Warning: A Lot of London Food Photos

A couple weeks ago, I had the pleasure of visiting one of my favourite cities in the world to celebrate my sister-in law’s birthday and to visit friends.  I can’t get enough of London. Ever changing architecture, in particular some of the modern buildings in the City, is spectacular to look at and the food could keep me occupied for weeks on end.

I had 48 hours in the city and wanted to maximize my time with family and friends, which is why most of the photos below are of food.  I tend to socialize around food, eating as I converse, browsing markets and eating… I could have easily shot buildings, graffiti, or fashion but my group and I were after flavours!

I did manage one double decker bus ride from Borough Market to Notting Hill which was a blast, especially if you can score the window seats up top. It’s way easier to take the Tube to zip around London but you miss so much of the streetscape underground. If you haven’t been on a bus in London in a while- do it. I felt like I was back in Hong Kong on a double decker bus.

I walked Clerkenwell, Shorditch, Islington, Notting Hill and the City (not in that order….)

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Lamb411 London September 2013

Here is my London map, a growing list of fun spots in the city that I like:

View London, England England in a larger map


If anyone is heading to London soon, I hope this map gives you a few handy tips.

Hope to see you again soon, London!


The Bubble Tea Conundrum


When I moved across the Atlantic Ocean, do you know what I craved the most?  It wasn’t bagels and lox and it wasn’t kreplach.  It was bubble tea.  From my first sip, I developed a love affair with the Taiwanese beverage.  Toronto just so happens to be an incredible city to satisfy a bubble tea fix.

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Drive north of Sheppard Avenue, on Yonge Street and you’ll find one bubble tea house after another.  If “905” is more your style, drive east along Hwy 7 between Bayview Avenue and McCowan Road (try Go For Tea for an authentic experience) and you’ll be covered.   Downtowners, don’t have to look past the Spadina and Dundas/OCAD area. But what happens if you leave the confines of Toronto and venture off into the world?


I was having a bubble tea conundrum when I discovered bubble tea was not a universal drink, particularly in EU countries.  To double check, I spoke with a few business school classmates who were posted around the world.  It’s confirmed: Bubble tea is not universal.


So what did I do to satiate my craving?  I researched and travelled.  Wherever I was due to travel to a new European city, I purposely sought out a bubble tea cafe.  Hot or cold, green or black tea, with or without milk, and filled with all the dark brown, chewy tapioca balls I could suck through the oversized straw.  I was determined to sample them all.  However, I draw the line at those popping boba; the ones that burst upon mastication and splash sweet syrupy juice onto your tongue.  I guess you could call me a bubble tea purist.


What I discovered was fascinating:  Bubble tea was in fact, alive, kicking and even thriving in certain cities.  Leave it to the UK, Germany and Austria to lead the pack.  London’s Bubbleology, a bubble tea café themed after a science experiment, has five locations in the city, while Baburu Bubble Tea in Vienna has six shops and Berlin’s Boobuk also has six outposts in the creative city that never sleeps.


Stick with Western Europe and you will find bubble tea emerging in Barcelona, where Wow!Boba is not too far from La Rambla, and in Paris’ 5th arrondissement where you can sip le bubble tea at Bubble Fever.  Even Copenhagen has the Mad Hatter Bubble Tea Emporium in Norrebro.  I didn’t stop there.  In eastern Europe, you have Bubbletea 7 in Warsaw, tongue twister, Bubu Bubble Tea in Budapest and my personal favourite, Tea & Go in Prague, which opened in Karlin (Prague 8), by three Chinese Studies students from Charles University who share a passion for Chinese and bubble tea.


While the availability of bubble tea in European cities may not reach the same scope as in Toronto, there are plenty of good options at home and abroad and I look forward to continuing my taste test through the continent.  By the way, if you are new to bubble tea, may I recommend trying a litchi green tea bubble tea, cold with tapioca.  It is the perfect summer drink.



& Other Stories

I do not often blog about fashion, as it is not my area of expertise or passion.  Don’t get me wrong, I like clothes, I like dressing up, I like acquiring statement pieces that become long lasting staples in a wardrobe, but I just don’t consider myself “fashionable” or a trend follower.  I wear what I wear and I will leave it at that.

Every now and then, I will write about something fashion related (it’s been a while!) but today, it’s time to dust off the old fashion commentary and blog about a new addition to the H&M moniker: & Other Stories.

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Photo Sources: & Other Stories

& Other Stories launched in London and I would peg it as a more grown up, more expensive, classier/sophisticated version of H&M.  The difference between & Other Stories and let’s say, COS (H&M’s other “grown up” brand) is not entirely clear except that & Other Stories curates pieces from non H &M brands and COS does not.  COS has a men and women’s line & Other Stories is only women’s fashion.  COS has terrific fashionable business casual ware but the style is very androgynous. & Other Stories looks like it retains the flirty and feminine side of H&M that is thrown out the window in COS.   I love COS, but there is a time and place for boxy, a-line cuts and hip hugging, fitted clothes.


Have you check out & Other Stories yet?  What do you think? Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?


DriDri Gelato

Yup… more ice cream!

Well, let’s be politically correct here, this is gelato and it is from DriDri Gelato in London created by HBS grad, Adriano di Petrillo.  He uses gelato equipment from the 60s and 70s to make his high quality, “no artificial anything”, Italian gelato.


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Photo Source: Studio Ten and a Half

You can also watch a mini interview with Adriano here:


There are three locations in the city, if you happen to be heading that way.

The stunning identity/packaging + print is from Studio Ten and a Half.

I hope you have a great weekend. I have my second Copenhagen house guest visiting this weekend, so be sure to check back next week for two new “Date Night” restaurant posts.  We are heading to Mother for sourdough pizza and Gourmandiet By Night for steak.


Food Halls, Stalls and Diversity in London

Eating London- I was so impressed by the diversity of food in London on my most recent visit.  It is a city where you truly can find a little bit of everything.  I made a point of visiting several food markets to experience the range of cuisine.

Here were some of my favourite stops.

01 Borough Market– I stopped by the famed, Borough Market on New Years Eve day for some dinner party groceries.   Not all the stalls were present but I still enjoyed perusing and sampling the fare.  This is a great market for a quick snack, lunch or full meal.

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02 Brixton Market  Have you heard of this place?  It was a new find for me thanks to my friends who I was staying with.  Brixton market is basically two separate enclosed buildings that offers an incredibly diverse food spread both in shop format and stall format.  For dinner, we wandered both sections of the market and settled on the Bukowski Charcol Grill for a meat filled dinner.  Pre-dinner we stopped at the taco stand for a quick taco.

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03 A scone and porridge at the Albion – Mind the stereotypes of British cuisine- What trip to London is complete without a scone and some porridge?  I had mine at the Albion in Shoreditch.  This has to be one of my favourite restaurant interiors for breakfast.  It is set on the ground floor of the Boundary building, a Victorian warehouse that has been fully converted to a mixed use property.  The restaurant is decorated with cool industrial lighting fixtures, old wood floors, white subway tiles that line the exposed kitchen and lots of natural light pouring into the room thanks to the abundance of windows that line the building. While you are waiting in line for your table like we did, it is fun to watch all the chefs/sous chefs and bakers busy at work cooking up dishes. The other great thing about this spot is that the Albion is part food store, part bakery and part restaurant.  So you can eat, shop, sample and eat some more.

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04 Brick Lane Food Stalls-  Brick Lane, the hub of all delicious Indian and Pakistani food.  On a recent visit and wander down Brick Lane, we discovered two separate buildings with tons of food stalls.  I can’t begin to count how many incredible smelling food stalls were housed in this place.  Curries, wraps, dumplings, noodles, rices, sauces, spices, meats and juices.  This was a mini UN of food.  I am not sure if the stalls are present on Brick Lane as a weekly occurrence or whether it was something special over the holidays-

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Visiting these food stalls and markets reminded me how important food is as a medium to bring people together and share in other cultures.  There were people from all different backgrounds, countries, ages and demographic backgrounds, eating and socializing together.

Cities should be proud of their diverse populations and culturally diverse food markets/stalls seems to be an excellent way to expose/educate and promote acceptance of different cultures that co-habitate and co-exist in a society.   City planners and community leaders, take note.


A brief guide to eating in London

I am off to London this weekend to celebrate New Years with friends.

London is one of my favourite cities in the world for its diverse and tasty food scene.  When I was still living in Prague, I compiled a sizable list of restaurants in London to pack into my trip.   My goal was to “catch up” on some of the flavours and cuisines I was missing.  There is nothing more satisfying than taking a big bite of something you have not eaten in a really long time!

My London Map:


View London, England England in a larger map

However, now that I am living in Copenhagen, where the food is fresh, organic, and incredibly high quality, my big tour of food is unnecessary and as a result, has been cut down to a handful of spots.

Nonetheless, I still wanted to share my original list with you in case you might find yourself travelling to London sometime soon and might enjoy a handy-dandy resource.

For my upcoming trip, my plan is to dine at:

01 The Crooked Well- British food made from locally sourced, seasonal ingredients.

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02: Tayyabs- Spices infuse the air of this Pakistani restaurant in Whitechapel. All you have to do is walk in and inhale and you start to cough.  They serve some of the tastiest and spiciest lamb served on an iron plate, that I have ever had.  My London friends are in for a treat!

Photo Sources: 1, 2, 3 

03: Comptoir Libanais – Great Lebanese food and you can also pick up Middle Eastern provisions for cooking + gifts.

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