La Piccola Deli in Kensington is an authentic Italian deli, perfect for a quick bite to eat or a coffee. All of the staff are Italian, Italian music can be heard throughout the deli and yep, you guessed it, all of the food is 100% Italian. There are deli’s in Holland Park and Maida Vale too.

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La Piccola stock authentic Italian brands and products that you would probably struggle to find in England without ordering them specially. Many customers were dashing in and out to grab a takeaway coffee or pastry. There’s a long table to sit at by the window with enough seats for six people.

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Delicious pistachio cannoli.

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A lovely decaf Americano.

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Just a selection of some of the pastries and treats on offer.

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La Piccola offer traditional Italian dishes for around £6 to have in heated up or take away. I’m yet to try them but they look and smell divine and they must be if they use all of the Italian ingredients on sale in the shop!

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My favourite part of any deli is always the cold meats and cheeses section. If you live in the area and you’re planning on having an Italian style dinner party then I would recommend heading here to check out the selection.

If you want to visit in Kensington:La Piccola Deli, 20 Stratford Road, Kensington, W8 6QD

Opening times: Monday – Saturday 07:00 – 08:00

Sunday 07:00 – 19:00

Take a peak at the website: http://lapiccoladeli.com/index.html

What to do on a Sunday when all of the pubs are busy or you fancy a bit of a change? Mix up your Sunday lunch and head to a lovely little Italian of course!

Cacciari’s has two locations – 82 Old Brompton Road & 82 Pembroke Road, both in Kensington. We headed over to Pembroke road to try out some of the lovely Italian cuisine.

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It was very quiet and at one point we even had the place to ourselves, but what do you expect at 4pm on a Sunday afternoon in an area rife with pubs offering Britain’s favourite, the classic “Sunday roast.” However, all we fancied was an Italian so this was perfect.

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The menu is Cacciari’s doesn’t just offer your bog standard pasta and pizza, but some lovely meat and seafood dishes too such as; squid, scallops, beef tenderloin, veal and sea bream. You’ll have to check the menu out for yourself here as I could go on and on.

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I opted for the spinach and ricotta ravioli (£12.50) which was packed full of garlic (my favourite) and the balance of the ricotta and spinach was just right.

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George had the spaghetti carbonara (£9.50), he definitely made the winning decision! It was perfectly cooked and seasoned. The sauce was like no other, intensely creamy and rich but with the right balance of salt too. Many carbonara’s can be overly creamy yet bland, however this definitely packed in some flavour.

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They offer some wines by the pot (500ml). We chose the house wine by the pot (£11.25) as we were keen to have a cheaper meal and I have to say it wasn’t too bad. It was no Malbec but definitely worth opting for if you don’t want to break the bank.

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Overall this was a lovely little alternative to your typical Sunday lunch and we loved every moment of it. Good service and a wonderful menu!

If you want to visit: 82 Pembroke Road, W8 6NX or 82 Old Brompton Road, SW7 3LQ

Take a peak at the website: https://www.cacciaris.co.uk

 

 

 

The Punchbowl in Mayfair is hidden away on a side street off of Berkeley Square. It is one of London’s oldest pubs and the beautiful Grade II listen building makes a wonderful setting for a drink or dinner out. Having opened in 1729 and being formerly owned by Guy Ritchie means that the pub has both old and new history.

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The Dining Room 

Sometimes all you’re in the mood for on a Friday night is traditional pub food, but with so many chain pubs cluttering the streets nowadays, it can sometimes be hard to find freshly made pub food that is worth your money.

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We ate in the dining room on the first floor which offers modern pub food. The ground floor is the main pub level and this offers the same menu except you are seated in the heart of the pub, this seemed incredibly busy and bustling but a little too warm and loud for a quiet Friday night dinner.

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The decor in the dining room was modernised and fresh whilst still offering a cosy feel. Classics such as “fish and chips” and “pie of the day” are on the menu but everything is made freshly made and the vegetables are sourced from the New Covent Garden market. The dishes aren’t overpriced for a pub in Mayfair and the service we received was outstanding.

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A gorgeous Malbec

For starters we had hummus and flatbread (£3.50) sourdough (£1) and ham hock with piccalilli (£8)

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For mains George had pie of the day (£16.50) which was steak and ale, mash and kale. The kale was cooked with salt which made it so much more delicious. I had the pumpkin risotto (£12.50) which was a very hearty portion and incredibly rich and delicious. Cooked to perfection!

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We had to fit in a pudding..Bailey’s cheesecake and raspberry sorbet, delicious!

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The 18th Century building has been renovated and jazzed up using artistic paintings covering the walls, making it a very interesting place to be indeed.

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The Punchbowl is perfect for a quiet dining experience in Mayfair where after your meal you can stroll downstairs and enjoy the buzzing atmosphere of the pub. If that doesn’t impress you, then the amazing customer service and delicious food certainly will!

If you want to visit: 41 Farm Street, London, W1J 5RP

Take a peak at the website: www.punchbowllondon.com

Friday was a special night for me, I discovered my favourite new restaurant in London.

I’ve always had a love for antipasti, meat & cheese boards. Whether it’s because they remind me of Summer holidays abroad or family buffets at Christmas, there really is nothing better. Antipasti boards are sociable and casual, normally enjoyed over a bottle of wine and the constant vocal admiration over the variety of food in-front of you, such as the “tangy French cheese” you just tried for the first time and how well it “compliments the chutney.”

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Cork & Bottle have an extensive 34 page wine list

‘Cork & Bottle’ just off of Leicester Square is where I found paradise! Making my way down the spiral staircase I was greeted by a warm, cosy and bustling wine bar with every table in sight packed full. After-work glasses of wine were being had at the bar, whilst full blown meals were being enjoyed on the tables around us. The red tiled floor, wooden stools, quaint glass framed photos and bottles of wine decorating the room transported me to a different country in an instant.

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Despite it being incredibly busy, all of the staff were as polite as ever. As we waited, we eyed up all of the meats and cheeses in the ‘deli style’ counter.

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We were only made to wait twenty minutes for a table on a Friday night with no reservation. To our upmost surprise we were given the best table in the restaurant after the group before us left early – we were informed that normally it can take up to two weeks to book ‘the booth.” It must have been our lucky day!

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The booth

Tucked away from the main part of the wine bar and the restaurant we had the space all to ourselves.

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Whilst we sipped on a bottle of cabernet sauvignon, we read through the menu and really struggled to not over-order.

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We went for the duck liver pate to start and a selection of cheeses and the Cork & Bottle plate for a main to share – needless to say, we were stuffed.

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Duck liver pate

The lovely lady who served us offered to pick our cheeses for us and oh my, she did a good job. The “Vacherin” cheese found at the bottom of the cheese menu is the gooey, delicious mess that you can see  pictured below, it was like a brie but creamier and more rich, I would definitely recommend it.

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There was another antipasti plate to accompany the plate above (on the right), which took a little longer to prepare and included fried calamari and perfectly cooked duck

Cork & Bottle is my new favourite place and I’ll be back here very soon!

If you want to visit:

44-46 Cranbourn Street,
London WC2H 7AN
United Kingdom

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Daylesford Organic Farm Shop

Being a country girl I was more than excited to discover a “Daylesford Organic Farm Shop” tucked away in Notting Hill. Even though there are supermarkets like Whole Foods available around London, it is still nice to find a smaller and less commercialised organic food shop. Once you’ve made your way past the vibrant organic food, you’ll find a lovely restaurant which offers breakfast, brunch, lunch, afternoon tea and supper. There was no queue to get a table and the service was fast and friendly, rare for a restaurant offers brunch on a Sunday!

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The shop

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The restaurant

I headed here for brunch on a Sunday morning and being a poached egg and smoked salmon fanatic I had to get the poached eggs, smoked salmon and hollandaise (£12.50), the eggs were cooked to perfection. However, I definitely could have done with more sourdough bread to mop up the hollandaise sauce (to die for) and the egg yolk. I would thoroughly recommend the hollandaise, it was rich and creamy, just as it should be.

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George had scrambled eggs, toast and streaky bacon (£9.50). The eggs were buttery and there was plenty of them but even though the bacon was delicious, it wasn’t crispy enough for me!

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Organic love heart, what a lovely view!

I’m a fan of anywhere that serves a Bloody Mary or an alcoholic beverage with brunch, However, I opted for a non-alcoholic Virgin Mary (£5) at Daylesford – it definitely packed a punch! The fiery pepper and tomato juice gave more of a kick to my morning than any caffeine could have done and it’s far better for you, worthy of try if you like it hot and spicy.

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Virgin Mary

The highlight of my meal had to be the walnut and fruit toast with jam and butter (£4) which I ordered separately. I’ve never felt so comforted and satisfied by a piece of toast and I probably could have eaten three to four slices more. At least you know you’re getting some protein in from the walnuts whilst curbing your carb cravings, it isn’t all bad!

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So, it may not have been the healthiest meal in the world with the creamy hollandaise, streaky bacon and bread. However, Daylesford do some seriously healthy and yummy looking yoghurt bowls with ingredients such as goji berries and flax seeds if you’re trying to stay fit this January. I think I’m going to have to head back here just for the fruit toast.

 

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