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Showing posts with label eating out in south london. Show all posts
Showing posts with label eating out in south london. Show all posts

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Cool Cats' Café - the coolest café in Camberwell!

cafe review london

There are so many amazing cafés in London these days. Coffee culture has taken off here in a big way, and it's only going to get bigger, as far as I can tell. Sometimes it seems as if there's a gorgeous café with incredible home baked pastries on every street corner in this city, and a lot of them have a queue coming out of the door. That said, I don't think that there's enough love for cafés south of the river - there are some absolutely incredible family-run businesses in South London, but there's a misconception that everything south of Borough Market is some kind of barren wasteland full of bin-fires, rancid chicken shops, and people using their own shoes as telephones to the beyond... Basically, what I'm trying to say is that people are scared of South London, which is a massive shame.

I've lived in Camberwell for three years now, and I've visited a fair few cafés in the area. However, I actually only discovered Cool Cats' Café when I was frantically googling somewhere close to where we live that we could visit with my in-laws, since Dan's Mum is super allergic to our cat and can't come into our house! It has only just occurred to me when writing this that it was maybe a bit of an odd thing to do, to take someone who is allergic to cats, to a café named after cats. Oh well.

After a leisurely walk through the park and past a bustling baptist church, we found the Cool Cats' Cafe to be a perfect brunch escape. Dan's Dad was happy with the up-tempo jazz music that was playing, and I really loved how light and airy the place was. Dan and his Dad both chose the Camberwell Breakfast, which was a totally home made Full English Breakfast, right down to the baked beans. Dan's Mum had Eggs Florentine and I had Eggs Benedict - I'm pretty sure the hollandaise sauce was home made too, and it was absolutely decadent. I got chatting to Roger who helps run the place, and he recommended sprinkling a few drops of tabasco sauce on the top which was INCREDIBLE.

south london cuppa
fry up south london
family brunch cafe review

After we'd eaten, Dan and his parents had a lot of stuff to discuss about the logistics of us moving back to stay with them for a couple of months, as well as the new flat we'll be moving into when we come back to London, so while they got on with those discussions, I took the chance to snap a few photos around the café. We were lucky to be visiting at a strange time of morning, so there weren't too many people around. I chatted more with the people who worked at the café and they told me about all of the art exhibitions they've hosted, and some of the awesome live music events they hold in the evenings. I'd absolutely love to go back to experience the café in its restaurant incarnation because I can imagine that the ambiance is really different but just as comfortable and laid-back. The dinner and cocktail menus look really good.

bar glasses dof
cafe idea south london
cafe cool gig events
camberwell arts scene

Initially, I was going to write, "if you're in the area, you should visit Cool Cats' Café", but I'm going to revise that. I actually think that this place is worth travelling for. The people who work there are really helpful and kind, the food is gorgeous, and it strikes this fantastic balance between hearty south london fry up and modern sophisticated hangout. My in-laws loved it, Dan loved it, I loved it, and I think you would probably love it too. South London, I'm really going to miss you. <3

dancing chef picture

Cool Cats' Café can be found at 149 Southampton Way, Camberwell, SE5 7EW. If you go, tell them I sent you!

Saturday, 31 May 2014

A Salty Adventure on the South Bank!

Southbank Fun
Hey again chums! Like lots of 'Londoners' (I guess that's what I am now - eek!) I spend a lot of time on the South Bank. Lots of people feel like that's as far South in London as is acceptable, but I don't think that's true at all. Nevertheless, I love the South Bank - the atmosphere is bustling and there is always so much going on!
Dan and I decided to go on a little adventure to celebrate it being... the weekend... and thought it'd be great to start at Borough Market. I wanted to repeat my glorious experience with the Kappacasein grilled cheese, but the queue was unbelievably long, so we decided to get some Salt Beef sandwiches instead.
Salt Beef Borough Market
I mean, the queue for the Salt Beef was pretty darn long too, I'm not gonna lie... But much shorter than the cheese queue and once I saw all that melty, melty beef, I kinda forgot about anything else.
London Salt Beef
Bagel Man London
Salt Beef South Bank
Southbank Bagel
After partying on down with a delicious bagel and a soft rye bread sandwich, both filled to the brim (do sandwiches have brims?) with salt beef (or for Americans, Corned Beef - British Corned Beef is not the same as American Corned Beef. Confused yet?), we strolled along the river to the Tate Modern to mooch about with some free art. I've lost count of the number of times I've been to the Tate Modern, and I still adore it. It makes me feel like a tourist all over again, and that's an aspect of London that falls away fairly quickly once you live here!
Thames bridges
Southbank bubble performer
Look at those beautiful bubbles! Remember what I said about how there's always something going on? Also, bubbles are pretty much my all time favourite thing - Rainbows in ephemeral ball form? What more could you want!?
Satchel and Tweed London
Cambridge Satchel style idea

Scarf - Hobbs (a present from my mother-in-law)
Tweed Jacket - Zara (a present from my mother-in-...birth?)
Dress - GAP (this season! OMG am I fashionable yet?!)
Satchel - The Cambridge Satchel Company (another gift from the mother-in-law)
Tights - Somewhere in France (a gift from my Stepmother)
Shoes - Office (I bought these myself!)
APPARENTLY THIS WHOLE OUTFIT WAS PROVIDED BY MY MOTHER FIGURES...

Hobbs scarf style
I'm so interested to see how London's skyline will change over the next few years. There's an awful lot of cranes having a party out there, and who knows what the future will bring... I guess I'll just have to keep on blogging about it, eh? And to all my new readers - I'm super pleased you're here and very honoured indeed. It would be beyond excellent if you stuck around and introduced yourselves! I love making new friends :)London Skyline changing

Monday, 26 May 2014

5 of the BEST ice creams in London

London has a LOT of ice cream parlours these days, and let me start by saying that there are some incredible gelato spots that didn’t make this list. Since we moved to London several years ago, we've tried many, many ice-creams that the city has to offer. In order to make a lovely list for you, Dan and I decided to have an epic day of gelato mayhem and take a load of photos. My ~definitive~ list is presented in the order I visited them, rather than in order of preference but it should help you along the way to ice cream satisfaction. So let’s get started, shall we? There’s lots to get through…

1. laGelatiera – 27 New Row, Covent Garden
Good for: Sorbet, coffee, and proximity to Covent Garden.
Gelatiera London
London icecream cafe
This award winning place has a down-to-earth, hip vibe, is smack bang in the middle of central London, and has a mouth-watering array of home made gelato, cakes, pastries and gorgeous coffee.
Tiny ice cream
One of my favourite things about this particular gelato shop is that they do these teeny little “baby scoops” for £1 and even though the cone is small, the amount of gelato you get for your quid is really flipping generous.
sexy sorbet
We got a cone with one scoop of almond sorbet and one scoop of honey and rosemary sorbet. They were both beautifully refreshing and had very interesting flavours, which worked together really well. Oh and if you were doubting what I said about the baby cone containing a generous serving of ice cream, check out that hefty scoop of peanut butter gelato below!
baby cone gelato

2. Gelupo – 7 Archer Street, Soho
Good for: Beautiful gelato, interesting flavours, cute décor.
Gelupo Soho review
Gelupo pop-up market
This place frequently tops the ‘best ice cream in London’ lists I found online, and so I was really excited to try it. It’s so popular, it even has a cute little pop-up gelato cart for markets. We chose one scoop of the Bonet (a blend of chocolate, coffee, egg yolk, rum, caramel and amaretti biscuits) and one scoop of THE most incredible mint ice cream I’ve ever consumed in my life. It tasted like real mint leaves and it was too beautiful for words. The cup came with a cute little wafer with the Gelupo logo printed onto it which was a great touch.
BEST mint ice cream

3. Chin Chin Labs – 49-50 Camden Lock Place, Camden
Good for: showmanship, smooth gelato and awesome toppings.
Chin chin labs review
chin chin menu
We’ve been coming to this place since we moved to London yeeears ago, and even though it’s got more and more popular, and changed layout a bit, the ice cream is still just as excellent. The twist to this gelato shop is that you get to see it being made in front of your very eyes as it’s frozen using liquid nitrogen. The décor is very much styled around a science lab, since the liquid nitrogen is at the forefront of the experience.
Chin Chin interior
nitrogen ice cream
Chin chin menu board
We chose the ‘Salted caramel and peach pit’ flavoured gelato and topped it off with a caramelised pretzel. You get one topping or sauce with your ice cream, but you can pay a little bit extra if you want more than one topping. The benefit of freezing the ice cream with liquid nitrogen is that you get a super, super smooth consistency… like, super smooth. Oh and it looks really bad-ass when it’s all being churned up in the mixer and these clouds of vapour are billowing out.
chin chin labs review blog

4. Oddono’s – Selfridges Food Hall, Oxford Street
Good for: Tourists, classic flavours and a crunchy cone.
Selfridges icecream review
We were going to go to the ice cream parlour in Harrod’s, but like everything there, it was unbelievably overpriced and incredibly stressful, so we opted for the much more convenient and slightly less extortionate Selfridge’s Food Hall, where Oddono’s is situated.
Oddono’s gelato review
We went for the perfect double-whammy of classic strawberry and a hazelnut gelato in a big, crispy waffle cone. It’s not mind-blowing ice cream but it really hits the spot after a hard day of shopping, which is why I think it’s a great gelato for tourists. London is a really hectic and tiring place to be a tourist and you’ve got to keep your energy levels up!

5. Kaspa’s – 321-323 Walworth Road, Elephant & Castle
Good for: South London, kitsch, party-time!
Kaspa’s desserts review
birthday cake walworth
This place recently opened and I pass it on the bus to work each day. It’s got glittery floors and a disco ball – I mean, what more could you want from an ice cream parlour?
south london gelato
They’ve also got giant screens cycling through pictures of epic parties, and an array of sundaes, waffles and crepes behind the counter. It’s certainly an experience in there. Unfortunately, after an entire day of ice cream eating (yes, we did eat all of these ice creams in one day), all we could stomach was a sorbet. It was a really tart, refreshing passion fruit sorbet though and a perfect palate cleanser! sorbet south london
So, as you can see, I’ve suffered and toiled for you, so that you can know the best gelati in London. And like I said at the beginning of this mammoth post, I know I’ve missed tons off, so let me know your favourite gelato places in London. Or if you’re not a Londoner, tell me about the best ice cream where you’re from – I MUST KNOW!

Sunday, 12 January 2014

The Electric Elephant Cafe and some Geek Chic for 2014

Hullo chums,
Two of my resolutions this year is to go to some different little eateries and to wear a different outfit every day (accessorising the same outfit differently counts, okay?). So I'm starting as I mean to go on by bringing you a review of a little cafe near where I live, and an outfit featuring some of my christmas/birthday presents!
Electric Elephant Cafe London
This weekend, we thought we'd take advantage of the sunny weather and go for a late lunch at a cafe near(ish) to our flat. The Electric Elephant is on Crampton Street, about five minutes brisk walk from the Elephant and Castle tube station. It's like a cute, indie version of a greasy spoon cafe, which makes it perfect for a Saturday brunch.
Hipster cafe south london
hipster brunch london
We both got a breakfast muffin and a mocha, but I was very tempted by the chorizo and goats' cheese salad because I am a goats' cheese fiend. Also, any ideas about where the correct place for the apostrophe is in that? Like, the cheese comes from several goats, so the apostrophe at the end would make sense, but I've seen it written as "goat's" too, soooo...
south london winter sun
The brunch was lovely. The mocha was frothy and the muffins were enthusiastically cooked and crispy and satisfying. We emerged into the winter sun, and decided to take a few pictures of my geeky outfit.
geek chic nerdfighter fashion
geeky harry potter style
So if you're looking at the shirt and scratching your head, Remus and Sirius are characters from the Harry Potter series who met (spoiler alert) untimely ends. "5ever" is more than "4ever"... I DID say "geek chic" so don't say you weren't warned! Dan bought it for me as a pyjama/lazing around top, but I was determined to incorporate it into a cute outfit. The Dr Marten T-bar shoes were a birthday present from Dan's parents. This year, be on the look out for more outfit posts, more cafe reviews, and even some lovely baking tutorials from meeee. Watch this whimsical space, folks!
Shirt - DFTBA 
Cardigan - Primark
Skirt - H&M (verrrry old!)
Socks - Topshop
Shoes - Dr Martens

Monday, 10 December 2012

Goats' Cheese Delight! House Gallery Café - Camberwell

I've lived in the Camberwell area for over a year now, but until the other day, I'd not found a really wonderful cafe south of the river. I noticed the House Gallery Café when I went past it on the bus on the way to Peckham one evening, and made a mental note that I had to go back there at some point as it looked intimate yet airy, and had a slightly alternative look to it. Recently, I've not been being very creative with my outfits so I thought I'd mix it up a little bit to go to a new cafe! Why not?!
teal tulle skirt We visited the House Gallery Café with our lovely friend Emma, on a crisp, bright and blustery day and it was warm and welcoming inside. I immediately ordered a Soy Chai Latte which is my go-to cafe order. It was foamy and frothy and smooth. I really like Chai Lattes and this one did not disappoint. I've tasted very sweet, honeyed Chai, and very savoury, spiced chai, and this one sat somewhere between those two extremes.
house gallery cafe
bacon sandwich south london
goats cheese sandwich south london
Dan ordered a luscious, breakfasty bacon sandwich on soft white bread, and I ordered a Goats' Cheese, bacon and avocado sandwich, also on white bread. At first, the guy behind the till told me they'd run out of Goats' Cheese, and so I said I'd be happy with ordinary cram cheese. To my delight, when my sandwich arrived, the guy told me that he'd run out to buy Goat's Cheese especially for my sandwich because I'd looked so crestfallen before! What a top lad! The sandwich was soft, the bacon was crunchy and it was ace with the rocket salad.
The House Gallery Café, as the name suggests, is also an art gallery, and the profits from the café go towards the running of the gallery. It's a great space, the staff are attentive and friendly and I can't wait to visit again. Next time, I think I'll have to try one of their fresh, home-made milkshakes.

belted jumper

*Tartan Shirt - Topshop*
*Black Jumper and Teal Tulle Skirt - YesStyle.co.uk*
*Leather Belt - Topshop*
*Deer Brooch - A gift from my Uncle* 

I've also reviewed a Korean cafe in London, and a vintage cafe in Brighton. Check those out, if you like!