Last night, I returned to Paris after two weeks in London. What’s funny is that most people assume that I must gain weight every time I go to Paris, what with all the pastries, bread, wine and cheese, but I have lost weight every single time. During my last trip, I somehow managed to lose three kilos in three weeks!
When I’m in London, on the other hand, I seem to gain weight the second I disembark the train. My flatmate (AKA a better, sexier Nigella Lawson) goes overboard when I’m back in town. She definitely spoiled me over the past two weeks.
She first made this dish for me when she was trying to convince me not to move to Italy last year, and she knows it is my favourite so she whipped it up again. It’s osso buco made with a slow-cooked shoulder of veal (smelling this stewing for six hours is exquisite torture). I have eaten at a few Michelin star and other high-end restaurants all over the world but I swear to God this is the best thing I’ve eaten in my life.
After three bowls of it, I managed to save myself one more serve for lunch the next day. I swear it was single-handedly responsible for me getting to the gym that morning.
I served it with my current favourite salad: two tomatoes, four figs, about a third of a bunch of basil, 1/2 TB balsamic vinegar, 1 TB olive oil and 1/2 TB honey. I basically died while eating this meal.
On a random Thursday night after a long day at work, she threw together this meal, which was another one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. Roast beef with truffle mac and cheese, paprika and chilli sweet potatoes, potato salad, roasted portobello mushrooms and creamed spinach.
That mac and cheese deserves a close-up.
She also baked me scones, brownies, donuts and banana bread.
Because we weren’t fat enough already, she ordered a box of donuts to our house on a random Tuesday night. Yes, you can get donuts delivered in London through Ubereats (to get £10 off your first order, use my referral code: eats-taras6774ue).
Due to seeing friends and also being lazy, I tend to eat out almost every day while I’m in town. As I had limited time, I only went to my favourite restaurants.
I went to Honest Burgers twice, because it really is the best and I don’t want to mess around when it comes to burgers.
This is their Tribute burger: beef, bacon, American cheese, burger sauce, mustard, pickles, onion and lettuce.
I also tried their current special, the Oktoberfest burger: beef, bacon, Bavarian smoked cheddar, sauerkraut and currywurst sauce. I know a burger’s not about the fries, but theirs really are the best. Yes, better than Five Guys.
The best sushi in London remains to be Sticks’n’Sushi. The Wagyu beef tartare (top right in the photo below) was particularly amazing so we ordered three plates of it.
Their mini desserts are genius, because you can easily justify ordering six desserts between three people. We unanimously agreed that the best was the chocolate fondant: a dark chocolate caramel and peppermint core topped with crunchy hazelnut brittle.
I also had sushi at a new-to-me restaurant: Kappa in Earl’s Court. My friend and I ordered five rounds and, by the end, I think the waitress was ready to kill us, haha.
Of course, I can’t visit London without going to Wahaca, seeing as there are four branches within walking distance to my apartment. Their lunch menu is actually a pretty good deal: a burrito, tortilla chips and salsa for £7.
I always go to The Breakfast Club at least once when I’m in London. The last time I went to the Soho location I fainted in the line (while on a date, too – super embarrassing!) so, this time, I took coffee and water for sustenance to survive the 1 hour and 45 minute queue. Yes, seriously. Freaking London.
After that, I needed two breakfasts. First up was the half monty: eggs, bacon, sausage, beans and toast.
And pancakes with berries, maple syrup and vanilla cream.
It wasn’t all stomach-bursting meals… I also visited my favourite “clean eating” restaurant: The Good Life Eatery. They have now expanded out of Chelsea, so I visited the one in Belgravia (there is another in Marylebone).
I had a Berry Sunrise smoothie (blueberries, blackberries, banana, almond milk, almond hazelnut butter and honey) and a Goodness Bowl (tabbouleh, courgette noodles, sweet potato with crispy chickpeas, quinoa, felafel, avocado and red pepper chilli sauce). Delish and surprisingly filling!
It was the final two weeks of the London Wonderground Festival on the South Bank. There were loads of food stalls so I naturally popped down for dessert. Waffles, baby!
There is a healthy cafe down the road from my gym, Crussh. I’m addicted to their almond butter smoothies (protein powder, yoghurt, banana, muesli, almond butter and honey). They also do amazing salads and tasty bircher mueslis! (I’ve just noticed that a medium smoothie has more than 800 calories – oops!)
My dancing friends have retired their weekly Itsu tradition and replaced it with Carbon, a pretty healthy restaurant that specialises in grilled meats. This is their chicken superfood salad with extra halloumi.
When I cook for myself, I try to keep my meals as light and simple as possible, to counteract all of the above. Although I do feel a little bloated after what can only be described as pigging out, it generally disappears within three or four days of going back to my normal Parisian life, and I generally manage to avoid gaining any weight. I don’t really eat much sugar these days, so having multiple desserts a day is what affected me the most!
It will probably be a while since I go back to London again, so I wanted to take full advantage and enjoy all the foods. It’s always worth repeating that I would have never, even been able to eat like this a few years ago. I would have been terrified of gaining weight and, to be honest, my (much weaker) metabolism probably wouldn’t have been able to avoid it.
BTW, I share all of these meals as they happen on Snapchat (tarapig). I’ve just fixed my privacy settings so now people can actually see my posts. Oops. #technologicallychallenged
Also, this has absolutely nothing to do with food or fitness (well, maybe it does if you’re into showing off your banging body!), but I’m sure it will be interesting to at least some of my readers: Australian lingerie brand Honey Birdette has just opened its first international store in Covent Garden. I went twice and spent far too much money. Oops.
Hopefully, this post helps out anyone who is currently in London or planning to visit. If you’re not, I hope you enjoyed the food porn!
Was the best thing you’ve ever eaten home-cooked or restaurant-made? Who wants to marry my flatmate (get in line!)?