Ben’s Canteen, Battersea

There’s more to Clapton Junction station than a gigantic transport hub.

Exibit A: Local-favourite joint Ben’s Canteen.

Ben's Canteen, Battersea • London Restaurant Review • Cake + Whisky

Obviously, it got me at striped awning.

Ben's Canteen, Battersea • London Restaurant Review • Cake + Whisky

But neon lovers should feel right at home too…

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There’s also a gorgeous bar, serving up faaaaaantastic frosé cocktails.

And if you’re still looking for a sign to justify commandeering a table…

Ben's Canteen, Battersea • London Restaurant Review • Cake + Whisky

… well, here it is!

Better go hungry though, because the menu is full of amazing options.

Ben's Canteen, Battersea • London Restaurant Review • Cake + Whisky

There’s finger-licking good pulled pork & guac’ nachos.

Ben's Canteen, Battersea • London Restaurant Review • Cake + Whisky

Smash-your-own guac.

Ben's Canteen, Battersea • London Restaurant Review • Cake + Whisky

Because there’s no such thing as too much guac’… and a bit of aworkout can’t hurt before moving on to the main event!

Ben's Canteen, Battersea • London Restaurant Review • Cake + Whisky

Though to be fair, the special BrewDog burger (two beef patties, double smoked cheese, streaky bacon, BrewDog’s flagship Punk IPA barbecue sauce, stacked with crack fries to give it that extra crunch) will give your jaw plenty of exercise!

Ben's Canteen, Battersea • London Restaurant Review • Cake + Whisky

If you’re after something a bit more novel, try Ben’s Canteen’s National Burger Day special: the Juicy Lucy Goat Burger – just think goat’s cheese IN a goat burger!

I’m still the worse French person on Earth and don’t like goat’s cheese, but even I had to admit that was a winning combination!

So yeah, burger goats achieved!

Ben's Canteen, Battersea • London Restaurant Review • Cake + WhiskyBen's Canteen, Battersea • London Restaurant Review • Cake + Whisky

Now, let me tell you one thing about Ben’s Canteen: the burgers are good but the fries are NEXT LEVEL.

Buffalo-fried chicken chips with homemade sauce, house ranch and blue cheese, nachos-style, Chip Shop-style or (my personal favourite) Korean-style, complete with deep-fried pork belly, kimchi, crispy seaweed and Korean hot sauce… Picking just one is basically impossible!

So better get a bunch of people together and head to Ben’s Canteen… Not having to choose will be the #1 reward for strong, burger strengthened friend-chips!

Ben’s Canteen, 140 St John’s Hill, Battersea, London SW11 1SL

Ben’s Canteen, Battersea

Copenhagen best Smørrebrød at Aamanns

On our second day in Denmark, we had our hearts set on trying out the traditional Danish open-faced sandwiches, so we scouted the city in search of Copenhagen best Smørrebrød.

Copenhagen best Smørrebrød at Aamanns | Cake + Whisky

Word on the street is that they’re to be found at Aamanns, a modern Danish open sandwich deli and restaurant.

So off to the western-most part of Copenhagen we trotted… to discover one of the prettiest restaurants I’ve ever set foot in!

Copenhagen best Smørrebrød at Aamanns | Cake + WhiskyCopenhagen best Smørrebrød at Aamanns | Cake + Whisky

Miles away from your usual British ‘deli’, simply decorated yet refined and elegant, Aamanns is a textbook example of brilliant Nordic design.

Copenhagen best Smørrebrød at Aamanns | Cake + Whisky

The natural, no-nonsense decor mirrors the restaurant’s philosophy of good, simple Danish cuisine perfectly.

If at night, the menu is more elaborate, at lunchtime, Aamanns is all about Smørrebrød, the traditional open sandwich on rye bread.

Copenhagen best Smørrebrød at Aamanns | Cake + Whisky

Starting things off the traditional way with Fried herring with smoke, elderflower vinegar, smoked cheese, radishes and hay ash.

A modern take on the classic, this first taste of Smørrebrød highlighted Aamanns’ beautiful, malty sourdough rye bread perfectly.

Copenhagen best Smørrebrød at Aamanns | Cake + Whisky

Cold smoked salmon and summer salad with dill, pickled cucumber, chives and wheat croutons was a more usual combination for our non-Nordic palates.

Copenhagen best Smørrebrød at Aamanns | Cake + Whisky

A bit of a Nordic take on a lox & cream cheese bagel if you will, only far lighter and much more delicate than the New York original!

Copenhagen best Smørrebrød at Aamanns | Cake + Whisky

New potatoes with pepper mayonnaise, weeds, chives, leek ash and crisps.

With soft potatoes, crumbly rye bread, creamy mayo, crunchy pickled onion & crispy fried potato bits, the easy-to-overlook vegetarian option was an textural masterpiece, and also a very strong choice taste-wise (if you like celery, that is…).

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Last but not least, a much less vegetarian-friendly option: Beef Tartare with blackberries, tarragon emulsion, shallots and rye crumb.

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A little bit of a Franco-Nordic fusion, and a very successful one at that! And what a beauty!

Copenhagen best Smørrebrød at Aamanns | Cake + WhiskyCopenhagen best Smørrebrød at Aamanns | Cake + Whisky

The same could be sayed about dessert, a Strawberry eclair with vanilla cream and strawberry granita.

Copenhagen best Smørrebrød at Aamanns | Cake + Whisky

The chou itself was okay, but the vibrant granite and the light-as-air vanilla cream were what truly made the dish.

Copenhagen best Smørrebrød at Aamanns | Cake + Whisky

… and made me struggle not to lick the plate clean!

Copenhagen best Smørrebrød at Aamanns | Cake + Whisky Copenhagen best Smørrebrød at Aamanns | Cake + Whisky

All finished off the Danish way with a few cups of excellent strong black coffee.

All in all, muck to loaf at Aamans, which explains its popularity with locals and visitors alike, so make sure you book ahead as it’d really be a shame for you to miss out on the best (Copenhagen) thing since sliced bread!

AamannsØster Farimagsgade 10, 2100 København

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Copenhagen's best Smørrebrød at Aamanns | Cake + Whisky

Copenhagen best Smørrebrød at Aamanns

A walk about Paris + Lunch at Le Comptoir

On our last day in Paris, we had a bit of a late start (due to a few too many cocktails, fireworks and having to walk across all of Paris to go home afterwards).

The plan was originally to climb the towers of Notre Dame, but when we turned up, the queue was already winding up half of Ile St Louis, so we decided to pass.

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Instead, we explored Paris charming little flower market…

Before heading right across the street to one of my favourite Paris’ sight.

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Hidden behind the golden doors of Palais de la Cité (the residence of the Kings of France until the 14th century, now used as Paris’ Court of Justice), the Sainte Chapelle is an absolute gem of Gothic style.

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Built in only seven years, the Sainte Chapelle was intended to house precious Christian relics, including Christ’s crown of thorns, acquired by Saint Louis.

Sainte Chapelle, Paris | Cake + Whisky

Besides the stunning white stone portal is the lower chapel, which served as parish church for all the inhabitants of the palace, which was the seat of government.

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With low ceilings, richly coloured and decorated walls, the lower chapel is an excellent reminder of the religious and political influence coming with the possession of the sacred relics.

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Up a flight of stairs, you’ll enter the upper chapel, adorned with the same fleur-de-lys ceiling and coloured patterned walls.

But nobody will blame you for not spotting them…

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Indeed, the Sainte Chapelle most feature is its stunning stained glass windows, for whose benefit the stone wall surface is reduced to little more than a delicate framework.

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Arranged across 15 windows, each 15 metres high, the stained glass panes depict 1,113 scenes from the Old and New Testaments recounting the history of the world until the arrival of the relics in Paris in August 1239.

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The level of detail in each window is absolutely astonishing, and I could have spent the day admiring each one in awe.

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But my grumbly stomach had other plans…

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So after one last look at the Sainte Chapelle’s stunning stained glass windows, we crossed the river in search of lunch.

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Eventually settling at Le Comptoir, ‘bistronomy‘ (bistro-gastronomy) chef Yves Camdeborde acclaimed restaurant.

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With its retro look and its sunny terrace, it’s not hard to see why it’s become a locals’ favourite…

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The excellent selection of wine (including a stunning Bandol rosé) and delightful crusty bread probably didn’t hurt either…

But refrain from nibbling to much of it while you place your order, as the food itself is absolutely glorious.

Lunch at Le Comptoir, Paris | Cake + Whisky

Melt-in the mouth Daube de boeuf, with carrots and pasta.

Rich and indulgent, it had been cooked for hours, and was so soft a spoon could cut through it.

Lunch at Le Comptoir, Paris | Cake + Whisky

A bit of a Greek twist of the classic Steak tartare.

Lunch at Le Comptoir, Paris | Cake + Whisky

Served with aubergine purée, anchovy paste and grated feta alongside the traditonal capers and shallot, it was super fresh and the perfect dish to have on a sunny day!

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And a little side salad, because greens never hurt!

Especially if you’re planning some rather indulgent dessert action afterwards!

Lunch at Le Comptoir, Paris | Cake + Whisky

Baba au rhum with Chantilly cream and praline.

The French classic, litteraly drenched in rum (much to the horror of the American couple having lunch next to us!)

But the cherry on top of this fabulous bistro meal?

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This stunning Coffee Crème Brûlée!

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Topped with a wafer-thin layer of crispy caramel, hiding a silky-smooth, intensely coffee-y set cream.

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Everything a good brûlée should be, and then some more, much like the rest of the dishes at Le Comptoir.

Simple, to-the-point bistro food, celebrating the variety and seasonality of French cuisine.

‘Bistronomy” at its very best!

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And just enough fuel to reach nearby Jardins du Luxembourg for a stroll around the breath-taking Sénat (the French equivalent to the UK’s House of Lords) building and a bit of a snooze on one of the park’s deck loungers…

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A walk about Paris | Cake + Whisky

A walk about Paris + Lunch at Le Comptoir

Truffles of Southsea

It is rare that I leave anything to chance when it comes to restaurant dining. I’m the kind that does her research, compiles lists and is always ready with (one too many) suggestions no matter where I happen to be.

But thanks to an especially busy week and a lack of collaboration from the internet in general and Portsmouth restaurants in particular, I failed to do so ahead of heading there on Friday morning.

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We ignored the city’s glorious landmarks and, with ravenous stomachs, set to explore the city in search of a place to have lunch at.

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Passed by rows of thecutest pastel houses…

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…and this glorious-looking hair parlour…

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… before stumbling upon Truffles of Southsea.

A fresh nautical vibe and a menu full of seasonal delights… Needless to say it was love at first sight.

Truffles of Southsea | Cake + Whisky

We dinned of platefuls of the most vibrant, poached egg corwned Spring spelt risotto.

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Followed by a super indulgent white chocolate & salted caramel fondant.

With an ever-changing menu highlighting the best local & seasonal produce, simple but delicious food and a fantastic team, Truffles of Southsea is one of Portsmouth’s hidden gem and one you MUST visit when you’re next down South.

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Find them here, put on sunscreen, grab your sunglasses and head for a fantastic day by the seaside.

Go by yourself or with your boyfriend/bestie. Even better yet, bring your whole gang. After all, it would be shellfish not to share!

Truffles of Southsea, 67 Castle Road, Southsea, Portsmouth PO5

Truffles of Southsea

Market Porter, Battersea

Those last few weeks, I had been working really hard on blog scheduling, trying to make sure I balance content to make sure you guys don’t end up reading 7 restaurant reviews one week, and then none for weeks.

It was all going well, but then I visited the newly-opened Market Porter in Battersea and everything tumbled down.

Forget being organised and planning content ahead, there was no way I was keeping this one from you for one second!

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Nestled in the still-being-built Embassy Gardens luxury development right by the river, finding Market Porter is still a bit of a challenge…

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But it’s well worth the effort as Market Porter is the cutest café / deli I have ever seen.

Worthy of my Paris’ favourites!

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Quite small, but so very charming and welcoming, just like the people running it!

People who love wine, cheese and charcuterie are always the best people anyway.

Market Porter, Battersea, London | Cake + Whisky

And true to its roots (Market Porter is the first off-line venture of Meatporter.com, famous for delivering exceptionally high-quality meat cuts right to your door), Market Porter focuses on the quality of ingredients.

Only the very best, carefully sourced with both taste and ethics in mind, is to be found on the shelves.

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The artisan deli selection of course includes some of Meat Porter‘s gorgeous own produce, usually only available through their website.

Market Porter, Battersea, London | Cake + Whisky

Along with a fine selection of wine, coffee, cheese as well as other high-quality British food and drink products.

Market Porter, Battersea, London | Cake + Whisky

You can of course take all those beautiful things home and turn them into the most beautiful of picnics.

Or you can turn to the man behind the bar and trust him to come up with something wonderful.

Market Porter, Battersea, London | Cake + Whisky

Like this Green Peppercorn wild boar salami on sourdough with spinach and roasted red peppers.

Market Porter, Battersea, London | Cake + Whisky

Crunchy toasted sourdough, spread with a touch of the very best mayo, fresh baby spinach leaves, paper-thin, smoky and delicate salami, soft peppers, simply drizzled in fragrant olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt, this beauty shines by its simplicity.

But when everything that goes into a dish is that good, nothing more is needed to create something absolutely stellar.

Market Porter, Battersea, London | Cake + Whisky

Both picture and taste-perfect and one of the best lunches I’d had in a while.

So if you happen to be in the area, go give them a go (and get me some of this salami when you’re at it!).

Market Porter, 5 New Union Square, Embassy Gardens London SW8 5AJ Market Porter Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Market Porter, Battersea