Notting Hill: Honest Burger, Talkhouse Coffee and Lisboa Patisserie

Pastel-hued houses, a renowned antiques market and Hollywood validation mean that Notting Hill is one of the most famous and desirable corners of London. It’s easy to see why people are so keen to pay the area a visit as they pass through London or even try and settle here. To be perfectly honest, Portobello Road is so rammed at the weekends it can be a little overwhelming if you’re not keen on crowds. It’s also unfortunate that there’s been a certain amount of Camdenification of the market in order to bait tourists, but there’s no question that Notting Hill…

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Let’s talk about the amazing cake in Budapest

I like to think I’m open minded about different cultures, but if I’m really honest with myself there are some countries I feel like I just… connect with on a deeper level. The one factor they have in common isn’t spiritual or political or profound in any way – the answer lies in a simple appreciation for cake. An easy test is as follows: does a place have an abundance of shops selling mainly freshly baked cakes, or cafes where glorious cake eating is the main event, the reason d’etre, along with which one may also order an accompanying hot…

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Japanese cookery class at Atsuko’s Kitchen

When KLM asked me if I wanted to take a Japanese cookery class a couple of weeks ago at Atsuko’s Kitchen in Shoreditch, I jumped at the chance. My favourite events are the ones where you can roll your sleeves up and get stuck into an activity, preferably before then proceeding to eat and drink the results of that activity. Twelve months ago I did a fantastic class at L’atelier des Chefs where I cooked a Christmas dinner and earlier this year I spent a wonderful evening learning to mix some mindblowing gin cocktails at the London Cocktail Club. Gin…

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Budapest Bread Festival: Carb-loading on Hungarian street food

I’m trying this thing at the moment where I basically eat a paleo caveman diet about 80 percent of the time, and it’s going surprisingly okay, but when I’m on holiday I like to eat. I’ve enjoyed two excellent carb and cheese-loading trips this year, which I’m feeling very nostalgic for right now. The first was to Budapest. I had an idea that it would be indulgent holiday full of heavy, hearty food – Hungary isn’t known for its delicate soups and salads after all — but then we stumbled on the bread festival and embraced the gluten on a…

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Jesmond Dene House: Newcastle’s foodie haven

You don’t need me to tell you that Jesmond Dene House Hotel is the best place to stay in Newcastle — you could just look on TripAdvisor to find that out — but it really is a haven of subtlety and elegance and northern warmth, and it just so happens that it’s also a very special place to me as well. Let me explain. As Newcastle spreads up the hill from the river, the city falls away very quickly, making way for parks and town moors and grazing land of the kind you’d expect to find miles out of town,…

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