Kosher Feast at Delicatessen, Hampstead

Living in central London, with a lot of great restaurants in my doorstep, I rarely venture outside of zone 1 for dinner.

Therefore, I rarely find myself in Hampstead, which is a real shame as it’s such a lovely little pocket of London, with restaurants to match.

Case in point – Delicatessen.

Kosher Feast at Delicatessen, HampsteadA hidden gem of a restaurant, with white-washed walls, wooden tables and a little ‘je ne sais quoi’ (we are at the heart of French London after all!) making it utterly charming.

And it’s not one of those ‘style-over-substance’ sort of place – no surprise here considering Delicatessen is headed by former Ottolenghi head chef Or Golan.

Kosher Feast at Delicatessen, Hampstead

Offering a fully-kosher menu, Delicatessen defines itself as a place to explore modern middle-eastern rich & diverse culinary culture and the mezze-style starters are an excellent reflection of the restaurant’s bold and colourful style of cooking.

In true middle-eastern style, they’re designed to be shared – which in my opinion is the absolute best as it gives you an excuse to order up a feast.

Kosher Feast at Delicatessen, Hampstead

Highlights included the Golden cauliflower, served with tahini, nuts & smoked chilli.

Kosher Feast at Delicatessen, Hampstead

Mini salt beef schnitzels with kohlrabi salad.

Kosher Feast at Delicatessen, Hampstead

Hummus loaded with confit lamb and crackling.

Kosher Feast at Delicatessen, Hampstead

Some absolutely divine sea bass carpaccio with loads of herbs and nuts, and a tiny bit of truffle oil.

Kosher Feast at Delicatessen, HampsteadKosher Feast at Delicatessen, Hampstead

And a delightful, still-warm Yemenite kubaneh bread to mop it all up before moving on to mains!

Kosher Feast at Delicatessen, HampsteadKosher Feast at Delicatessen, Hampstead

A lot to love amongst the larger plates as well – for example a delightfully moist chicken thigh shawarma plate, pilled high with seared laffa, sumac onions and pea shoots.

Kosher Feast at Delicatessen, Hampstead

Seared duck breast with celeriac puree, heritage carrots and glaze sauce – as moreish as it is photogenic.

Kosher Feast at Delicatessen, Hampstead

My favourite dish of them all: chicken meatballs with fresh globe and Jerusalem artichokes and lemon.

Not quite as photogenic but when the chef himself has an artichoke tattooed on his forearm, you know you’re onto a winner – and a winner it was indeed!

Kosher Feast at Delicatessen, Hampstead

Chicken pastilla – a timeless classic.

Kosher Feast at Delicatessen, Hampstead

And of course, this beast of a mixed grill with chicken thighs, kebabs, lamb chops, merguez & rib eye steak, plus bone marrow and grilled veggies thrown in for good measure.

The menu says it’s for 2 people (!!) but in my opinion, it can easily feed 4, making the £70 price point much more appropriate.

Kosher Feast at Delicatessen, Hampstead

The Israeli-oriented wine list is also full of little gems, like this veeeeeery easy to drink Dalton Canaan white, which we were recommended to have with the mezze, but I found lovely alongside the meatier dishes too.

Kosher Feast at Delicatessen, Hampstead

Dessert in middle eastern restaurants can sometimes feel like an after-thought. But not at Delicatessen, where the team is working hard to offer a wide range of dairy-free options.

They’re not all succesful (the chocolate mousse was very much not my thing).

But the malabi (pictured above) and the basbousa (semolina) cake are both great proof that vegan puds have nothing to envy to their dairy-filled counterparts.

And if like me, you rarely venture in Hampstead, that last one alone is almost enough to make your way there… But once you’re there, you might as well have it all (and then some!)

Delicatessen, 46 Rosslyn Hill, Hampstead, London NW3 1NH

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Kosher Feast at Delicatessen, Hampstead

Megabus London Sightseeing Tour

I love London to bits and take every opportunity I get to explore.

Friends visiting from overseas, a lazy Sunday afternoon… any excuse’s good to see the sights!

A tourist in my own city | Megabus' Mega Sightseeing London Bus TourA tourist in my own city | Megabus' Mega Sightseeing London Bus TourA tourist in my own city | Megabus' Mega Sightseeing London Bus TourA tourist in my own city | Megabus' Mega Sightseeing London Bus Tour

…especially when the views are that good…

A tourist in my own city | Megabus' Mega Sightseeing London Bus Tour

…there’s champagne flowing…

A tourist in my own city | Megabus' Mega Sightseeing London Bus Tour

…and great company to match!

A tourist in my own city | Megabus' Mega Sightseeing London Bus TourA tourist in my own city | Megabus' Mega Sightseeing London Bus TourA tourist in my own city | Megabus' Mega Sightseeing London Bus TourA tourist in my own city | Megabus' Mega Sightseeing London Bus TourA tourist in my own city | Megabus' Mega Sightseeing London Bus Tour

The London Eye really is an experience like no other!

A tourist in my own city | Megabus' Mega Sightseeing London Bus TourA tourist in my own city | Megabus' Mega Sightseeing London Bus TourA tourist in my own city | Megabus' Mega Sightseeing London Bus TourA tourist in my own city | Megabus' Mega Sightseeing London Bus Tour

But back on land, there’s another great new way to see the London sights… Megabus’ brand new sightseeing London tour!

A tourist in my own city | Megabus' Mega Sightseeing London Bus Tour

Offering fantastic value for money (prices start from just £1!!), the non-stop 2h tour is a fantastic way to get up close with London’s iconic sights.

A tourist in my own city | Megabus' Mega Sightseeing London Bus Tour

Including St Paul’s cathedral…

A tourist in my own city | Megabus' Mega Sightseeing London Bus Tour

… Millenium Bridge and the Tate Modern…

A tourist in my own city | Megabus' Mega Sightseeing London Bus TourA tourist in my own city | Megabus' Mega Sightseeing London Bus Tour

A tourist in my own city | Megabus' Mega Sightseeing London Bus Tour

… The London Royal Exchange…

A tourist in my own city | Megabus' Mega Sightseeing London Bus Tour

… The Monument…

A tourist in my own city | Megabus' Mega Sightseeing London Bus Tour

… and the Shard…

A tourist in my own city | Megabus' Mega Sightseeing London Bus TourA tourist in my own city | Megabus' Mega Sightseeing London Bus Tour

… eventually making it across Tower Bridge just in time for sunset.

A tourist in my own city | Megabus' Mega Sightseeing London Bus TourA tourist in my own city | Megabus' Mega Sightseeing London Bus Tour

London views don’t get much better than that!

A tourist in my own city | Megabus' Mega Sightseeing London Bus TourA tourist in my own city | Megabus' Mega Sightseeing London Bus Tour

Our itinerary took us back towards the London Eye…

A tourist in my own city | Megabus' Mega Sightseeing London Bus Tour

…past Big Ben (which is unfortunately covered in scaffolding at the moment) and up Whitehall…

A tourist in my own city | Megabus' Mega Sightseeing London Bus Tour

… all the way up to Trafalgar Square…

A tourist in my own city | Megabus' Mega Sightseeing London Bus Tour

…finishing up at Piccadilly Circus with light (and sights!) filled starry eyes!

All that and more (the tour covers all 50 of the top London sights with some hilarious commentary) for as little as £1 – I call sightseeing deal of the century!

All Megabus’ London sightseeing round-trip tours run on open top double-decker buses, every day of the week, every hour between 10:00 and 17:00, starting from 3 convenient locations (the London Eye, the Tower of London and Park Lane). Tickets can be booked online right up to time of departure.

More London sightseeing

Exploring London’s Bankside

New Covent Garden Flower Market

A local’s guide to Angel Islington

The perfect day in Notting Hill

*Disclaimer* I was a guest of Megabus to try their new Megasightseeing tours on this occasion, but all opinions, pictures and love for London architecture (especially at sunset) entirely my own.

Megabus London Sightseeing Tour

An Egg Masterclass w/ Clarence Court & Madeleine Shaw

Eggs are an absolute staple in my kitchen and diet.

They’re just so easy to cook and versatile – not to mention cheap as chips – so there’s hardly a week going without  some yolk-based dish grazing my dining table and/or lunch box.

An egg-celent masterclass with Clarence Court / Three-course egg menu / Cake + Whisky

Because I love eggs so much, I have quite a few tricks up my sleeves.

… but nothing compared to the egg-perts at the Underground Cooking School, where I recently attended a egg-centric masterclass organised by specialty egg producer Clarence Court and fellow egg-lover Madeleine Shaw.

An egg-celent masterclass with Clarence Court / Three-course egg menu / Cake + Whisky

Together, they took us through the steps of cooking my dream dinner – a three-course meal with eggs for every course.

Really quite egg-citing!

An egg-celent masterclass with Clarence Court / Three-course egg menu / Cake + Whisky

First, we made some healthy vegetarian Scotch eggs, wrapped in chickpea paste and baked to golden perfection.

An egg-celent masterclass with Clarence Court / Three-course egg menu / Cake + WhiskyAn egg-celent masterclass with Clarence Court / Three-course egg menu / Cake + Whisky

They’re super easy to make too.

First, make the chickpea paste by blending a can of drained chickpeas.

Mix in a couple spoonful of tahini paste, salt, papper and any spices you like (paprika and cumin are both excellent choices).

An egg-celent masterclass with Clarence Court / Three-course egg menu / Cake + Whisky

Then form a ball with a little bit of the chickpea paste.

Flatten it to about 1/2 thickness and wrap around a 5-6min boiled hen egg (we used some lovely, orange-yolked Burford Brown eggs).

Repeat until you’ve covered the egg entirely, sealing the different pieces together carefully.

An egg-celent masterclass with Clarence Court / Three-course egg menu / Cake + WhiskyAn egg-celent masterclass with Clarence Court / Three-course egg menu / Cake + Whisky

Next, the eggs (make one per person) need to be crumbed, following the classic flour-egg-breadcrumb process.

An egg-celent masterclass with Clarence Court / Three-course egg menu / Cake + Whisky

Brush the crumbed eggs with a little bit of olive oil for added golden factor, then baked for 20 min at 200°C.

An egg-celent masterclass with Clarence Court / Three-course egg menu / Cake + WhiskyAn egg-celent masterclass with Clarence Court / Three-course egg menu / Cake + Whisky

Whilst our eggs where baking, we learnt how to prepare and filet mackerels…

An egg-celent masterclass with Clarence Court / Three-course egg menu / Cake + Whisky

… and how to make the perfect poached egg, every time!

An egg-celent masterclass with Clarence Court / Three-course egg menu / Cake + Whisky

Essential skills for that night’s main course, and for any cook really, hence the very attentive audience!

An egg-celent masterclass with Clarence Court / Three-course egg menu / Cake + Whisky

Last but not least – pudding!

And not just any pud – Madeleine Shaw’s signature healthy blondie brownies, made by the get-the-glow queen herself!

An egg-celent masterclass with Clarence Court / Three-course egg menu / Cake + WhiskyAn egg-celent masterclass with Clarence Court / Three-course egg menu / Cake + WhiskyAn egg-celent masterclass with Clarence Court / Three-course egg menu / Cake + Whisky

Just a few ingredients (including super creamy duck eggs) and very speedy to put together, they are the perfect indulgent-but-healthy pick-me-up.

An egg-celent masterclass with Clarence Court / Three-course egg menu / Cake + Whisky

Then in true Underground Cooking School fashion, we sat down to eat the egg-squisite fruits of our labour.

An egg-celent masterclass with Clarence Court / Three-course egg menu / Cake + Whisky

First up, the vegetarian Scotch egg – incredibly satisfying and moreish, and a great recipe to keep in mind for a party (imagine how cute a mini quail egg version would look!).

An egg-celent masterclass with Clarence Court / Three-course egg menu / Cake + Whisky

Then delicious (if somewhat blury) mackerel filets with a perfectly poached, runny egg (look at that yolk colour!) and a side of broccolini.

A simple yet fantastic main, with the creaminess of the egg pairing perfectly with the rich, oily flesh of the fish.

An egg-celent masterclass with Clarence Court / Three-course egg menu / Cake + Whisky

Last but not least – the nuttiest of blondie brownies, served with cocoa nibs for texture and a side of vanilla ice cream.

An egg-celent end to an egg-celent meal, full of egg-centric recipes that are very easy to make at home.

Invite your favourite people over, pick one, two or all three recipes, and you have all the ingredients for a cracking party!

Other cooking classes I’ve tried

A British cocktail masterclass at Hixter Bankside

L’Avenue brunch masterclass

Lobster masterclass

Butchery masterclass at Barbecoa

I attended this event as a guest of Clarence Court and/or their PR representatives. 

An Egg Masterclass w/ Clarence Court & Madeleine Shaw

Sun’s out, Bun House!

You know the saying – sun’s out, buns out!

And I know just the spot to get your bun fix – Bun House!

Bun House / Cantonese-style steamed buns / Soho, London

Light and airy, Bun House isn’t very big but the menu is every steamed bun lover’s dream come true.

Bun House / Cantonese-style steamed buns / Soho, London

The bun selection is rather wide: there’s pork of course, but also lamb, veggie, fish, as well as a couple of sweet options.

Bun House / Cantonese-style steamed buns / Soho, London

All steamed to order and ready in minutes.

Bun House / Cantonese-style steamed buns / Soho, London

We made the most of a quiet Monday lunch service to try it all…

Bun House / Cantonese-style steamed buns / Soho, London

Veggie? Good.

Fish? Good.

Lamb? Gooooooooooooooood!

Bun House / Cantonese-style steamed buns / Soho, London

The pickled daikon is a great way to keep things fresh.

And the lotus crisps are simply too good to pass.

Bun House / Cantonese-style steamed buns / Soho, London

Take it all down with many a cup of tea… and there you have it: the perfect London lunch in the sun!

Or the rain. Or even in case of a return of the Beast from the East…

Bun House, 24 Greek St, Soho, London W1D 4DZ

Where else’s good near Bun House?

Xu, Chinatown

Kricket, Soho

Temper, Soho

Palomar, Soho

Sun’s out, Bun House!

7 places I’d love to re-visit

As every wanderer dreaming of seeing as much of our lovely little planet as possible, I have a never ending to-visit list. And said list tend to focus on new-to-me places, because as Barney Simpson says: “New is always better”.

Right?

Wrong.

As exciting as discovering a new place is, the truth is, there’s always going to be some places that truly resonate with you.

Spots you simply can’t cover in one trip. Cities that keep changing and evolving, and therefore always in mouvement and ‘new’. Places that just feel like home.

So much so in fact that you start planning a return visit on your way to the airport.

Here’s my current top 7 of those places I’d love to re-visit.

7 places I'd love to re-visit / 7 travel destinations that deserve a second visit / #travellinkup / Cake + Whisky

NYC

Much like London, New York is always changing.

No matter how many times you visits (and how many steps you walk a day!), there’s always something new and exciting to discover.

Which is just as well because as you read this post, I’m actually on a 2-week trip to the USA, with two full weekends in NYC. I’m hoping to re-visit old favourites (looking at you, Katz’s!), as well as discovering new things (and eating all the brunch dishes).

Sweden

I celebrated my 18th birthday in Sweden, and I have wonderful memories of visiting Stockholm and the Lake region.

There was something so beautiful about the pure, golden light, the small red wooden houses, the deep blue water and the fresh fish dishes and it all reminds engraved in my mind.

And now that I’ve mastered the art of planning city breaks, I’m itching to re-visit the Swedish capital!

7 places I'd love to re-visit / 7 travel destinations that deserve a second visit / #travellinkup / Cake + Whisky

Cuba

Beautiful, unexpected and so, so, so different from anywhere else I’d ever been to, Cuba simply took my breath away.

Unfortunately, my Cuban adventures were not the most comfortable as I managed to catch a nasty stomach bug on day 2, which prevented me from making the most of our time on the dreamy Caribbean island.

I have major regrets of not being able to swim in waterfalls in Trinidad, and of not drinking all the rum cocktails.

So a Cuban do-over is most certainly on the cards at some point!

Bilbao

I went to Bilbao on a school trip and I keep unaltered memories of the beautiful Guggenheim undulating structure shinning in the sunshine.

The museum itself, featuring works from many of my favourite contemporary artists, was a dream.

The architectural mix of the city, combining old brick buildings and super modern glass structures in a seamless way, was another thing that caught my eye.

But because we spent very little time wandering the city and with all of our meals planned and taken care of for us, I feel like there’s still more for me to explore in Bilbao.

7 places I'd love to re-visit / 7 travel destinations that deserve a second visit / #travellinkup / Cake + Whisky

Dublin

The people. The vibes. The whiskey. The foooooooooooood!!

Our trip to Dublin last year was everything I had dreamt about, and then some.

Though to be honest, the prospect of dinner at Forest Avenue alone would be enough to convince me to jump in a plane!

7 places I'd love to re-visit / 7 travel destinations that deserve a second visit / #travellinkup / Cake + Whisky

Copenhagen

With a strong focus on scandi design, interesting food creations, cinnamon buns and the purest, whitest light, Copenhagen was always to be a favourite of mine, and a place I’ll want to visit again and again.

And again.

7 places I'd love to re-visit / 7 travel destinations that deserve a second visit / #travellinkup / Cake + Whisky

Paris

When I lived in Paris, I didn’t really enjoy it as a city.

Now that I don’t, I simply can’t get enough of it.

Similar enough to London to be comfortable, yet different enough to be exciting, and the very epitome of classy easy-going ‘à la Française’…

It’s just such a lovely city to explore… just got to keep an eye on the Eurostar ticket prices!

How many of those places have you visited? What places have you been to and can’t wait to re-visit? 

This blog post has been written as part of this month’s #travellinkup, which theme was ‘places we can’t get out of our heads’. If you’re a travel-addict, make sure you join the monthly #travellinkup, hosted by Adventures of a London KiwiSilverSpoon London and Follow Your Sunshine. Every month, there’s a new fun travel brief to share stories of your adventures!

More travel stories:

‘Once in a lifetime’ moments in Burkina Faso

How to find the perfect travel companion

10 things I learnt from traveling

The places I call home(s)

Best of Havana – Save & Splurge itineraries

7 places I’d love to re-visit

Back at Barrafina

It’s not the first time I’ve mentioned Barrafina and it won’t be the last.

Because I looooooove tapas and Barrafina is quite simply the best tapas restaurant in London.

Barrafina Adelaide St / London's best tapas restaurant / Where to find a taste of Spain in London / Cake + Whisky

The only problem?

How good Barrafina is is London’s worst kept secret.

And of course, there’s no reservations, which means you will have to queue.

Yes, even if it’s late and even on Sundays.

Barrafina Adelaide St / London's best tapas restaurant / Where to find a taste of Spain in London / Cake + Whisky

But worry not, for there’s a small selection of nibbles to eat while you wait – including Barrafina’s fantastic croquetas.

That time around, they were squid croquetas, with ink, little pieces of cuttlefish and a potent-but-sublime spicy aioli on top.

100% the way to keep little hangry me happy!

Barrafina Adelaide St / London's best tapas restaurant / Where to find a taste of Spain in London / Cake + Whisky

Nibbles, drinks and good company are a great combination to make time fly by.

Before you know it, you’ll be led to your recently-vacated seats…

… for yet more croquetas!

Barrafina Adelaide St / London's best tapas restaurant / Where to find a taste of Spain in London / Cake + Whisky

This time, ham croquetas.

Barrafina Adelaide St / London's best tapas restaurant / Where to find a taste of Spain in London / Cake + Whisky

Just as gorgeous as their squid sisters, with a rich, indulgent, creamy ham & cheese filling and the thinest, crispest of exteriors.

If you love croquetas (and let’s be honest, who doesn’t?), you have to have Barrafina’s.

Ham or squid, whatever you pick, you’re in for a whole new ball game!

Barrafina Adelaide St / London's best tapas restaurant / Where to find a taste of Spain in London / Cake + Whisky

Since we visited at what was technically brunch time, the classic tortilla was a must order.

Barrafina Adelaide St / London's best tapas restaurant / Where to find a taste of Spain in London / Cake + Whisky

… and I can happily report that it is indeed a classic at all times of the week and day!

Barrafina Adelaide St / London's best tapas restaurant / Where to find a taste of Spain in London / Cake + Whisky

Potato slices, sauteed in olive oil, then topped with eggs and cooked to golden perfection…

Simplicity at its very best.

Barrafina Adelaide St / London's best tapas restaurant / Where to find a taste of Spain in London / Cake + Whisky

Chargrilled artichokes with aioli, dressed in a shallot and chives vinaigrette.

Barrafina Adelaide St / London's best tapas restaurant / Where to find a taste of Spain in London / Cake + Whisky

And spectacular Arroz de Marisco.

Barrafina Adelaide St / London's best tapas restaurant / Where to find a taste of Spain in London / Cake + Whisky

A bit of a cross between a risotto and a seafood paella, with incredible depth of flavour from a saffroned bisque and topped with just-grilled seafood.

Barrafina Adelaide St / London's best tapas restaurant / Where to find a taste of Spain in London / Cake + Whisky

On the sweet side, we couldn’t resist the crema catalana bites.

Basically cheesecake, wrapped in crisp filo pastry, deep-fried and served with a tart berry coulis.

Berry indulgent indeed!

Barrafina Adelaide St / London's best tapas restaurant / Where to find a taste of Spain in London / Cake + Whisky

And –of course– a serving of obligatory cinnamon doughnuts with chocolate sauce. Light, almost brioch-y, they are something special in their own right!

Now, the million dollar question – when to go so you don’t have to queue for hours?

We went on a Sunday for a late lunch (around 1pm) and waited around 20 min for a table. Late dinner is also quite a good bet, making it a great post-theatre option, especially on weekdays. But then again, I went a few years back on Easter Sunday and it’s the only time I’ve ever been seated right away…

So if your bank holiday plans allow it, go, go, GO!!

Barrafina, 10 Adelaide St, London WC2N 4HZ 

(there’s another Covent Garden branch on Drury Ln, and a Soho one on Dean St, all equaly good and hard to get into)

Where to eat if you can’t get a seat at Barrafina

Terroirs Wine Bar

The Barbary

Chick ‘n’ Sours

Shake Shack

Back at Barrafina

Classic Aviation

A classic Aviation is my go-to spring cocktail.

Citrus-sy and delicately floral, it’s tart without being too sharp, sweet without being sickly and easy to whip up at a moment’s notice.

The perfect cocktail for bloom season – or any Friday celebration throughout the year!Classic Aviation Cocktail // Simple Spring Cocktail // Cake + Whisky

It’s one of the simplest cocktail known to man.

There’s only a handful of ingredients and they keep forever, so you can always have them in the cupboard just in case.

Classic Aviation Cocktail // Simple Spring Cocktail // Cake + Whisky

That, a simple shaker and a few minutes and you’re good to go, making the Aviation a great cocktail to make whether for one, two or a group and in any environment.

I’m thinking picnic party in a meadow… Who’s joining?

Classic Aviation Cocktail // Simple Spring Cocktail // Cake + Whisky

[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:58]

Have you ever tried an Aviation cocktail? What’s your favourite classic cocktail?

More cocktails:

Fairy tale cocktails at St James Bar

A British cocktail masterclass at Hixter Bankside

Festive Old Fashioned

Classic Aviation