London. 

If there's ever a reason to raise a glass of Pimms - or a mug of tea - it's probably today. Hurrah!