After my project in Ohio ended, I was surprised to find out that my next assignment was in London! Since then, I’ve learned to say “hiya” and “are you ok?” instead of “hey” and “how are you?”
I’ve come a long way since my first meal in London, pictured above. It was just as good as it looks (not very). If you’re not careful, there is definitely a lot of boring, bland, and just plain bad food you can eat in London. It’s also perfectly normal to go to the grocery store and pick up a boxed sandwich to eat for lunch – not my favorite.
I’ve spent a few weekends in London already and have gone to some of the different markets. The first one I hit up was Portobello Road Market, located in Chelsea. I went on a Saturday, which is the main day for antiques, but they also had some food stalls including this paella, which was only £6 for a big box!
One of my coworkers who studied abroad in London had just one recommendation for me – Brick Lane Market, in east London. I found there to be way more food options than Portobello Road Market. I got some yummy fruit for just £2:
There was also an indoor food hall which sound a lot of international food – Korean, Japanese, Thai, and Hawaiian, just to name a few. They even had a stall selling poutine. I opted for a popcorn chicken with fried onions and some sort of mayo-ketchup sweet sauce.
A different Sunday, I visited Camden Market, which according to Wikipedia is the fourth-most popular attraction in London. I had a hard time figuring out what to get here – so many different options!
They have a ton of different things like jerk chicken, Dutch pancakes, and barbeque. I just ended up getting some grilled chicken from one stall which was fine but not too memorable.
For lunch one day, I decided I wanted to do an ales and pies tasting board – best decision ever! There seem to be a lot of establishments under the same restaurant group that do this, but I chose The Admiralty, right by Trafalgar Square.
They give you 3 tiny beers and 3 small pies with a side of mashed potatoes and gravy. The 3 beers are London Pride, ESB, and Honey Dew – I think I liked the Honey Dew the best, and I’m sure I liked the London Pride the least. London Pride is a popular cask ale, which is basically regular beer but flat and warm. Out of the 3 pies, surprisingly, I liked the steak pie the least. The chicken and ham was the best and the sweet potato, spinach, and goat cheese pie was also very good. It doesn’t look like much, but I was SO full after I ate this!
Finally, I have to include a picture of the coffee van that comes around at the client! This coffee van comes every day at 9 am and 2 pm and sets up shop in the parking lot. It offers sandwiches, chips (i.e., “crisps”), pasties, and even some homemade food like a chicken salad, or lamb with quinoa, or a chicken curry. It’s a lifesaver!
It also has a fancy coffee maker in the back which can make real coffees like espressos and lattes. It is seriously a highlight of my day whenever I hear the horn signaling that the van has arrived.
Can’t wait to try some more London food!