I love brunch and I don’t even remotely care how basic that makes me sound. I could quite happily eat breakfast food for every meal! I get to eat out a lot for my job, it’s one of the big perks, and it seems that the most popular type of meeting is a good old breakfast meeting. Over the past few years, I’ve accumulated a good little directory of the best places to have brunch so here are my top 5 recommendations.

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Hubbard & Bell // *Makes heart shape with hands* My goodness I love this place. They do an excellent avocado and poached eggs on toast that comes with pistachios – a very welcome addition. I love the feel and vibe of Hubbard & Bell. It’s set in the uber trendy Hoxton Holborn Hotel. It’s incredibly instagrammable and all the staff that have ever served me in there have been very accommodating. It’s also very reasonably priced making it a total winner and top of my list.

  • Tip: If you’re planning a girl’s day out, start the day with brunch in Hubbard & Bell, then pop to the Cheeky nail bar which is also located inside the hotel.
  • Nearest tube: Holborn
  • Address: 199 – 206 High Holborn, London WC1V 7BW
  • Website: http://www.hubbardandbell.com/

NOPI // Very closely following Hubbard & Bell has got to be Ottolenghi’s restaurant, NOPI. Promise me that if you go here you’ll order either the shakshuka or the black rice. Everything I’ve ever tried at NOPI has been delicious, but these two dishes really stand out for me. It’s also a great place for meetings as it never gets too loud or overcrowded.

  • Tip: I know this sounds very odd, but please go to the toilet when you’re here. Trust me on this one.
  • Nearest tube: Piccadilly Circus
  • Address: 21-22 Warwick St, London W1B 5NE
  • Website: http://www.ottolenghi.co.uk/locations

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Berner’s Tavern // If you’re looking to impress someone, take them here. It’s such a beautiful dining room with impressively tall ceilings and walls brimming with paintings. Having a quick look at their website it looks like they’ve won quite a few awards for the interior design and it’s easy to see why. The food is good, with no fault at all from me, and the service is top notch too.

  • Tip: Look at the other guests around you, you might just spot a celeb here.
  • Nearest tube: Tottenham Court Road
  • Address: 10 Berners St, London W1T 3LF
  • Website: http://www.bernerstavern.com/menus/

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Dean Street Townhouse // Set in an 18th-century Georgian townhouse, it’s one of the most historic places for brunch. I love the avocado on toast here, and they also do a mighty fine eggs benedict too. I’ve found service to a little slow here on occasion, but it’s nothing that would put me off booking in again.

  • Tip: In the winter, ask for a table away from the main dining room and near the cosy fire with snuggly sofas.
  • Nearest tube: Tottenham Court Road or Leicester Square
  • Address: 69 – 71 Dean St, London W1D 3SE
  • Website: http://www.deanstreettownhouse.com/restaurant

The Ivy Market Grill // I love The Ivy thanks to its super central location. It’s slap bang in the middle of Covent Garden and as well as smashing breakfasts, lunch and dinner is also great here too. Like the basic that I am, I always order the avocado and eggs on toast and love that it comes with roasted vine tomatoes too.

  • Tip: If you go during the week, this is another spot for the odd celeb spot.
  • Nearest tube: Covent Garden or Leicester Square
  • Address: 1 Henrietta St, London WC2E 8PS
  • Website: http://www.theivymarketgrill.com/

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A short, but sweet post today to tell you about a fantastically brilliant and affordable afternoon tea I recently discovered. Last weekend Joe & I visited The Fan Museum to enjoy afternoon tea at their quaint Orangery. On the edge of Greenwich Park, it’s an unassuming little spot, but as you walk down the steps to the Orangery you’re greeted with a bright and airy room with beautiful hand painted flowers adorning the walls.

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The afternoon itself was cheap and cheerful. At just £8 per person, it’s easily one of the most affordable afternoon tea’s in London. For £8 you got a pot of either tea or coffee, a huge slice of Victoria sponge, scones with clotted cream and jam, then the choice of either a lemon drizzle cake or chocolate brownie. Everything was delicious and considering how close we were to the hustle of bustle of central Greenwich, it was lovely and peaceful.

It’s worth noting that in order to enjoy afternoon tea in the orangery you need to but entrance to the fan museum too. It’s only £4 and it well worth having a look at some of the ornate fans on show.

Well worth a visit if you’re ever having a day trip to Greenwich!

Details:

  • The Fan Museum: https://www.thefanmuseum.org.uk/orangery
  • Address: Crooms Hill, Greenwich, London SE10 8ER
  • Reservations: 020 8305 1441 / [email protected]
  • Price Per Person: £12 including entrance the museum

PS: Scon or scone?

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Well here’s a post I never thought I’d write! A year ago I said to Joe “who would ever want to have porridge for breakfast? It’s like eating gruel. I can’t think of anything worse!” Oh, how things have changed. I’ve become a full-blown porridge convert and am absolutely kicking myself for not trying it sooner.

I think the main reason for my change of heart was that when I’d made porridge previously, I’d been doing it all wrong. Well, not wrong, but certainly not right. I now make mine 1 part oats, to 2 parts nut milk and I cook it really low and slow. The nut milk gives it a much nicer texture than water (I’m not a fan of normal dairy milk in anything other than tea/baking, it reminds me of being force fed milk at school) and also gives it a much better taste. My favourite nut milk at the moment is hazelnut milk. It gives it a slight Nutella taste. Also, cooking it low and slow seems to make it sweeter, which I really like.

Then it’s time for toppings! I now have a cupboard just full of wanky health food supplies things to top my porridge with. Here are some of my favourites:

  • Nuts – all types, just don’t go overboard with them, otherwise, the calorie count starts to rack up.
  • Fruit – I tend to use bananas or frozen fruit. Tesco now have frozen bags of raspberries, blueberries, mango, strawberries, all of which are much cheaper than their fresh counterparts.
  • Cacao Nibs – I KNOW. Deliciously Stella would be ashamed, but these little beauties are perfect for adding crunch and a chocolatey taste. They’re quite bitter if you eat them on their own, but when added to things like porridge they’re HEAVEN.
  • Coconut Flakes – I LOVE coconut, and if I wasn’t bothered about the fat content I’d make my porridge with full-fat coconut milk all  the damn time. Just thinking about that has got me salivating. Anyway, coconut flakes are how I satisfy my coconut cravings. If you want to be proper fancy, try toasting them off in a dry pan.
  • Seeds – Yeah I know alright, I’m that person who now eats seeds. They do add texture and crunch, though. My personal favourites are sunflower seeds.
  • Protein Powder – I do this at the weekend for a treat. Add a tablespoon of chocolate protein powder (I use That Protein blissful brown rice and cacao super powder because it has no synthetic chocolate taste – mainly because there’s nothing synthetic in it!) to my porridge whilst it’s cooking. Then I top with strawberries and *might* also add some cheeky Nutella.
  • Honey/Maple Syrup – Becuase you’ve got to have a drizzle of one or the other!
  • Dried fruit – My favourite is goji berries. I’m hating myself as I write this, but it’s true, they’re chewy and tasty!

Any suggestions to top my porridge with? Let me know by leaving a comment below.

HOW TO MAKE PERFECT PORRIDGE

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Aside from beauty, my second biggest passion is undoubtedly food. In fact, as the years go on, they’re almost at a level pegging. I’ve decided to start a new series (I always say this and only do one post, but let’s be optimistic!) on where and what I’ve been eating each month. I spend a considerable amount of my disposable income on cooking/eating out so I’m hoping that this new series will provide some sort of internal justification – at least, that’s what I’m hoping!

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WHAT?

Overnight oats // I mentioned this in my Life Lately post and it’s because I’m absolutely obsessed. I can’t believe I’ve been missing out all this time because I thought I wouldn’t like them! I always make mine with hazelnut milk because it’s so much tastier than almond milk – gives it a slight Nutella taste if you stir in some cocoa nibs too. Speaking of cocoa nibs, this pack I got off Amazon has lasted me ages.

Rozanna Purcell’s Jaffa Balls // I had the pleasure of meeting Rozanna through work back in February. I bought her wonderful cookbook as soon as I got back to London. The first thing I’ve made out of her cookbook is her Jaffa Balls. They’re a mix of dates, almonds, cocoa brown rice protein powder, dark chocolate and orange zest/juice. They are SO good and just the thing to pick you up at the 4pm energy slump. I got her book off Amazon (HERE), but there’s the option to get The Happy Pear cookbook as a bundle – something I’d definitely recommend.

Baked eggs in popped beans, cherry tomatoes, ricotta on toast // One of Jamie’s recipes out of his Superfood cookbook (HERE). Cannellini beans, eggs, ricotta, basil, bread – I’m sold! This was honestly so bloody tasty and makes a great option for meat free Monday if that’s something you partake in. I also added some cheeky avocado to the side, because avocado.

WHERE?

Envy, Amsterdam // When we were in Amsterdam we booked onto a 6-course tasting menu at Envy (Prinsengracht 381). Every single course was delicious. The interior was lovely (lots of low lighting and dark surfaces) and they had a great open kitchen where you could see the clearly passionate chefs working away. The 6-course chef’s menu was 59 euro and they were able to cater for every allergy/food preference. I’d highly recommend it if you’re ever in Amsterdam.

Burger & Lobster // I visited here with my Mum and Dad recently when they came down to London. The Soho one is notorious for its wait time. Do yourself a favour and either go to the one in Harvey Nicks in Knightsbridge or the Old Bailey branch. I’ve never had to wait for a table, plus the Old Bailey one takes reservations – a rarity with this chain. If you’ve never been to a Burger & Lobster before there are only 3 things on the menu – burger, lobster or a lobster roll. Each option is £20. I don’t know why anyone would ever go for the burger. Don’t get me wrong, it looks nice, but £20 for a burger when there’s a £20 lobster up for grabs? No thanks! Insider tip: if you ask nicely when ordering they’ll let you do double chips instead of having the salad. I personally like the salad but Joe does this every time.

Zaibatsu // God I’m already starting to regret telling you all about this absolute GEM of a restaurant tucked away in Greenwich. It’s mine and Joe’s secret. It’s a Japanese restaurant that looks very unassuming (read soulless) upon first inspection, but just wait for the food to arrive. It’s SO good. They do incredible sushi and their katsu curry is just heaven. They’re always rammed and very rarely have space for walk-ins so booking is essential.

Wahaca // Another chain, but one of the best in my opinion. They’ve recently opened a branch up in Manchester which I am beyond thrilled about. I recently ate there with my friend Bridget (Waterloo branch) and we ate SO well. We ordered several of the street food plates (I always go for the sweet potato & feta taquitos, omg, get in my mouth) and a burrito each, plus topped it off with churros and salted caramel ice cream *insert heart eye emojis*. I like Wahaca because you know what you’re getting and from the branches I’ve visited, there’s definitely consistency across the brand.

Where and what have you been eating this month?

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Nothing but a post about things I’ve been thoroughly enjoying making/eating recently!

Berry Breakfast Ice Cream
My go to breakfast at the weekend for the last month. I happened on this by total accident. I was meant to be making a berry smoothie, but put nowhere near enough almond milk in it so it ended up more sorbet like. I finished it off with almond flakes and chia seeds – how very #cleaneating 😉

 

Toad ‘Int Hole with Sweet Potato Mash, Tender Stem Broccoli and Onion Gravy 
Honestly, this was so ridiculously satisfying. I’ve been trying to sub out white potatoes for their healthier sweet potato alternative.

Crab, Mango, Mayo, Lime and Pepper on Sour Dough Toast
I’ve got such a thing for good bread at the moment. I said on Twitter the other day, I don’t trust people who don’t like bread.

Spring Vegetable Pasta 
This was a dish that I totally winged. I’d made some fresh tagliatelle pasta earlier in the morning then mixed whatever I had in the fridge in a creamy white sauce I made. Parmesan and lemon zest totally made it.

 

Protein Waffles with Summer Berries & Maple Syrup 
I’m obsessed, and I mean obsessed, with my new shiny waffle maker. It’s a kitchen gadget I totally didn’t need, but I couldn’t help myself. I’ve been using the Tone It Up recipe for the pancakes. I can testify that they are delicious. Or that might be the lashings of maple syrup I glugged all over them…
Puy Lentil, Beetroot ad Goats Cheese Salad with Dill Vinaigrette 
I made this for a come dine with I hosted a few weeks ago and have been dying to make it again ever since. I made it after a long run the other day and whilst I enjoyed it, I’d definitely say this is more of a starter than a main.

Almond Butter & Chocolate Cookies 
4 ingredients. Almond butter, dark chocolate chips, egg white and honey. So simple, but absolutely delish.

Roasted Carrots with Rice & Turmeric Broth 
I found this recipe from The First Mess, Joe wasn’t much of a fan, but I really enjoyed it. It’s a nice easy vegetarian recipe that can be quickly whipped up after work.

What have you been enjoying eating recently?

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