DETOUR LONDON: Day 1
76 hours with my sister and Brother-in-law in London – check
Bed, blow up air mattress on the floor – check
Overnight bag as well as fresh bioche – check
Excitement – overload!
The Eurostar is my chariot to a weekend away in London.
Friends and family, food and so much more…
For someone from Australia for whom it takes 24 hours to get to Europe, the thought of a bullet train to London taking approximately 2 hours is mind-blowing.
I left from Gare du Nord in Paris at the early, but not unreasonable, time of 8:15am.
Around two hours later I had crossed a channel and entered another country!
It was easy to get around the train stations despite the frustrating tendencies of my small bag to tipping over!
Both stations appeared like they were out of beautiful old movies!
Arriving in London at Kings Cross – St Pancreas station at 9:40am, I already had my oyster card in hand and travelled straight to Westbourne Park.
It was so satisfying to see my sister and her husband after so long!
We started with an English breakfast at a local cafe, a humble but satisfying beginning to a food and family reunion!
Simple but wholesome and healthy!
Then we arrived at their apartment in Nottinghill just around the corner.
We dropped off my bags and tried the brioches! Not bad!
Heading through the crowds at Portobello Road Market we moved towards Nottinghill Gate station for our journey on the metro.
The Underground was in stark contrast to the Metro in Paris.
Deeper underground, busier and slower at least subjectively!
We finally arrived at our desired destination of the infamous Borough Market!
It truly is foodie heaven as the rumour mill described.
Borough Market is charming, the store owners proud and friendly and the produce marvellous! Tastings everywhere! It is a massive establishment like a forest filled with all of natures fruits!
Vegetables oh my!
Lunch and Coffee, YES PLEASE!
Lunch was an indescribably good Duck Rillettes Confit with fresh rocket and salad pickles on pide.
Coffee from Monmouth was incredible and so worth it despite the long line!
And what would an English market in London be without a beer providore and the pub next door!
The products reflect the multicultural population and their origins perfectly! Portuguese bitter orange marmalade, Spanish spicy sausages, wild game from the highlands including unusual species.
From Borough Market we planned to go to Hyde Park to meet another member of our extended family, a dear family friend.
This little girl was fascinated by the birds, fascinated by trying to kick them like every ‘normal’ hyperactive child, those in the background were fascinated by the girl!
The lake and river provide a great view whilst drinking or a great place for water activities on those ‘warm’ sunny days in London town.
Princess Diana’s Memorial provides a great place for kids to let off some steam and cool down.
Our walk was long and relaxed through the intense greens of the park.
Beers and Ciders at a packed local – Walmer Castle
Quick showers and off to Oxford Circle to Nopi, Yotam Ottolenghi’s new restaurant in Soho.
Working their magic, my hosts reserved a table downstairs.
So the foodies all sat opposite the open kitchen watching the most relaxed service ever witnessed in a kitchen.
The chefs were cool, calm, collected and serene. It was amazing and so unexpected.
First off was a Fresh Green Pea and Feta Dip, Peppery Extra Virgin Olive Oil and crusty bread
The food at Nopi is meant to be shared and enjoyed, and for us it was so fun to discuss the dishes in detail.
We started the celebration with a glass of Prosecco and with the share plates we enjoyed a few glasses of delicious Viognier with hints of Apricots, Honey and Butter.
Seared Scallops, pickled Daikon, Green Apple
Japanese Aubergine, Walnut Salse, Pomegranate
Artichoke, Farro, Broad Beans, Goats Cheese
Chargrilled Broccolini, Skordalia, Chilli Oil
Miso Quail, Red Shallots, Grapes, Verjuice,
Chargrilled Asparagus, Romesco Sauce, Apple Balsamic
Marinated Kingfish, Jerusalem Artichoke, Romano Pepper
Twice-cooked baby chicken, lemon myrtle salt, chilli sauce
Grilled Mackerel, red lentils, smoked labneh, mint sauce
The Products and Cookbooks
Coffee, Pecan Financier, maple cream
Cardamom Rice Pudding, Rose Syrup, Pistachio
Pinapple Galette, Pandan, Coconut Icecream
Everyone left thoroughly satisfied, but especially the two lucky ones who may get to work in the kitchen for a few days later this year…. Shhhh!
Walking through the streets of Soho, past cool bars and pubs, my brother in law was inspired and took us to a very small jazz bar with a live band at Ain’t Nothin’ But…
The atmosphere was very cool and reflected the great rhythms pulsing through the room.
The singer was very adept with his harmonica and really got into the swing of things.
It was packed to the brim and when we finally left after a very long day we were all ready for bed.
And so it was goodnight after 3 very long days in a row!