Thursday, July 14

. cAfe lOndon . { brunch . lunch . coffee . & . cake } .

a few weeks ago i was asked by Lynn of the Clandestine Cake Club to review a book that was shortly to be published . Cafe London { brunch . lunch . coffee and afternoon tea } . highlights the best places to go & eat & i'm not sure Lynn would have realised how perfect a choice of book this was for me . one of the things i love when visiting a new place is to search out all the newest coffee shops . & . lovely independent cafes . usually ending up with a list far longer than i need for the meals & coffee stops i'll need . which is indicative of how many new & independent places have sprung up over the past few years .

beautifully broken down into chapters for different eating;  brunch, lunch, coffee, cakes & bakes, afternoon tea, culture & shopping, & the unusual and alfresco .  although i don't live in lOndon it is somewhere i visit quite regularly & thought i was familiar with most of the best coffee shops & cafes around . how wrong i was ! there were places that i knew and whose names were familiar; The Ritz for afternoon tea, The Hummingbird & Primrose Bakeries, and some that i'd been to; Sketch for brunch, The Breakfast Club for lunch, and Bea's of Bloomsbury for afternoon tea, but so so many that i didn't know . 

each review is accompanied by beautiful photography . showing each place & their food off to their best . the reviews are short & sweet but give a lovely snapshot of the feel & the vibe of each eatery . there's also an enticing list of Other Places to Try at the end of each chapter { as if the ones already listed weren't tempting enough ! } .

i love the fact that they cover so many different areas of lOndon . & . there's a handy map at the back of the book so wherever you are exploring in the city you can look up & read up on the best places to eat . one little tip from me;  read this book with a cup of tea . or coffee . & . a little snack . & . a pile of post-it notes to hand . it's impossible to read this book without feeling hungry . & . without thinking * i must try there * .

one lovely place that's listed that was already on my * to visit * list was Violet Cakes in Hackney, owned by Clare Ptack, who also has a column in the Guardian . & . as luck would have it on the weekend i was reviewing this book she had a lovely recipe for gooseberry oat crumble bars . which just sounded the perfect sweet treat to accompany the reading of the cakes & bakes chapter . they were . just yUm .

since i've had the book i've had chance to try a few new places . one that caught my eye was Foxcroft & Ginger on Berwick Street . by chance . just around the corner from the office i work in when down in lOndon . the pictures & the review in the book are spot on . you are welcomed by the most tempting array of baked goods as you enter & the brunch & lunch menu's are equally as tempting . unfortunately the service . on the day i visited . didn't live up to the expectation of the food . & . a mix up with my order meant that my lunch was just a pot of tea . such a shame . but i'm planning to pop back there as the cakes looked too good not to give it a second go .

i had a little more luck with the second bakery on the list . the Nordic Bakery on New Cavendish Street is a lovely scandinavian bakery who are known for their cinnamon buns . again, the book delivered on it's review, though happily it did have one thing wrong;  their predictions of those cinnamon buns selling out by 11.30am proved unfounded & i happily bought one to take away & enjoy at home . { & . yes . they are deserved of their reputation } . 

cAfe lOndon is a real gem of a book for those who live in the city or go there often & like to find out the places that are a little bit different as well as those places whose reputation is a little more longstanding . i'm looking forward to working my way down my { very } long list of places to try .

a very big thankyou to both Lynn at The Clandestine Cake Club . & . also to Quarto Publishing for being kind enough to send me the book to review . if you fancy a gander at the book you can find more details here & here .

. have a hAppy dAy .

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. thank you for taking the time to scribble down your thoughts . i lOve reading All your musings .