All posts filed under: Food Thoughts

London’s Best Food Markets | A Travel Top 6 Travel Guide!

London is filled to the brim with fine food and delicious dishes: the metropolis is a magnet for chefs and foodies alike and produces some of the finest restaurants in the world, the quirkiest cafes and, most importantly, some of the most awesome food markets. If you’re travelling, and not for very long, food markets are your best friend, serving up delicious grub and quickly too. As a devoted food lover and resident Londoner, I’ve had my fair share of London food market experience, so let me tell you where to go – you just have to decide what to eat. * Check out my latest Travel Top 6 travel guide here to read more about where to go for the best street food and food markets in London! Here are some pics to tantalise your tastebuds…

Genoa Dreaming | An Italian Tuesday ~ Part 2

Tuesday in Genoa ~ Part 2 of 2 Late-afternoon hit and I jumped on a small yellow rickety bus to a nearby former fishing village called Boccadasse. Only a 30 minutes away, the exceptionally charming village has a small enclosed bay and a rocky shore, being the perfect spot to have a quiet moment amidst the hustle and bustle of the city. It’s a small place to explore, great for an hour or two max for those on the go. There’s an amazing view on a sort of “balcony” next to a church that overlooks the sea and village just at its edge, located at the end main promenade in the area and where you’ll likely come from when getting the bus from Genoa. When you take the rocky main path down, you can walk up and down paths around the surrounding tiny coloured houses or just lay on the beach and enjoy the sound of the waves licking the rocks. Impatient to wait for the sunset, having initially thought to see it at Boccadasse …

An Apple (Day) a…Year

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… no it’s not Christmas, pfft, it’s Apple Day! As the September sun sets on the year’s Summer, October brings about an annual chill, one laced with foggy breath, warm spiced drinks and the crunch of leaves afoot. Autumn spares no second to bombard the UK, Winter following behind with no mercy (although the former is rather the preferred season). But Autumn, although chilly and wet and sometimes a little miserable, by far is the most magical time of year here – at least for me anyway. I may be repeating myself from last year’s Apple Day article (which can be found here if you’re interested) but this really comes from the heart… I love Autumn and the festivities it brings about. It’s an extra delight that Apple Day falls in peak Autumn time in the UK, the annual Harvest festivities celebrating all that’s great and wonderful about this historic harvest period. I vividly remember sitting in primary school assemblies, surrounded by masses of fellow school pupils and singing …

A Foodie’s Guide to Northwest Italy ~ a Travel Top 6™ Travel Guide!

Whilst wandering through the spaghetti of streets, one can not only become lost in the city of Genoa but bamboozled as to what to sample first from the splendour that the city, situated on the coast of the North-West of Italy, has to offer.

Artistic Enlightenment (Shortly Followed by Cake)

Long needed were those mornings where, upon awakening, the glorious sensation hits that you have absolutely nothing to do whatsoever. So used to rude awakenings by a shrill 7am alarm and mounds of tasks to accomplish, these few mornings had been the biggest gift. A sleepy trip to Great Market Hall was needed, however, to pick up an assortment of compulsory holiday gifts.  Tiny bags of paprika (interestingly translated from Hungarian to “red gold”) were mandatory of course, complete with tiny hand-carved wooden spoons, traditional candies, marzipan chocolates and tiny bottles of palinka – one way of getting around the 100ml liquid restriction on flights. I lazily strolled around the great hall, walking up and downstairs in search for more surprises (and a steaming cup of coffee). I braved my way back into the crispy morning air to navigate around Vaci street to find some breakfast, stumbling on Mantra Specialty Coffee Minibar on narrow side road, snugly hid amidst larger shops and apartments – mini was definitely the word for it. Inside, you hang your …

Fourth Day, Part 2 ~ Hungarian Castles & Street Food

The magic of the New York Cafe remained as we jumped on a bus and travelled to Budapest’s Castle District across the river. Also known as the Castle Quarter, this area is a 1km long limestone plateau towering over the Danube river and is home to Budapest’s most precious and important medieval monuments and museums. A sweeping flight of paths and staircases guide you up to the centre of the district, the Royal Palace and the Hungarian National Art Gallery, home to 11th-century and present-day artworks, proudly standing at the forefront. The Royal Palace has been said to of rebuilt at least six times over the past seven centuries, it’s subsequent Kings adding to it each time. At the rear, you can find wide stretches of ruins and the famous Matthias fountain, a romantic-style sculpture presenting the young kind Matthias in his hunting uniform, surrounded by dogs. We strolled slowly through the courtyards and protruding stone terraces, the sky clear and the sun strong and warm, attempting to melt away what was left of the ice. Budapest …

Fourth Day, Part 1 ~ Classy Coffee

Sunday brought about a slow, sunny morning, making stacks of sourdough pancakes topped with local cream, jam and strawberries. Monmouth coffee (imported from London) washed away morning sleep and soothing jazz made for a melancholic soundtrack. Mustering up some energy, we wrapped up warm and stepped out into the cold, heading towards a weekly farmers market at Szimpla Ruin Bar, where we had spent a night out earlier in the week. Every Sunday, from 9am to 2pm, farmers, local producers and makers set up their stalls, lined with fresh produce for punters; cured meats pile high in wicker baskets and hang off beautifully crafted wooden stands. Fresh cheeses line make-shift chilled counters. Freshly baked bread, cookies and pastries waft welcoming aromas across the bar. Homemade jams, chilli sauces, mustards and vegan “living” flatbreads awaiting to be sampled, most of which surprisingly sugar-free and organic. No doubt, in my bag quickly arrived a plum, rum and walnut jam, made with xylitol, alongside a fiery, home-cooked chilli sauce, extremely delicious mustard and a link of cured deer …

Adventures in Food and Architecture

Fog continued to lie heavily across the city this chilly Saturday morning. Hopping off the bus to the city centre, we walked to Budapest’s bustling Great Market Hall after admiring the thick fog across the river, Gellért Hotel peeking out wearily across the Danube. Inside, the hall was filled with scurrying and wandering locals and tourists, picking out items spanning traditional Hungarian memorabilia to fresh fruits, vegetables, and an array of meats, grizzle and all. The Great Market Hall is the biggest market in the city and was first opened in 1897 where the fresh produce would arrive through a canal that ran through the centre of the hall. Sadly the canal is gone, but the market is still full of a vibrant array of produce available for all. On the bottom floor you’ll find food produce and more edible/drinkable gifts and on the top floor there are a plethora of stalls, serving to your souvenir needs. Alongside these stalls are Hungaricums; if you’re looking for some authentic, although perhaps overpriced, food, head here to …

Second Day, Part 2 ~ Hungry in Hungary

Night fell and after many a photo we descended Gellért Hill and walked North up the Danube towards the famous Hungarian Parliament – and it was more than impressive.  The glowing neo-Gothic building mirrored itself onto the still and serene Danube, rippled only sporadically when a tiny cruise boat crossed its reflection. Only being over 100 years old, the stunning architecture boasts both Renaissance and Baroque features, but it’s sharp peaks and tall thin windows undeniably neo-Gothic in style. Unfortunately, modern air pollution constantly attacks the porous limestone walls, so the building often requires frequent restoration. Hungry, cold and having drunk too much water, we hurried to a famous Hungarian Bistro in Pest. Highly rated and with extremely affordable prices, this place is a must-visit to sample traditional, home-cooked Hungarian dishes. Upon entry, you almost feel as if you were in a friend’s home. The exceptionally friendly staff greet you upon entry and show you to your table, a waitress, who could very well be your best friend, tending to you throughout your time. And on …

What to Eat When You’re (in) Hungary

Apparently unwelcoming to the notion of belonging to the Eastern side of Europe, favouring the idea of belonging to the more central regions, Hungary undoubtedly emanates Eastern European magic. Growing up with Bulgarian culture in a Bulgarian family, I can say this with (some) certainty. This time of year, however, is seeing these regions suffer bitter winters, ones unheard of since the 1960’s. Heavy snow blankets the city, and icy rain soon follows to turn the magic into a slushy, and drearily cold, mess. Faux-ice-skating is the preferred mode of transport for those on foot by this point, travel times taking double or even triple the usual, and sanctuary is found in small cafes, restaurants and bars dotted up and down streets illuminated by the amber orbs of traditional-style street lamps. My travels are invariably punctuated by local food-culture; no trip is complete without eating like a local. Skidding down the Parisian-style streets during my first days in Budapest this Winter, seeking shelter from the snow and my hungry belly, I entered a warmly lit …