Dinner on offer at The White Swan with CityMunch

Dining out in London can be quite an expensive habit. Especially if you do it as often as I do.

Of course, there are always some offers out there, but seriously, who has time to scroll through picture-heavy Facebook pages or billions of tweets to be rewarded with ‘faffy’ discounts (half price SIDES? Are you kidding me?).

I don’t know about you, but I’d rather know what’s available around me in real-time, thank you very much. And thanks goodness there’s an app for that!

Dinner on offer at The White Swan with CityMunch app | Cake + Whisky

Let me introduce: CityMunch.

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With hundreds of restaurants and offers to choose from, CityMunch is a savvy foodie’s best friend!

Dinner on offer at The White Swan with CityMunch app | Cake + Whisky

Indeed, CityMunch offers the latest real-time dining discounts (of up to 50%!) all in one place, can be use with any group size…

Dinner on offer at The White Swan with CityMunch app | Cake + Whisky

And the discount is a straight forward amount off of your food bill! Hurray!

Dinner on offer at The White Swan with CityMunch app | Cake + Whisky

You also have access to restaurant information, directions, sample menu & more all in one place!

And best of all, it’s absolutely FREE to use! Download the free app here: iPhone / Android

Great deals at great places?! I say yes PLEASE!

Especially when said place is as much of a gem as The White Swan!

The White Swan gastropub | Cake + Whisky The White Swan gastropub | Cake + Whisky

Located at the heart of the City of London, right between Chancery Lane & Covent Garden, The White Swan is a little gem of a gastropub and, through CityMunch, you get 50% off the food every evening.

The White Swan gastropub | Cake + Whisky

The menu focuses on a handful of classics with a little bit of a twist, and at half price, it’s an absolute bargain!

The White Swan gastropub | Cake + WhiskyThe White Swan gastropub | Cake + Whisky

Things started on a high with homemade sourdough bread & butter.

The White Swan gastropub | Cake + Whisky

Soft, chewy bread, melty butter & a generous sprinkle of salt flakes… it doesn’t take much more to make this French girl happy!

… but that was only the beginning!

The White Swan gastropub | Cake + Whisky

Torched Cornish mackerel with pickled carrot

The White Swan gastropub | Cake + Whisky

A beutifully fresh starter where the crunchy, sweet-pickled carrots highlighted the oily flesh of the mackerel.

And that crispy torched skin!

The White Swan gastropub | Cake + Whisky

Our second starter, Roast Norfolk quail with Scotch egg & pickled onion, was even better.

The White Swan gastropub | Cake + Whisky

Succulent, melt-in-the-mouth quail leg, with a beautifully crafted mini quail Scotch egg & a super rih, meaty sauce…

The White Swan gastropub | Cake + Whisky

Needless to say it didn’t take long to polish the whole lot off!

… and then the same thing happened with mains!

The White Swan gastropub | Cake + Whisky

Milk-fed Herdwick lamb, Jersey royal croquette, nettle & sorrel puree

The White Swan gastropub | Cake + Whisky

Soft braised leg of lamb, perfectly grilled cutlet, rich gravy and just a touch of mint… it was a true gastropub classic and an absolute triumph.

The White Swan gastropub | Cake + Whisky

45 day-aged Cumbrian Shorthorn steak with chips & Béarnaise

The White Swan gastropub | Cake + Whisky

And a side of Spring greens with bacon.

The White Swan gastropub | Cake + Whisky

All washed down with a little bit of wine…

And followed by the dreamiest of desserts!

The White Swan gastropub | Cake + WhiskyThe White Swan gastropub | Cake + Whisky

Buttermilk pannacotta with strawberry & basil

The White Swan gastropub | Cake + Whisky

A silky smooth, just-set panna cotta, served with a lovely strawberry syrup, fresh strawberries and mini basil leaves…

Basically Summer on a plate!

The White Swan gastropub | Cake + Whisky

Last but not least, the chef’s speciality: Treacle tart & frozen lemon yoghurt

The White Swan gastropub | Cake + Whisky

Crumbly pastry, and the most intricate of fillings, with both gooey and crunchy bits thanks to an elaborate thrice-cooked processed…

A real wonder and one you must make sure you try out for yourself very soon (alongside with pretty much everything else on The White Swan’s menu)!

Just make sure you use CityMunch to book & you’ll get 50% off your bill if you visit for dinner (from 6PM)… So what are you waiting for?

PIN FOR LATER:

How to save money when eating at London's top restaurants | Cake + Whisky

Disclaimer: I dined as a guest of CityMunch but all love of nettle & basic dessert fan-girling my own. 

Dinner on offer at The White Swan with CityMunch

The Pig & Butcher, Islington

There are so many restaurants in London that, even if you tried hard and ate out for every single meal for the rest of your life, you wouldn’t manage to taste it all. (Fact, we did the maths!)

I for sure never will at least. For one, I certainly don’t have the endurance to eat out for breakfast, lunch and dinner every single day. And then, repeat visits are killing the game.

And the fact is, there are places I love and simply can’t keep out of. Top of my list is The Pig & Butcher.

The Pig & Butcher, Islington | Cake + Whisky The Pig & Butcher, Islington | Cake + Whisky

Located at the heart of buzzy Islington, with a homely, farm-meets-flee-market atmosphere, good food and good people, The Pig & Butcher is pretty much the perfect local.

The Pig & Butcher, Islington | Cake + Whisky

All the markers of a good gastropub are there, starting with a brilliant wine list.

The Pig & Butcher, Islington | Cake + Whisky The Pig & Butcher, Islington | Cake + Whisky

There are candles in jam jar, beautiful fabric napkins, raw wood tables…

The Pig & Butcher, Islington | Cake + Whisky

And a daily-changing menu highlighting the best of what’s in season!

The Pig & Butcher, Islington | Cake + WhiskyThe Pig & Butcher, Islington | Cake + Whisky

At the moment, that means the first aubergines of the year, slightly smoked, then shredded and served with melt-in-the-mouth piperade, bocconcini (baby mozza balls!) and wild garlic pesto.

Summer on a plate and an absolute triumph!

The Pig & Butcher, Islington | Cake + Whisky

Whole grilled sole is a regular feature on The Pig & Butcher’s menu and a dish I can never resist.

The Pig & Butcher, Islington | Cake + Whisky

This time, it came with steamed wild asparagus, sweet Jersey Royals, crispy peas and a brown butter sauce.

The Pig & Butcher, Islington | Cake + Whisky

Simplicity at its very, very best.

The Pig & Butcher, Islington | Cake + Whisky

But the roasts are what took The Pig & Butcher to the rank of legend amongst Islington residents.

The Pig & Butcher, Islington | Cake + Whisky

The slow roasted pulled pork shoulder is the perfect example of everything a beautiful Sunday roast should be.

The Pig & Butcher, Islington | Cake + Whisky

Moist, succulent meat, tangy apple sauce, tender vegetables, stunning roasties, silky-smooth gravy and a Yorkshire pudding as big as my head… And crackling!

The Pig & Butcher, Islington | Cake + WhiskyThe Pig & Butcher, Islington | Cake + WhiskyThe Pig & Butcher, Islington | Cake + Whisky

This face means it’s a winner!

Difficult as it might be, try to save some room for pudding…

The Pig & Butcher, Islington | Cake + Whisky

Lemon posset, Earl Grey jelly & blackberries. 

The Pig & Butcher, Islington | Cake + Whisky

Silky smooth, super light and tart, it’s one of those puddings you simply cannot stop eating.

Absolutely irresistible.

The Pig & Butcher, Islington | Cake + Whisky

Crispy raspberry pancake & dark chocolate mousse.

The Pig & Butcher, Islington | Cake + Whisky

Simple yet decadent, it’s the perfect illustration of the sort of food The Pig & Butcher excels at.

Beautiful, ingredient-driven dishes, that let carefully-sourced ingredients shine through and through.

I’ve been so many time I stopped counting. I went with friends, I went with family, and I highly recommend you do the same.

It’s really popular amongst locals, which means you definitely want to book beforehands (if you hurry, you might even be able to make it for this weekend!).

Happy Sundays ahead!

The Pig & Butcher80 Liverpool Road, Islington, London N1 0QD  The Pig & Butcher Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Pig & Butcher, Islington

The Smokehouse, Islington

I must admit that when it comes to eating out, I’m a pretty lucky girl.

I live in the most exciting city in the world in terms of food, in one of the best neighbourhood as far as small, independent restaurants are concerned, and with the best restaurant buddy I could have hoped for. (#blessed, exactly)

I am more than willing to admit than London in general and Islington in particular have spoiled me, and possibly have ruined me for any other restaurant out there.

But then when there’s a gem like The Smokehouse less than 5 min. away from mine, can you really blame me?

The Smokehouse, Islington | Cake + Whisky

The Smokehouse opened its doors in August 2013 to much critical acclaim. Evening Standard’s Fay Maschler and Grace Dent, Guardian’s Marina O’Loughtin… They all love it.

The Smokehouse, Islington | Cake + Whisky

And with good reason. The Smokehouse is an absolute neighbourhood gem.

The Smokehouse, Islington | Cake + Whisky

Complete with wooden tables, blue-and-white old-fashioned tea towels for napkins and just the right dose of blackboards and hunting trophies.

The Smokehouse, Islington | Cake + Whisky

Rustic-chic at its very best.

The Smokehouse, Islington | Cake + Whisky

You can either book ahead, or grab a seat (and a few nibbles) at the bar while you wait for a table.

The Smokehouse, Islington | Cake + Whisky

And if they happen to serve Bloody Marys on the day you visit, make sure you get one of those as well.

They come with a bit of a twist (pickle juice on my last visit, chicken roast distillate another time we went…) and are the best I’ve ever tried.

The Smokehouse, Islington | Cake + Whisky

The menu is of the short variety.

Which is just as well as we can never decide and usually settle for one of each.

The Smokehouse, Islington | Cake + Whisky

The Lamb neck tacos, chipotle aioli and green sauce are soft, juicy and incredibly more-ish.

Little nibbles of perfection.

The Smokehouse, Islington | Cake + Whisky

Promise me you’ll get them? (then we can spend hours raving about how good they are on Twitter?)

The Smokehouse, Islington | Cake + Whisky

The Chopped brisket roll, served alongside some gochujang mayo is equally splendid.

The Smokehouse, Islington | Cake + Whisky

A giant, golten croquette…

The Smokehouse, Islington | Cake + Whisky

Hidden the softest, moistest meat in its centre.

A meat lover’s dream come true.

The Smokehouse, Islington | Cake + Whisky

Plates after plates of delicious, smokey creations filled the table.

The Smokehouse, Islington | Cake + Whisky

Prawn toast, smoked bone marrow, kimchi onions is a rich and unexpected combination, lifted by the perfectly balanced, sweet and sour kimchi.

The Smokehouse, Islington | Cake + Whisky

But the dish I could have time and time again? This little brunch number.

The Smokehouse, Islington | Cake + Whisky

Pulled pork & smoked nduja hash, fried egg & BBQ sauce.

Smoky and spicy and meaty all at once: the absolute brunch dream dish.

The Smokehouse, Islington | Cake + Whisky

And with some serious #yolkporn thrown in on top.

The Smokehouse, Islington | Cake + Whisky

Even better with a bowl full of caramel roast potatoes on the side.

And yes, in case you are wondering, it IS salted caramel coated potato roasties. #gamechanger

The Smokehouse, Islington | Cake + Whisky

Sticky toffee pudding is my favourite traditional British dessert.

Even better if it comes with some bourbon caramel & milk ice cream.

The Smokehouse, Islington | Cake + Whisky

Traditional dishes with just a little bit of a modern twist and a touch of multicultural spice here and there, in a cosy, family-friendly atmosphere, what more could I possibly ask for?

The fact that the Smokehouse is right next door is just added bonus for me, but if I were to move away, I’m pretty sure those tacos alone would bring me back to Islington every other weekend.

Smokehouse, 63-69 Canonbury Rd, London N1 2DG  Smokehouse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Smokehouse, Islington