Musings of a Museum Fanatic

5.26.2017

Food During our London Trip

I was really excited to research restaurants for our London trip. In the end I'm pretty sure I showed Kevin dozens of options and his mind was spinning. I worked really hard to make sure we didn't end up going to any places that were only meh and in the end we really enjoyed every meal we had. If you want to see more about our Afternoon Tea Bus Tour check out my post from Monday. 


While they didn't originate in the UK the freakshake has definitely been making a big impression so our first night we had dinner at Maxwell's Bar & Grill in Covent Garden. We topped off our first meal with a Mars bar freakshake. It was divine.


One thing I wanted to do this trip was to get in a little more shopping at some of those famous department stores. Fortnum and Mason was heavenly. It was like stepping back in time. One felt very proper and fancy shopping there. Kevin and I went a little gaga over their candy counters. You just felt luxurious picking your treat from the piled high trays. I will say we got a carrot marzipan from the below photo ... still not a fan of marzipan.



While Kevin really didn't have many things he for sure wanted to see and do during our trip there was one must on his list. That was enjoying a Guinness beer and other London beers. From what I understand the Guinness that we get in the States is a somewhat sub par to what you can get in Europe. He very much enjoyed his drink.


My favorite TV shows are pretty much any cooking show, there really aren't many I don't enjoy. Kevin and I really enjoy watching Hell's Kitchen and Gordon Ramsay together. While I know he has restaurants all over the world there's just something about making sure you get to one of his restaurants in his home country (well sort of home, he was born in Scotland). After I scoured the menus multiple times I decided on Heddon Street Kitchen, that had the best looking menu plus the added bonus of free prosecco because of our visitor Oyster passes was pretty awesome.


We ended up ordering an appetizer randomly and were so glad we did! The little fried gnocchi balls were filled with creamy sausage with just a little kick. They were pretty delicious. 


Kevin went with the fish and I enjoyed the burger with triple fried chips. If you've ever eaten out with us those meals are usually reversed but I was so glad I got the burger it might have been the best burger I've ever had. Ridiculously good.



They even surprised us with a little anniversary treat. Supposedly it was an apple cinnamon type cake but I'm not sure about that. Looking at the menu I think it was the sticky toffee pudding. We were so stuffed before this came but it was so good there was definitely an empty plate.


We also thought we saw Ramsay at Heddon Street Kitchen. Doesn't he look like him?! It was our main topic of conversation for most of the meal. 



Like sometimes when I'm on the L you're always able to find random things and clearly the Tube was no different. No we did not eat the bananas. 




Kevin was so excited to visit one of the oldest pubs in London Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, which was rebuilt in it's current form after the Great Fire in 1667 but there has been a pub on this spot since 1538. It was such a neat pub, the cellar was definitely the coolest part. In the photo below that little nook on the left is where we sat! Kevin definitely almost fell off twice.  






Our tour guide on our Stonehenge tour said Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese was a fun place to visit and there was one thing we HAD to do. They put a grate over the front step because centuries of wear and what not but we had to put our feet below the grate. We had to walk where so many great people had stepped, like Mark Twain, Charles Dickens and Alfred Tennyson to name just a few.


Yup we splurged on another freak shake. There were three whole Reese's peanut butter cups on the top of it and an entire piece of Oreo cheese cake. Ridiculously good.



When in London one must purchase tea. I'm pretty sure it's a law or the Queen will say off with their heads! We hoofed it to the Twinings store, which is actually pronounced not at all how we thought it would be.


Kevin got really into trying several different kinds. He ended up purchasing a very robust strong bitter tea. I was not a fan. I went with my favorite, Earl Grey plus there was one that smelled exactly like a chocolate bar. We haven't tried it yet but if it tastes half a good as it smells it's going to be wonderful.




In all my crazy research I found a few articles about the best desserts in London. Unfortunately so many of them were in Zone 2 or a little further out but there was one that was right in Covent Garden. Yolkin is a pop up dessert shop that pops on the weekends specializing in macaron ice cream sandwiches. I won't like macarons are not my favorite cookie, I know some people adore them I think they're alright.

Holy cow this ice cream sandwich was amazing. We took a 12 pound cab ride to get to the pop up before it close and it was SO worth it. The ice cream was amazing, the cookie melted in your mouth. If we had more cash we probably would have bought another. The one of the left is a macadamia nut and the right is red velvet.



One food I tried during this trip that I hadn't on my last visit was mushy peas. I tried them two different times, the above image was at a pub by Harrods. The is a large chain that owns tons of pubs and has the same food menu. I liked these peas a lot, the ones I had with my meal at Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese were too watery for my taste.

Kevin and I split the pub sampler platter. For the two of us it was perfect, we both love to get a little taste of everything especially when trying new foods.



After our lovely drinks at the Sky Garden we wandered around the area attempting to find a restaurant and came across a tapas place. We were slightly worried since it was 5:30 and just us in the place but the food was delicious. There are at least three really great tapas places in the Chicago area and I would say this place was just as good.



The food during our trip was awesome. There wasn't a meal that we had that we wouldn't repeat. Even on days we had to hustle and eat on the tour bus the sandwichs we purchased from the local grocery store were delicious. London definitely lives up to it's reputation as a first class food city.

Thanks so much for stopping by! You can also join me on InstagramTwitter, and Pinterest. In addition to life-capades and doing it for yourself, I love all things 'real life' so use the hashtag #museumfanatic on social media so I can see your beautiful unstaged life. Oh and on the top of the side bar to your right, you can follow me on Bloglovin or on social media to be alerted to each new post!

5.22.2017

Afternoon Tea Bus Tour with Brigit's Bakery

Afternoon tea was a must do on my London list for this trip. I started searching online and the usual fancy options popped up on the various lists. It ended up being a friend from high school who just visited London over the winter who shared the perfect option for us.


Brigit's Bakery has a myriad of different unique afternoon tea options, you can go on a Afternoon Tea Boat tour or they'll set you up on a picnic. The one we went with was the Afternoon Tea Bus Tour!



After finally making our way to the meeting point (who knew that the Victoria Tube station and coach station weren't connected!) we were so excited it was hard to contain. OK maybe I was hard to contain and bouncing off the walls by this point ...



I wasn't quite sure what exactly to expect since we were going to be on a moving bus. I figured it would be china a la Chinet type of set up. We were definitely surprised!


Real fancy plates and silverware! It was just as fabulous a setup as I've had at high end Chicago hotels.


The food was delicious. My favorite dessert was the little cookie with the whipped cream and berries. I ended up taking two of mine home for breakfast there was just so much good food. Kevin of course was able to devour every bite! The savory bites were perfect too. You can tell the food came from a bakery since the desserts and breads were divine.



As you've seen the designs and style of the bus were really fun and lighthearted.




Kevin was slightly new to the idea of fancy small food to be eaten slightly elegantly. I don't know if he's ready to eat lunch with the queen but he really enjoyed himself.









It was a real tour as well, you weren't just sitting there eating. There was a guide who was sharing information as we drove around. We were a bit unsure and had debated booking another drive around tour but I'm actually really glad we didn't. It was the tour and the tea experience all wrapped up together in one perfect, delicious package. 








The tea was poured in heat safe cups with lids, I didn't think about that beforehand but it definitely makes sense to have boiling hot liquid in a cup with a lid when on a bus! When I booked the tour it asked if we were celebrating anything, I put down that we were celebrating our anniversary. They ended up announcing congratulations over the bus speaker and gave us a little cupcake with 5 candles. I think it was a good thing we were celebrating 10 years haha.









We had an amazing time! I'm so glad we went nuts and did the fun unique afternoon tea. If you need something for your next London trip I would definitely check out the afternoon tea options at Brigit's Bakery.





Thanks so much for stopping by! You can also join me on Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. In addition to life-capades and doing it for yourself, I love all things 'real life' so use the hashtag #museumfanatic on social media so I can see your beautiful unstaged life. Oh and on the top of the side bar to your right, you can follow me on Bloglovin or on social media to be alerted to each new post!