Cherry Crumble with Orange Blossom Water and Mahlab

    After a month of plenty of work I was particularly excited about a short trip to London last weekend. Staying with my sister Helena in her little cottage overlooking the Regent’s Canal always feels a little bit like going home and I had carefully scheduled my entire weekend to be able to see as many friends as physically possible in a 48h window while at the same time trying to visit at least a handful of new cafes, restaurants and bars in London. Yet in the end, my weekend in London lasted 5 days and turned out rather differently from what I had planned. When I woke up on Friday morning I noticed a slight rash on my face and upper body. A quick trip to the pharmacy during my lunch break confirmed my initial suspicion – according to the pharmacist I was likely having an allergic reaction to something. I picked up a light anti-histamine and eventually made

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Pistachio Cornmeal Minicakes

These last few weeks in London before the big move are flying by. It’s scary really that in a few short weeks my morning walk to work will no longer take me through Exmouth Market (and the ever tough decision whether to get my morning flat white at Caravan or to hold out till I get to Leather Lane where I can choose between coffee from the Department of Coffee and Social Affairs or Prufrock Coffee) but instead I will be meandering right through Rome’s historic centre, passing the Trevi fountain and the Spanish steps. At the same time it is also incredibly exciting. Although I have spent a lot of time in Italy since meeting Alessandro 5 years ago, I know that living in Italy will be a totally different experience and I cannot wait to start exploring Rome and get to know the city that will be my home for the next 6 months. Nonetheless, leaving London is hard.

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If I had to sum up our lunch at Shrimpy’s the other day in one word, I would say it was ‘filling’.  I had been warned by my friend Millen and Philippe that the dishes at Shrimpy’s were filling (no wonder given that their signature dish is a burger filled with deep-fried soft-shell crab and guacamole) but in all honesty I had underestimated just how filling the food would be.  And the portions are by no means humanguous so I am still puzzled as to why we were all so full after what, at least on paper, seemed far from a generous lunch. The last time Millen and Philippe had been at Shrimpy’s, they got to sit at the bar and observe all the dishes being churned out by the largely Spanish-speaking kitchen staff.  As such, we knew to order the calamari with olive tapenade, the soft-shell crab burger as well as the pistachio sundae.  And so we did. To

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Black gold – London’s best coffee shops and some black sesame madeleines

(Amended to update the little blurb on Prufrock). So, I was browsing the Stylist’s website the other day and came across a brief article on London’s best coffee shops. As an avid coffee drinker (coming from a family that managed to kill an espresso machine by drinking more cups of coffee per day than any espresso machine developer could have ever imagined (we now have a commercial espresso machine)), I keep a list of favourite coffee shops (key attractions are: (i) decent coffee (look out for the crema on your espresso and the use of fresh milk – noone wants to drink a cappuccino made with UHT milk), (ii) free wi-fi (because I am a cheapskate and treat my ipad as though it’s a limb I never knew I had by carrying it around with me wherever I go), and (iii) outstanding pastries and cakes (which reminds me I need to tell you about Gail’s almond croissants)). However, once in

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