London April 2023

We are currently in London, landed last Friday morning early. I think going forward we will book our lodging for the night prior. Too old to wait for my room till 2:00 pm.
We were able to leave our bags at The Cove on Cannon Road after our train from Heathrow. We found Where’s Fred Coffee & Wine Bar in one of the side streets across from the Cove. Good strong coffee and tea, caramelized banana over yogurt and avocado toast with eggs. Gave us the strength to climb on the #15 bus as far as Westminster for a short walk around.
Headed back toward Cannon in hopes that our room might be ready early. No dice, so we grabbed a coffee at a Caravan coffee shop. Kept us going and we finally got the OK to formally check into the Cove, a series of studio apartments with stove, oven, microwave, fridge, washer/dryer combo.

We had a quick nap and headed to Haz, a Turkish restaurant. A really nice meal, good service and pretty reasonable. The babaganoush was excellent, not as roasted dark as I see in the states, a very nice bright taste. I had a grilled king prawn on a bed of pepper and carrot sauce with spinach and chickpeas. Very balanced and a little spicy. The prawn was cooked perfectly, with the head included. DH had the chicken kofta with yogurt and tomato sauce , with rice and broccoli. Also a success, we had leftovers this evening, splitting the last of of it. Dessert was the kanzandibi, not one of my favorites but was a hit with DH.
Saturday was a slow start, coffee and yogurt in the room . Then a walk over the Millennium Bridge to the Borough Market. Wow! Lots to look at and lots to eat. We did split a salted beef sandwich from one of the butchers, on a slab of bread with pickles and yellow mustard. It was great, messy, salty, briny and all things my doctor would warn me about! And I would do it again in a heartbeat, Washed it all down with a fresh passion fruit drink. The market was great, so much to see and consider. That was about all we ate, but did get a nice quarter loaf of bread, french butter and cheese and some strawberries and tangerines.
After the Titus Andronicus performance in the Globe’s Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, which was really well done, we had dinner at Casa do Frango, small plate Portuguese food, Bread w/olives, butter, carrots, beans; piri piri prawns, cole slaw, fish cakes, empanadas, and mushrooms. The stand outs were the cole slaw and mushrooms. I love a good cole slaw and this one really was. No mayo, just vinegar and seasoning, very bright and tart. The oyster mushrooms were just as good. The rest was fine but not anything we rush back for. The room was lively and loud in a good way, good wine list and overall a good experience.
We ended the evening at the Golden Fleece on Queen Street for whisky and wine.
Sunday had us up early for a 9:00 am entrance to the Towers. A morning well spent, crown jewels, castles, armour and mayhem. We had our Sunday Roast dinner at the Lamb Tavern in the Leaden Hall market. I might of been a little concerned when we walked in based on the ambience, but the food was just want we wanted and so well done. We both did the beef. It came with goose fat roast potatoes, roasted cauliflower and carrots, kale, gravy, Yorkshire pudding and horseradish sauce. Perfect! Vegetables were fresh and seasoned, potatoes were crunchy outside and creamy inside and the gravy was more a pan sauce than a thick gravy, which I much prefer. Good wine list but they were missing a few items, so no desserts or much in the way of starters. But the coffee was pretty good.
Overall a good start to our trip. Looking forward to museums, the French House, Dishoom and whatever else we stumble across.

Casa de Frango cod cakes


Everything looks great and I’m reminded to definitely fit in the Borough Market on our London visit next month. That sandwich looks delish. I remember a great Indian lunch there long ago. We’re staying in convent Garden and will be returning to our old favorites-The Barbary in Neal’s Yard, Barrafina, Koya for udon noodles and Dishoom (if we can get in). May check out some new Indian this trip!

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The market was a treat, and we hope to return before we leave. The mussels and ramen looked very interesting. The Barbary is on our list too, depending on timing. So much to see and try.

Hi @grumpyspatient! The need for sleep transcends all generations. For all (8) of our Iceland trips and our trip to Denmark last year, we book the night before so that we can all crash, young Spring Onion and 2 middle-aged parents. We never miss the money of getting an empty hotel room/Airbnb.

Your first report is great. Looking forward to more dispatches.

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Monday we were up and out early after coffee and yogurt in the apartment. Headed to Westminster on the 11 bus. It’s a good ride to see some sites along the way, Whitehall, Parliament and Trafalgar Square, to name a few.
Enjoyed Westminster, amazing how many people, from all walks of life, are buried there. We also had tickets to the Queen’s Jubilee in the (newish) tower. Worth including if you planning to go.
A quick lunch at a cafe on the outskirts of St. James Park and then into Churchill’s War Rooms under Whitehall. Can’t imagine living like that for any length of time. A very interesting man, this was a well presented overview of him and the war.
Ice cream in the park and then we walked over to the palace and across to the Royal Mews. The Marshall was there, practicing for the coronation, as were the bagpipers earlier. Would love to have see them. The handlers were trying to distract the horse with food, noise and people walking past. He was having none of it, kept his composure. The Marshall and horse were in full regalia, and they lead the procession for the coronation. We saw the carriage Charles and Camilla will ride in, and several others that are still in use.
By now it was late afternoon and we were pretty tired. We got back on the bus and headed to the Delaunay for a rest and some food. We sat at the bar and had very nice cocktails, wine and one of the best Caesar salads ever, a flambe with onion and bacon and steak tartare.
The salad was half the head of romaine, anchovies, eggs, capers and a very tart dressing. It was very good, plenty for the both of us. The flambe was a very thin crust with caramelized onions and bacon. Also good size, I think it probably had more of crunch to the crust when it first arrived but we let it sit a bit while we had the salad and tartare, which was excellent! Its not something I would normally order but I really enjoyed the flavor and the texture, more than I thought I would. The bar man asked if we wanted any egg, an egg on top or egg mixed in, we went with egg mixed in.
A very nice end to a busy day, the atmosphere was very proper but comfortable. We have reservations for dinner in the Grand Cafe on Thursday before a play.


The Delaunay is great! Beautiful setting as well.

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Just discovered I can reserve online at The Barbary and Barrafina. In the past we had to get there kind of early and get in line. Don’t know if Covid changed things but I appreciate the new ease of reserving online. Also have found the same thing in Paris. No more trying to call-everyone is online now.

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Tuesday am we had tickets to the National Gallery. Two hours did not due it justice, so much to take in during one visit! But we had reservations at the French House for lunch so off we went to find Dean Street. This trek took us through Chinatown. The ducks and pork hanging in the windows looked very tempting, and I wish we could of had a lunch or snack during our stay but we never made it back.

The French House was great, pub on the first floor, (small) dining room on the second. Kitchen on the third but the dumb waiter was not in use. The wait staff definitely got their steps in.
The menu is written out daily and there were specials on the board. A nice wine & cocktail list as well.

We ordered wine, sparkling water, asparagus with sauce mousseune and the duck & pork rillette to start. Both were really enjoyable, a lot of tarragon in the sauce (in a good way), perfect cook on the asparagus and the rillette was very nicely put together with a little bite of something. I wanted to try the onions that accompanied this dish but was not fast enough.

Our mains were the pork chop with grilled hispi cabbage with a green sauce and the red mullet from the specials over a leek and radish escabeche. The chop was served off the bone, which was included on the plate and cooked perfectly, still pink and moist. It was not a thick chop that you often see in steak houses. The cabbage was very nice, sweet and charred, the green sauce was a nice compliment. The mullet was also well cooked, not dry,it had nice grill marks, but the star to me were the vegetables. The fennel and radishes were so fresh and tangy with whatever they were dressed with, it was a little citrus-y and pepper-y. Very well done.

Dessert was the chocolate rum mouse…which did not disappoint. Not too sweet but a rich chocolate flavor and very light texture. Service was perfect, not rushed, well paced. It is a small space but very comfortable.

We walked back to Trafalgar Square and hopped on the neighborhood bus for the ride back to Cannon Street. After a rest we trekked over to The Ned to see what the Nickel bar might be like. And it was a mob scene, the work crowd was unwinding and we were late to the game.
Luckily there are about 10 restaurants/bars at The Ned so we did get a seat at the Electric Diner just past the Nickel. We weren’t really hungry but wanted a nosh. Matzo ball soup, deviled eggs and hash browns called to us, so that’s what we had. The soup got high marks from my DH. the rest were fine. It would be hard to beat the lovely lunch we had.


Wednesday morning brought us to the British Museum but not before we had breakfast at the St. Mary-le-Bow Cafe Below. A lovely diner in the former crypt, we had pancakes and eggs with bacon, coffee and tea to fortify us for the day ahead. Its a very nice space, bright and cheery, food and coffee was very good.

The British Museum might of been my favorite, it really had a bit of everything, Elgin Marbles, mummies, sarcophagus-es, jewels, Sutton-Hoo exhibit, Viking plunder, just some amazing things to see.

We headed over to Selfidges, to see if there was more plunder to be had, but I have to say, we were both not impressed. Kind of a Sak’s 5th Avenue vibe, not what we were looking for, so we found a bus to take us to the river, where we got on a boat to the other side, where we went to the Shakespeare theaters where we could visit the gift shop. (There were several items we wanted when there on the Saturday prior but ran out of time. )
And then we stopped in at the neighboring Swan for a glass and bite.
Wine for me, ale for DH. A cheese board, fish & chips and salad for the table. All good, the fish and chips were very nice, crunchy salty outside, firm and tasty inside, mushy peas were minty and fresh. Salad was fresh, with gem lettuce, peas and asparagus. I think the cheese board was acceptable, it went fast. A nice spot, on the water and service was very good. This is the only picture:

And that was our Wednesday!


Thursday we headed to King’s Crossing, to the British Library. We had applied for cards on-line and once we showed our ID’s and had our pictures taken, we were members. Very exciting-what can I say, we like libraries.
There was a wonderful collection of postage and tariff stamps in the lobby and we spent a fair amount of time in the Treasures Exhibit. We are now able to research via the internet and read the publications they subscribe to. It is the largest library in the world, after the Library of Congress.

Lunch was at Dishoom King’s Crossing. Very lively spot, big groups, lots of interesting food going by. We had vegatable samosas, bhel, chili chicken, paneer roll and a mango lassi. I just wish we had be hungrier! It was very good, really liked the bhel, crunchy and vinegary with pomegranate seeds that added a nice sweet pop. The chili chicken was well cooked chicken bites (thigh meat) crunchy and spicy on the outside, juicy on the inside. I could of eaten a lot more of those.

Thursday afternoon was kind of chill, back at the room, catching up on work.
We headed to the Delaunay for dinner with a friend, very posh! Lovely room and table settings, service was spot on. I had spatchcocked chicken with salsa verde on a bed of fresh baby spinach, which was delicious with all that chicken goodness. DH had mushroom fueiilette and our friend ordered the mushroom stragonoff w/spatzle.

We ended our evening at the National Theater seeing Dancing at Lughnasa, a bittersweet story based in Donegal, Ireland in the 1930s.

Other photos from the day:


@grumpyspatient I’m just now catching up on your reports. I love London.