Tuesday, 9 June 2015

# 12 Visit Books for Cooks

Tucked away down a side street at the top end of Notting Hill is one of London's best kept secrets and one of my favourite places ever. Coming from the east side of London as we do it's a bit of a journey to get there, but so worth it!

It's been a couple of years since my last visit and even longer since I've had the opportunity to stop for lunch so I was determined to fit in a trip this year. On this particular day we had tickets to 40@40 # 13 - the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition at 1.30pm so we just had time for a detour to Blenheim Crescent.

We arrived at around 11.45 which is an ideal time if you want to stop for lunch. The shop is small and the space available for tables is even smaller, with room for around 30 people, so getting there early definitely pays off.

The premise here is simple. Find a space, sit down and wait to be served. Each day there is one starter and one main available and that's it. If you don't fancy one or the other then speak up, otherwise you get what you're given! There's water on the table and, as far as I'm aware, there are no other options for drinks.

The menu for our visit didn't immediately jump out at me as something that I'd choose off a menu but we both decided to try both courses and we weren't disappointed.

Grapefruit & Rice Noodle Salad with Mango
The salad was light and fresh and the seeded focaccia was a perfect accompaniment.

Butternut & Feta Filo Pie
I'm not a fan of butternut squash but this pie was delicious and the flavour of the squash wasn't overpowering. As you can see the portions aren't massive but they were just about right for lunch, plus you have the option to finish off your meal with a generous slice of cake. Phil choose the Blackberry Victoria sponge, which was amazing. I decide to wait until we passed the Hummingbird Bakery down the road for my sweet treat. And the cost of all this food? In central London? A ridiculous £12. For both of us, including Phil's cake! Awesome.

As we had to get straight off to the Summer Exhibition there wasn't much time spare for browsing but I still managed to pick up a couple of the brilliant Books for Cooks compilation books to add to my collection.

I'll be back!

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