I'm going to try to write a short report but it never turns out that way. Spent 9 nites in London and one in Liverpool. Stayed at my friend's in the Hammersmith area, walked up to Kensington High Street after arriving w/ a stop for a decent orange cake at Cafe Tarte. Lots of cafes along there. Grabbed a small £3.50 Polish sausage at the outdoor Hammersmith market, delicious. After regrouping we went for our 6PM res at Evans & Peel Detective Agency where they really play up the agency thing as you first enter then go behind the bookshelves. Drink was nice and the service was great. We then walked to South Kensington for dinner at the Polish restaurant Daquise. The pierogies to start weren't exciting but my rabbit was excellent (photo), about £19. As mentioned, the chefs come out and serve you from the dishes things were cooked in.
Sat. was Portobello Road and a few pastries along the way to the V&A. Before going out that nite, three of us got fish n chips at Kerbisher and Malt on Goldhawk Rd. (photo) Good stuff, well priced, pleasant spot. Hellish rides to and from Dalston (avoid replacement buses!). Sun. was Petticoat and Brick Lane and surrounding markets. Ended up eating Lithuanian food at the Upmarket cuz I'd never seen that before. The stuffed beef was just ok but the little dumplings were excellent, can't beat those deals of £5 for a plate of food there. Then revisited Kooky Bakes for a salted caramel whoopie pie and had an excellent flat white at Craft Coffee (who also set up at Maltby St, photo). That evening we tried Westbourne, a casual pub where we ordered from a super sweet bartender. My duck with potato cake and cabbage was tasty (£14.45) and friends enjoyed their salmon and lentil soup and mackerel appetizers. We split an excellent sticky toffee pudding for dessert. Wines were only £4-5. Mon. I wandered around Hyde Park to Soho and ate at a Banana Leaf. Not sure why I felt compelled to go here, perfectly decent chili chicken basil ginger w/ rice and salad for 6.35 but nothing unusual, plus the place was freezing and the waiter kept calling me "lady". Grabbed a good tomato pastry from Bake Haus on King St. then that evening did music trivia at the Lexington by King's Cross but we're not up on our British pop.
Tues. was a train ride to Liverpool where I crammed in a bunch of stuff. Esp. enjoyed the pisco sour that Sam from Berry & Rye made and some nice food/drink at Salt House Bacaro. When I got back on Wed. I just ate surprisingly good half price cookies from Tesco. Thurs. started with an amazingly flaky Eccles cake at the Hammersmith mkt then wandered around town in the rain, the worst day there. Cool photos at Proud Gallery on King's Road then over to Borough Mkt where it's hard to choose but I picked a venison pie from Pieminster that hit the spot, 4.50 (photo). Also tried the infamous Monmouth flat white and that was good. Back to Kensington that evening where I had noticed the bar Dirty Bones but when we went for 2 for 1 happy hour, it was jammed and D can't stand crowds so missed out. Her husband had said the best burger he ever had was at Sticky Fingers down the street so I lifted my self-imposed European burger exile (I didn't think they held a candle to American ones) to check it out. This was pretty good, a huge mess tho (and pricey). I think I preferred the salmon cakes we shared to start, good service. I forced her to have a drink at Crobar in Soho, great jukebox. Fri. stopped by Spitalfield where I had a good flat white at the Dept. of Coffee and Social Affairs (love the name), an amazing donut at a bakery stand and brought back 5 great cookies from Galeta for just £5. Had hoped for tea at Dean St. Townhouse but it was too crowded so grabbed a good prosciutto/sundried tomato sandwich at Make Mine down the street. Met a friend at Bradley's Spanish Bar then Sham 69 at the 100 Club.
Sat. was the day I asked for help with on planning a full day with a friend coming from Cambridge. I came up with the following itinerary: Imperial War Museum (excellent, we didn't allow nearly enough time), lunch at Blueprint Café (nice polenta w/ mushrooms, ok foie gras and kale salad, great view), Maltby St. market (food looked great but too full, stopped for a gin tasting), walked thru Spitalfield again and up to Old St. then our 6PM res at Callooh Callay. Love all the rooms there, service was nice, drinks ok but not mind blowing. We had passed Tramshed which looked very cool with its huge bar so sat there and split cock n bull croquettes, chicken drumsticks and shaved cauliflower all in the £6-7 range. Then we had to sit in the bar at the St. Pancreas Hotel where I had a nice $$ ginger drink. Ended the nite at the Fiddler's Elbow by Chalk Farm. Back to that same area on Sun. for the Camden Mkt where I was able to have the tasty £6 duck confit sandwich that I was too full for at Brick Lane. and an awesome caramel frosted donut from a stand inside, £1 as it should be. Putzed around town then that evening I took my hosts out to the Harwood Arms by Fulham Broadway. £38 for 3 courses where two of us started with artichoke soup w hazelnuts and egg (wasn't thrilled with this) and rabbit terrine along with excellent bread. We had a pork loin/belly dish for 2 with cabbage, applesauce and potatoes that we loved (photo) and D liked her sole. Dessert for me was buttermilk pudding w/ little chocolate bits and coffee ice cream, blood orange donuts and rhubarb truffle.. Wine was more expensive than other places but we all enjoyed it. So did a good job making my way around town for what may be my last visit there. Hope not.
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