Maltby Street Market (Bermondsey)

  
I love food markets. Fact. So often restaurants/cafes only do one type of food, but go to a food market and there are all sorts of different types all in the same place. Perfection! 

I’ve heard a lot of good things about Maltby Street Market so a friend and I decided to head on over and check it out. It’s located between Bermondsey and London Bridge so pretty easy to get to. There are no signs but luckily it wasn’t too tricky to find. We chose a rainy day to go (not intentionally!) so I don’t know if all of the usual stalls were there but we found a few absolute gems. There are also a few more permanent cafes there which we didn’t try so that’s definitely a good excuse to have to go back! We wandered up and down to assess all the options but there was one stall which was calling to me. Possibly something to do with the name – The Cheese Truck! 

They sell toasted cheese sandwiches. These are not any toasted cheese sandwiches though (and I consider myself to be quite a connoisseur), these are the ultimate cheese sandwich. 

  
You choose which sandwich you want and then they put it on the hot plate and turn it into melted cheese perfection. Flipping it over and pressing it down as they go to ensure an even melt. 

  

I opted for a Spanish cheese (which is difficult to pronounce) and chorizo. It was one of the best things I’ve ever eaten, no jokes! I am hungry just writing this. Crispy bread, tangy melted cheese and spicy chorizo. Just look at that!  

They are at Maltby Street every weekend and other food markets in the week so make sure you follow them on Twitter and Instagram and then go pay them a visit. You will not regret it, although their Instagram might make you ridiculously hungry! 

Being slightly less of a cheese fiend as me (but still very appreciative of how great my sandwich was!), my friend was drawn to the stall next door where they were selling tuna steak burgers. The freshest tuna, cooked in front of you, topped with bacon, cheese and caremalised onions in a toasted brioche bun. It sounds like a slightly unusual combination but it worked so well.  

This photo does not do it justice, it tasted so good! We have both been telling everyone about it and will definitely be going back soon for another one. It is hard to describe the taste of it but as tuna is quite a meaty fish it really does work so well. I wouldn’t be so keen if it was something like salmon! 

As it was such a miserable day on the weather front, we needed something to warm us up. Luckily Hot Polish Punch was at the ready. Obviously we went for the optional kick, it would have been rude not to! It was so good. I didn’t think a hot, spicy, vodka based drink would be that good but it was delicious. So much so that we guzzled it down before I had a chance to take a photo!  

On the way in we’d passed the Bad Brownie Co stall and despite not being hungry anymore we thought we should definitely get some for the road! The flavour options were so good that it was difficult to choose.   

Eventually we opted for the Salted Caramel and the Champagne & White Chocolate. The salted caramel needed no introduction, we were sure it would be delicious and it was. Layers of caramel packed between brownie, every bite melted in your mouth. The champagne and white chocolate was also amazing, you could actually taste the champagne which I wasn’t expecting so that was a welcome treat! We left full of good intentions to save them until we got home but we’d barely got in the car before the whole lot had been devoured (predominantly by me)!


I would highly recommend Maltby Street to anyone who likes food or eating. There is something for everyone – I only mentioned the food that we are but there was Asian food, Caribbean food, burgers made from exotic animals and a bakery which sells fantastic doughnuts. So if you’re stuck with what to do on a weekend and don’t fancy the hoardes of people at Borough Market then pop on down to Maltby Street. It’s also all quite reasonably priced which is a winner. 

  

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BB Bakery Bus (Central London)

  So this weekend was super exciting as I got invited to my first ever blogger event! Rennie had teamed up with BB Bakery to take a group of food bloggers on a tour of London.

They put together a pretty cool invite (you can cut it out and turn it into a 3D bus!) and when it came through my letter box I was ridiculously excited. 

  On Saturday morning my friend Laura and I headed off to Waterloo to greet the bus and the other bloggers who had also been invited. The bus is an old routemaster which has been stripped out and fitted with booths and tables. There were about 20 bloggers and guests there so as you can imagine it was a bit tricky to get a photo as everyone was getting snap happy but hopefully this gives you an idea of what it looked like. 

    I took these through the window of the bus so apologies for the reflection but you can see the booths and tables laid out with a selection of treats.     We hopped on the bus and were shown to our table. I’m pretty sure we got the best table on the bus, right at the front on the upper deck, so the views were pretty great. After a short welcome from Rennie explaining that they’d chosen the bakery bus for their promotion due to the links with Rennie and food, we tucked into some amazing food!   As you can see, everything had been thought of, right down to the cute little milk jugs. We were a little nervous that as soon as the bus moved the food would go flying all over the place but they had thought of that and the plates were attached to the tables – very clever!     

 There was so much food that we just didn’t know where to start but we thought we should go for the savoury options first. Finger sandwiches with ham and cheese, cucumber and cream cheese and also chicken and salad.   Blinis with smoked salmon, cream cheese and cucumber (this was my favourite of the savoury items) and you can also see the mushroom quiche in the background.   Before the cakes there was tea and coffee. They have a great selection of teas and coffees and the friendly waitresses come round to take your order they then give you them in thermos flasks so that it doesn’t go everywhere – they really have thought of everything!   Then came what we had been waiting for…the cakes!  

 First up was a mini lemon meringue which was seriously delicious.    Just look at all that meringue!!  Then there were chocolate macarons, crunchy on the outside and gooey on the inside. Again, really yummy!     There was a host of other cakes which we munched our way through as we looked out over London. I normally find being on buses a bit stressful when they’re stuck in traffic, but when you have so much delicious food to be eating you really don’t notice the traffic! There was definitely a lot of bus envy from people on other buses!!

The route is printed on the tables so if you don’t know the sites, or you’re not from London then you can get an idea of where you are.   We went past the London Eye and Houses of Parliament but I’ll admit I didn’t take too many photos of the sites as I was too busy enjoying the food!     

 After all that food we were really quite full, but as soon as we were asked if we wanted scones we managed to find space! They came with little pots of clotted cream and strawberry jam which was a lovely touch.

 The tour lasts about an hour and a half, and usually starts at Northumberland Avenue (near Trafalgar Square). I would definitely recommend it, particularly for special occasions. It was my friend Laura’s birthday at the weekend so I took her with me and it was really nice to do something a bit different. Tickets cost £45 for adults, and £35 for children. If you look at the price of afternoon tea in a hotel/nice cafe then it’s really reasonable in comparison and you get a tour of London! You can read more about the tour and book your tickets here. Thank you so much to BB Bakery, Rennie and Mediacom (the organisers) for inviting me, it really was a fantastic afternoon and I will definitely be coming back soon! 

In case you hadn’t eaten enough cake they also gave us these cute little boxes filled with mini cupcakes. The perfect gift from a fantastic afternoon.    

Bob Bob Ricard (Soho)

  

So a couple of weeks ago it was my birthday and my parents kindly offered to take me out for supper. They also said I could choose where we went which made things tricky as there are a lot of places in London I want to try. I’d heard good things about Bob Bob Ricard and had also heard it was quite a fun place so that’s where we settled on.

You walk in and there’s lots of dark wood and marble and it all looks pretty grand. We were shown to our table which was a booth (most of the tables seem to be booths) and it was a bit like being in an old fashioned train carriage which was pretty cool. I saw this button and got way too over excited. If someone would like to install one in my house (and supply the champagne) then I definitely won’t be complaining!!  

We pressed the button and voila! It’s like magic.  

Then it was time to decide what to eat, and it was not easy as everything sounded really tasty. The menu is British and Russian food and the emphasis seemed to be on good ingredients and hearty food.   

We finally decided on what to have. Mum went for the Beetroot and goats cheese salad – thinly sliced beetroot with whipped goats cheese and broadbeans. I tried some of it and it was very light and tasty.     

My brother Ed decided he didn’t really fancy a starter, and Dad and I both went for the Lobster, crab and shrimp pelmeni (my dad has realised by now that if he orders the same thing as me then he can avoid me taking photos of his food!) I love pelmeni (they’re Russian dumplings) but usually have had them with meat so these were a bit different to usual but seriously delicious.     

Having eaten our way through the starters it was time for the mains. This was also a hard decision to make as everything looked really good but I asked the waitress what she would recommend and I wasn’t disappointed. We had a pretty great table of food (sorry I only managed to capture half the food, I didn’t want to make a big scene and have to stand on my chair to get it all in!!)  

Mum went for the chicken, mushroom and champagne pie. It was huge and the pastry lid was so cool with their logo on it! My mum is known for making an excellent chicken pie (one day I will put the recipe up) but I think that this one is pretty up there on the rankings of epic chicken pies – it might have something to do with all the champagne!  

Dad went for the steak with foie gras and apple which we said was very good. 

Ed went for the veal steak, also apparently very good.   

I chose the baked sole, stuffed with lobster in champagne sauce. It doesn’t get much more decadent than that! It was super fresh fish wrapped around lobster. It was so delicious and wasn’t something I’d seen on a menu before so was nice to have something a bit different. 

  

And we got a lot of portions of chips. They come in little boxes which I thought was cute. 

  

Then came the desserts… I was pretty full from all the food we’d eaten so far but with a selection this good, and the fact it was my birthday, I thought it would be rude not to!   

Ed chose the sorbets and vodka (probably because there was vodka involved!), Dad went for the dulce de leche crème brulée which looked and also apparently tasted pretty good. With crème brulée being on offer in so many restaurants I liked that they did something a little bit different. 

  

Mum didn’t have a pudding as she just likes to sample everyone else’s (it doesn’t count as calories of someone else orders it, right?!)

I went for the BBR Signature Chocolate Glory. I’d heard about it and read about it on other blogs so I was really excited to try it. They put a golden wafer orb in front of you and then the magic happens…

  

…chocolate sauce is poured over it…

  

…and the wafer melts to reveal chocolate mousse, chocolate brownie, berries and jelly. Not only was it really fun but it was also seriously delicious. A chocolate lover’s dream!! 

  

The waitress also overheard my family wishing me a happy birthday so they gave me an ice cream type cake. I’m not entirely sure what was in it but it was really tasty, and they put a sparkler in it! 

  

I would seriously recommend Bob Bob Ricard. I’d heard from various people that the place is fun but the food seemed to have mix reviews. In my opinion the food was great. The 4 of us all have quite different preferences when it comes to food but there really is something for everyone. Press for champagne buttons, monogrammed champagne pie, melting chocolate glories and vodka sorbets, what’s not to love?! Whilst it’s not the sort of place you’d go for a quick supper, it is definitely a good place to go for an occasion. I had a great birthday and will definitely be going back again, huge thanks to my family for taking me (and Bob Bob Ricard for great food, especially the surprise cake and sparkler!)

Cigala (Bloomsbury)

I recently met up with my parents for supper and there was a lot of discussion in advance about where to go. Last year I bought them the Time Out guide to eating out in London (I also have a copy and it’s very good) and so now they come up with lots of options, many of which I’ve never heard of. One of these was Cigala, situated on Lambs Conduit Street (between Holborn and Russell Square), it’s the sort of place you wouldn’t know was there unless you were actually looking for it. It’s a tough place to describe but I would say it’s a ‘posh Spanish restaurant’. Not posh in a snooty way but so many tapas/Spanish restaurants go for quite a contemporary look, whereas this is more along the line of white tablecloths, perhaps how Spanish always used to be before tapas became trendy? Who knows. Anyway what I do know is that it was a great choice of restaurant and after all this wittering on about tablecloths it’s probably time I told you about the food! Continue reading