The only problem is choosing which cheeses to purchase. Luckily they don’t mind if you want to sample a number of options.
It’s no wonder my cholesterol levels are through the roof!
I have to purposely not walk into fromageries too often.
On one of my days off work I decided to join a tour to go and see some more sights. We covered a lot of ground in one day.
We left from London and started with a visit to Windsor Castle.
The sun came out briefly to light up St George’s Chapel
We then bundled back on the coach and travelled to Stonehenge, where it was terribly cold and extremely windy. Some paths were closed off due to the weather, so after a few quick snaps we hopped back on the warm bus.
We then drove on to Bath, bustled through the Christmas markets and went straight inside the Roman Baths.
Before I knew it it was time to get back on the coach for the long drive back to central London. I definitely want to go back and spend more time in Bath. It was such a beautiful town. The Georgian architecture really appeals to me.
I am not the hugest fan of organised tours, but have to admit that this one was pretty good.
With captions below.
Cutty Sark, Greenwich
Selfridges, Oxford St
Liberty, Regent Street
Natural History Museum
And inside the Natural History Museum
Victoria & Albert Museum
Sloane Square with Christmas lights
In one of the back lanes off Columbia Road you’ll find the Lily Vanilli Bakery and Flour Market.
I was initially a little unnerved by the customer proximity to the products on display. But then I relaxed a little (and let my Food Authority guard down) and appreciated being able to inspect the products up close and felt the impression that they had nothing to hide.
Their famous bakewell tarts.
I chose a Nossage Roll for savoury. Quite a nice vegetarian option. Roast butternut squash/pumpkin, potato, spinach, cheddar, caramelised onion.
I asked the lady serving me for advice on which sweet option to choose as I was stuck with 3 that I couldn’t decide among. She suggested I go with the Apple and Rosemary Cake because it was a bit more unusual.
Disappointingly, on that day, it was underbaked. Raw and soggy in the centre. An extra 10 minutes in the oven could have made all the difference.
I still appreciate Lily’s unusual flavour combinations though, and have huge respect for how far she’s developed her business from humble beginnings. Quite inspirational.
Last year, I reconnected with an old high school friend who has been living in London. She suggested we go to Elliot’s for a bite to eat. It’s a small eatery that uses what’s fresh and best from Borough Markets (where it’s located) and offers small plates to share.
After being seated, I turned around and was faced with this glorious view. A towering wall of sourdough “bricks”
We got some.
Followed by a couple of plates to nibble on
Thanks Tori for the recommendation
The place was cosy and bustling
We were disappointed that they stopped serving espresso coffees, but very pleased they were selling their handmade breads. So I took a half loaf home of the wholemeal sourdough. And I have to say it’s the best sourdough I’ve eaten so far in London. Good crisp crust, a moist spongey texture and excellent flavour.
My friend was working on writing a piece for the markets so I jumped on her bandwagon and snapped one or two pics of what this organic stand (Chegworth Valley) had to offer. Sprout stalks!
And white pumpkins/squash.
I had to try their infamous cinnamon buns
Suitably sticky and chewy and not shy with the cinnamon. A firmer dough than I was expecting. Loved the cardamom.
Coffee was only average.
I quite like the minimalist but earthy design of the shopfront and counter.
And love their use of rye and spelt.
This market is packed with independents, artisans and small producers. Cute village feel, but indoors and undercover. I found this a bit unusual at first, but have realised the benefits after considering London weather.
Not a bad coffee at Federation Coffee
Alright dumplings at Mama Lan
Okra was being sold at almost every fruit and veg stall.
So I bought some and turned it into a prawn and okra gumbo, and served it with yellow yam (still not sure why it’s more expensive than white yam) using fresh ingredients from the market stalls.
Also picked up some British salt cod.
Which lasted so long that I turned it into salt cod cakes one month later (and they are one of my new favourite things, especially after our time in Portugal and my initiation with bacalhau)