Central London – The Food Guide! By Nicole Duncan

When exploring London, deciding where to go to eat and drink can get quite overwhelming as there are SO many options! I have put together a collection of my top recommendations along with a few sneaky tips  and tricks for your time in this fabulous capital city.

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First of all a few essential apps to download:

  • **City mapper – This app will tell you all combination of  trains/tubes/walking/taxi etc that you would need to take to get to your destination. An absolute must have.
  • **Uber so that you can get taxis quickly and cheaply.

If you do decided to go to any of the following places it might be a good idea to try and book, some places don’t do bookings at all in which case just turn up but always good to double check this. Be warned you will need to wait to get seated in most places – but this is ok as they usually have a bar!

Bone Daddies – This is one of my favourite restaurants in London. It serves a series of different Ramen  (hearty Asian noodle soup) and you can pair that up with a number of  different sides. The service is fast and friendly, it is reasonably priced and the accompanying 70/80s punk music is a great addition to the experience. You also have bibs and hair bobbles on the tables, to stop getting Ramen all over you!

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Caravan Kings Cross – Famous for it’s breakfast and it’s relaxed attitude, this is a great place to grab some nice coffee and have some delicious food. Based in a listed Victorian building, the setting is almost as good as the food!.

Franco Manca is a sourdough pizza place which started off as a small independent restaurant in Brixton Village. It has exploded in popularity and is now all over the city! It is reasonably priced and has a great relaxed atmosphere.

Flat Iron – This is a steak house that only has one cut on it’s menu which is the ‘Flat Iron’. They will occasionally have other specials on but their menu is incredibly small, simple and extremely tasty. The best part of all of this is that it is only £10 for the Flat Iron steak which in London is an absolute steal! You also get given a meat cleaver instead of a knife and these are available to buy too, should you wish to. Cheap and delicious and good craft beers too!

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Wahaca is a Mexican street food restaurant- really good and reasonably priced too. Does amazing cocktails and you can choose either to get 3 or 4 of the smaller dishes or one of larger main plates. It is very different to your bog standard Mexican burrito joint and offers a wide variety of seasonal and exciting options. This is also another place which started off with just one restaurant and has spread like wildfire across the city.

Bubbledogs – Offers up the unusual combination of Champagne and gourmet hot dogs. It is a bit of a gimmick to be honest but never the less quite a fun night out ** Also note that through the back there is a secret Restaurant called The Kitchen Table. This won a Michelin star back in 2014 and you have the unique experience of sitting around the kitchen and watching and interacting with the chef.

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Honest Burger – in my opinion is one of the best burgers in London and the rosemary chips are not to be missed! Again, this venue also has some nice craft beers.

Breakfast Club – As you would guess,  is a great place for breakfasts and I love it’s huge menu of pancakes! It is an American themed restaurant and in it’s Spittalfields branch even has it’s own Speakeasy bar. **To get into this bar you need to go through the SMEG fridge door and then give a password. (Password can be found on the website or their twitter). The bar is called ‘The Mayor of Scardey Cat Town’ and it has a great menu of cocktails and accompanying bar food menu.

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Sticks and Sushi – This is a chain of restaurants from Denmark and specialisies in traditional Sushi and Yakatori sticks and is absolutely delicious. They also have ahuge wine and cocktail menu that goes along with the food nicely!

-Big Easy – This is another American themed restaurant however this is a place that specialising in BBQ’d meat and food of the South.  ** I would definitely advise pre-booking here. It also has a huge selection of Bourbon and cocktails. It is a little more expensive than some of the other places on the list but the portion sizes are huge and you also get your own bib whilst eating, so you can get some great pictures too!

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I hope this has made things a bit simpler for you and that you find something which tickles your fancy! Make sure and let us know how you get on!

GVS Co xx

 

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The London Surf Film Festival!

So this is a wee bit overdue, but nonetheless here is our review of the London Surf & Film Festival, Friday 16th @ Genesis Cinema.

We had bought ourselves the full Friday evening pass so we could enjoy all the films that were on that evening and of course sample the free beer from Sharps Brewery.

Firstly what a wicked cinema the Genesis is, located on the Mile End road next to Stepney Green tube the building itself has a grand entrance hall arching back to the glamour of cinema of years gone by. However housing the Surf film festival this glorious building provided a juxtaposing backdrop to the laid back, rough and ready clientele of the evening.

We took our seats after meeting some friends and grabbing beer number one and waited for the first film of the evening. This was to be the European Premiere of Faroes – The Outpost Vol 2 from Director Ben Weiland and Chris Burkard.

Faroes – The Outpost Vol 2  was an incredible documentary of harsh yet calming environment of the Faroe Island. The film showed how the environment that for the cast and crew was unpredictably foreign and how the seas provided new challenges with their plummeting temperatures and unsurfed swell.  Come the end credits we certainly understood the challenges faced by the crew during filming, but also how that same crew left the Faroes with a new appreciation for not only the conditions, but also those who inhabit it.

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The second film of the evening was the world premiere of Sean Collins – The Ripple Effect directed by Peter Hamblin.

This was brilliant documentary into the extraordinary life of Sean Collins who was renowned for his incredible talents of surf forecasting, but of course was founder of surfline which became the worlds leading surf forecasting broadcast.

The film took us through his life, through ups and downs in business and in life, stitched together with heartfelt interviews from close family and friends. Again a really emotive film, which shed light onto one of the founding members of modern surf.

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Our final film of the evening was the world premiere of Freezing directed by Rob Lockyear and Jeremy Joyce.

Freezing was of a different elk to the films that we had seen before it, it was a comic tale of two friends on an exploration of the harsh cold north in search of that mystical perfect wave.

Comedy at every turn Freezing see’s the surfing zeitgeist really showing its worth with friendship, laughs and unfortunate circumstances a plenty. Thoroughly enjoyable movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously!

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 In conclusion a wicked evening with some truly inspiring and heart warming stories. Next time they’re in town we can’t recommend getting a ticket enough.

GVSCo x

Two Days of Steak – GVSCo go to Gaucho and Flat Iron

Last week we treated ourselves to two of London’s most renowned steak restaurants Gaucho and Flat Iron. Two steak joints, two very different experiences and here is our quick, to the point reviews.

We’ll start with Gaucho as we went there first. Wednesday at 12:30 at the Charlotte Street restaurant was a little quiet, but we didn’t mind; we got the a nice feel from the place. The unmistakable cow print fur walls and glass walkways gives this particular restaurant a retro vibe, but nothing about the service or food was retro.

We sat down and were brilliantly waited on, the waiter explained the selection of steak and suggested how each should be cooked. Three quick decision later, we ordered three sirloins, two with Peppercorn and one with Bearnaise. To go with the three 400 gram steaks we had cream spinach, chips and veg, to drink three German Red Ales.

The steaks were cooked to perfection, plump, juicy and tender; the spinach was the highlight of the sides and finally the Ale topped it all off. Not a lick was left on the plates.

We paid the bill, perhaps a wee bit high, but we expected that and left feeling satisfied and full.

How did this compare with our Thursday night at Flat Iron?

Thursday night came about and we were at Flat Iron on Beak Street. We waited for 1:45mins for a table, not a problem, a few pints in the Sun and 13 Cantons and the time flew. We were with our friends Nile, Dave and Claire (Dave and Claire had recently gotten engaged) so in fine company.

If you’ve never been, Flat Iron provide little pots of popcorn on the house while you decide what you’re having, this doesn’t take long as the only thing on the menu is the steak! (Not technically true, but why would you go and have the special)

We all went with the steak, sides of spinach, chips, salad and roasted veg. The menu is simple, to the point and brilliant. The steaks arrived pre cut, with the sauce of your choice, the sides arrived in small, trendy tin dishes with enough in so you’re not feeling scammed. To drink Red Wine – keep it coming please!

Brilliant steak. Nothing more to say. They’re not a big as the sirloins in Gaucho, but pound for pound my honest opinion is your getting more for you money. I mean £10 for a steak, who can argue? All this is made even better by the novelty of eating with a mini cleaver. The sides were brilliantly filling and all in all an awesome experience.

So to conclude both great steak restaurants, but if you’re looking for a relaxed decent evening out… Flat Iron gets our vote.

GVSCo x