Review – The Cheese Boutique

I am a squeezer. I fondle tomatoes and peaches for ripeness, I press the ends of melons, and I don’t buy mangoes unless I can pick them up and smell them. I rarely go shopping with a plan; I buy what looks and smells nice, and I’m an impulse buyer. For this reason I’ve never gotten into online grocers, despite their convenience. I want it if I can touch, prod, and smell it, and my beast brain tells me to eat it. A company like the Cheese Boutique presents a conundrum. On the one hand: lovely cheeses! Delivered to my door like a present! On the stroke of a key! On the other hand: I have to cede control over my cheese-squeezing to someone else. Continue reading

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Brunch at NOPI

It’s official: London has discovered brunch. Even two years ago, you couldn’t find brunch anywhere except hotels, and said “brunch” consisted only of fry-ups (coyly masquerading as “English breakfast”), granola bowls, and the occasional forlorn Eggs Benedict. All that has changed, and as an American (i.e., brunch addict) I’m ecstatic about it. So when friend C turned up on an early Sunday morning flight from San Francisco, brunch was the Thing To Be Had. And, judging from the buzz, NOPI was the place to have it. Continue reading

Mark’s bar at Hix

There are few things better than going to a really good bar where you know the bartender. That cozy feeling of communion as the drinks crafted ESPECIALLY FOR YOU are placed before you is an experience on a par, I’d say, with going on a really sexy first date. (The two, of course, are not mutually exclusive.) One thing that gives this most singular of pleasures a run for its money is going to a good bar where you don’t know the bartender but ARE TREATED AS IF YOU DO. Continue reading

Meat me at Hawksmoor for Brunch

I am meat-drunk. I feel like I have been larded with drippings and slathered on toast. You see, I had brunch at Hawksmoor Spitalfields today.

This is not brunch for the fainthearted or weak-willed. There is no heart-healthy option. Nor is this brunch for vegetarians. No. This is brunch for meat-eaters and boozers, and I love it. Continue reading

Feeling Sexy at Viajante Bar

If I were staying at the Town Hall Hotel in Bethnal Green, I would be in trouble, as I would never leave the Viajante Bar. I know, I know, you’re thinking, “what’s a blogger on a budget doing in a swank bar?” Drinking, that’s what. Which brings me to another IMPORTANT RULE: Always leave room in the budget for cocktails. Odds are you’ll need one. (I know I do.)

Continue reading