Welcome Stranger to the Humble Neighbourhood

I love this song by Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros – the energy of the man is amazing and the list of food is fantastic and this song always makes me smile. It’s also a great antidote to all the bullshit spouted by the likes of UKIP – I mean, where would we be without Bombay Duck, Balti Curry, Beigals, Houmous, Cous Cous, Tikka, Lassi and all the other great food we enjoy from all corners of the globe?

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Tuesday – Shoreditch

A very good friend of mine, Camilla, has been in London for the last 24 hours and being in Shoreditch fancied checking out the street art scene for an article she’s writing for a newspaper back home. We had a great day bagging lots of photos, catching the Oasis exhibition, ate some amazing ceviche, drank cocktails in a private members bar atop a building with great views of London which was followed by an amazing meal at 8 Hoxton, Hoxton Square – just the best day.

oasis

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Chrimbo Dinner 2013

Another great christmas dinner at the Olive Branch courtesy of Patrick, Roy and the rest of the team. Catering for 47 was never going to be an easy task and having been told dinner would be served at 6pm (we were also told this last year, we ate gone 10) Patrick sagely suggested we would be eating within an hour of 6pm!

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Arriving pretty much on time, the team produced a great spread with all the trimmings.

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Everyone had a great evening and stuffed themselves silly – almost everyone was leaning back on their chairs nursing stomachs!

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Unfortunately, no presents from the boys though do have some waiting for me in the UK.

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Weather is much better today, the sun is shining and we’re soon heading out to complete Caminito del Rey which we postponed from yesterday due to the heavy rain.

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Don Simon & ‘an Miguel, do Christmas

Don Simon an Miguel(!)

Don Simon an Miguel(!)

Adopting our new Monikors, Don Simon & an Miguel(!) – (just for this trip and probably the only time we’ll be using them,) we were pleased to find that we’d been booked for Christmas dinner which was scheduled to take place at 9pm, Christmas evening.

Don Simon, with friends.

Don Simon, with friends.

So following our earlier walk, we arrived back at the Olive Branch, taking it easy for the rest of the afternoon in anticipation of the big night ahead. worryingly there seemed to be little action going on in the kitchen which given they were cooking for 50 heads we did wonder whether we’d get to eat…

Food is Served

Food is Served

There was no need to worry – food was served about half an hour later than it would’ve been but was well worth the wait – the food was exceptional, without doubt one of the best christmas dinners I’ve had in a long while – to a man (and woman) every plate was licked clean!

Christmas Dinner at the Olive Branch 25th Dec 2012

Christmas Dinner at the Olive Branch 25th Dec 2012

Happy Climbers!

Happy Climbers!

Following dinner – there were various thank you’s with the biggest cheer of the night going to the chef who was absolutely hammered and had been for the whole day – a kind of climbing version of Keith Floyd, in fact the owner Gary strongly believes that this guy should’ve his own cookery show!

Thankfully, we avoided the last course...

Thankfully, we avoided the last course…

Frank’s Cafe & Campari Bar, Peckham

Its been honking down for about the last two months, and it’s still raining which is shame as Frank’s Cafe & Campari Bar has ‘popped-up’ again for the summer.

Franks Bar is open for the summer only and is halfway up Rye Lane in Peckham, on the tenth floor of the multi-storey car park, next to Peckham Multiplex.

It’s fairly easy to find – just follow all the Nathan Barley lookalikes, looking a tad out-of-place in this part of Peckham – I say out-of-place as they’re ‘missing’ during the rest of the year!

Stunning vistas across London with amazing sunsets though getting a drink at the bar is a pain as it’s usually five or so deep and whilst I’ve not yet eatenĀ  there, the food is meant to be excellent.

It really does remind of various Bars I’ve visited in Berlin.

Frank’s Cafe & Camapari Bar, Peckham SE15

Whitecross Street, EC1

Four weeks into my new job and so far so good.

Location wise – having spent most of time working in and around London’s west-end, I now find myself working just off of Old Street, in the heart of the Barbican.

I’ve always known about the Barbican, famous for its Brutalist Architecture, as my Uncle Frank used to work there during the early 1980’s, he was a lift engineer working for Otis and used to commute from Milton Keynes to London each day – he would always bring home a copy of the Standard newspaper and kiwi fruit which at age of ten seemed very exotic!

I’m yet to explore the surrounding area but as well as containing residential flats (built during the 1960/70’s – it also houses an Art Centre, the Museum of London, a Cinema, Theatre and the City of London School for Girls.

Literally around the corner from my office is Whitecross Street EC1 – a street containing numerous food stalls selling a variety of food from Indian Curries, Thai Curries, Burritos, Pie & Mash, Cookies – pretty much all food tastes are catered for and at lunch time the whole street is buzzing with office workers seeking their lunch.

Theres a couple of green parks nearby where if the weather is nice, are full of ‘suits’ enjoying their lunch. Theres also a great pub, the Two Brewers where they allow you to eat your street bought food (so long as you buy a pint or two)

I’m really enjoying the Barbican and looking forward to the summer!

Lek’s Thai Food

Burritos!

Look here

The Wild Game co.

Order here (you can see the Barbican in the background)

Fresh Coffee

Galeta Cookies!

Whitecross Street, EC1

Beer…

 

 

Brick Lane Beigel Bake

I love Brick Lane, have done for many years and by far one of my favourite places to visit is the Beigel Bake, located right at the top-end of the Lane (there’s two, this one is on the right as you look at it – the one with the queue,) its open 24 hours a day and is a real institution.

The decor hasn’t changed in years and it would seem neither have the prices – delicious beigels start at 25p (5p extra for cut!!) As well as beigels, they serve great pastries, freshly baked bread and croissants. The beigels also come filled – with tuna, chicken or melt in mouth salt beef, covered in mustard is just the best.