FOOD – pho house, highbury & islington london

food - pho cafe highbury and islington london

Not to be mistaken for popular chain Pho Café, Pho House is a quaint little Vietnamese restaurant just a few doors down from Highbury & Islington station. Boasting quirky décor, attentive staff and delicious, healthy food, it’s no wonder why it’s the perfect Londoner lunch spot.

A site previously hosted by much loved Korean restaurant Busan, Pho House has taken into its new location with pride, stripping away Busan’s minimalism and instead choosing to showcase more of an industrial feel with bare brick and tastefully graffiti-ridden walls.

food - pho cafe highbury and islington london - interiorWithin minutes of arriving, me and my friend were quickly greeted with a friendly waiter and a huge menu. Like the restaurant’s name suggests, traditional Pho was on offer, as well as other popular dishes including summer rolls, Vietnamese chicken curry and even salads. With so much on offer, it was a real struggle to pick what we wanted. In the end we both decided to share some prawn summer rolls (around £4.50) for our starter, with Vietnamese special fried rice for me, and Pho chin for my friend.

food - pho cafe highbury and islington london - prawn summer rollsMade from Vermicelli noodles wrapped with Vietnamese vegetables, herbs and prawns, the summer rolls were a refreshing starter. Despite there being only four rolls for us to share, each one was full to the brim! The accompanying nước chấm sauce added some much needed flavour (the rolls were a tad bland), but we were both very happy to have picked it!

food - pho cafe highbury and islington london - chicken bun noodlesI’m not going to lie, when my friend’s Pho arrived (featuring tender beef, rice noodles, vegetables, chillis and tofu) in a giant bowl of goodness, I had a serious case of food envy! That’s not to say that my special fried rice didn’t hit the spot. But it was clear why Pho was the restaurant’s name and its signature dish. A lover of spice, my friend loved the large amount of chillis, the tender beef melting in his mouth and having not tried tofu before, he was won over by how flavoursome it was.

food - pho cafe highbury and islington london - vietnamese special fried riceThe special fried rice filled me up quite quickly. Although a tad dry, it did have one thing which was surprisingly tasty – sausages, and was overall a whole-hearted, meaty dish. The accompanying salad was overshadowed, and pretty much not needed, but all in all, for around £9.85, it did the job!

food - pho cafe highbury and islington london - holloway roadDespite the major food envy (the next time I visit I’ll definitely be ordering a Pho), we both loved Pho House’s vibe, tasty food and fabulous service. My friend kindly paid for both of us (as a birthday treat for me), and for just over £20 including two drinks, you can’t go wrong!

Pho House is located on 39 Holloway Road, London, N7 8JP.

Love from Sarah

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FOOD – creams tearoom afternoon tea, the core leeds

food - creams tearooms the core leeds

Looking for a place to relax after a day’s shopping? Then look no further than Cream’s Tearoom in Leeds.

Me and my best friend Nadine headed to this quaint tearoom in The Core for a spot of light brunch and afternoon tea to nurse our Saturday night hangovers. For brunch, we both decided to share the eggs benedict royal (two poached eggs on toasted muffins with smoked salmon and hollandaise sauce) for £5.95. To say that we loved it was an understatement – the eggs were perfectly poached, the muffins were lightly toasted and the hollandaise sauce was just the right amount without being too overpowering. As this was our first time trying out such a popular dish, we were very impressed!

food - creams tearoom, leeds - eggs benedict

Made famous by Queen Victoria, afternoon tea was a formal occurrence in the 19th century, where ladies of elite households would hold social events where they would sip tea and nibble on sandwiches. Having never tried afternoon tea before, we were both eager to see what it entailed.

food - creams tearoom, leeds - afternoon tea sandwiches

We both decided to share Cream’s British Afternoon tea, which included a pot of English breakfast blend tea, sandwiches, a scone and a selection of cakes and patisserie for £14.95. Comprising of chicken mayonnaise, mature cheddar & onion chutney, egg mayonnaise and smoked salmon & crème fraiche, the selection of sandwiches were really delicious and very filling! There was however, so much cheese in the cheddar & onion chutney that we had to take it out. But for lovers of cheese, this sandwich would have been gouda enough for you.

food - creams tearoom, leeds - afternoon tea macaron, cupcake and pie

If you have a sweet tooth like me, you would have loved Cream’s choice of cakes that they gave us. From a mouth-watering macaron to a tasty cupcake with a very generous amount of icing, they were the perfect hangover cure!

food - creams tearoom, leeds - afternoon tea sultana scone, strawberry preserve and clotted cream

Accompanying their sumptuous sweet treats was a sultana scone with a strawberry preserve and clotted cream. Again, in a very generous and thick size, the scone was nice and chewy. It didn’t crumble and wasn’t dry, which was refreshing from scones I’ve had in the past. And the sultanas added that much needed fruity twist!

Our experience at the tearoom was amazing. To say it was our first time having afternoon tea, we didn’t know what to expect and actually really enjoyed it. The service was impeccable – from refilling our pot of tea to adhering to our need for water, Cream’s Tearoom is a great place to unwind and catch-up with the girls!

Creams Tearoom is located at The Core Shopping Centre, The Headrow, Leed, LS1 5JE.

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FOOD – arthur’s on the green, twickenham london

food - arthurs on the green twickenham london

If you ever find yourself south of the River and in the home of ‘England rugby’, be sure to stop by gourmet bistro Arthur’s On The Green for a true taste of Twickenham’s finest food.

From the outside, modern British restaurant Arthur’s On The Green looks like a conservatory you would find attached to your grandma’s house. Adorned with vibrant bunting, beautiful flower pots and the odd swan fixture, it’s no wonder that this bistro is popular with visitors and yummy mummies alike. But aside from it’s quirky decor and clientele, one thing this restaurant is famous for is its brunch. Boasting a variety of dishes from the traditional Full English to a more indulgent omlette Arnold Bennett (the classic dish from the Savoy Hotel), its no wonder their breakfast gets rave reviews. Wanting to try it out for ourselves, me and Ali headed over to see what the fuss was all about.

food - arthurs on the green twickenham - duck egg & brioche

Quick off-the-mark with their service, Arthur’s On The Green were on hand to answer any questions (one being ‘what is brioche’ – aha we all have to learn sometime) and recommended some of their favourite breakfast dishes. I decided on the duck egg & brioche (poached duck egg served on toasted brioche, with crispy bacon, lemon & dill mayonnaise), whereas channeling his inner Spaniard, Ali chose aptly titled dish ‘The Spanish’ (chorizo, Spanish tortilla, chargrilled piquillo peppers, fried mushrooms, grilled tomato with herbs, streaky bacon and toast with preservatives). Both dishes were £7 each.

food - arthurs on the green twickenham - the spanish

Having never tried my dish before, I was more than happy with my duck egg & brioche. The brioche was light and yet filling, with the delicious duck egg yolk spilling out onto it, making for a perfect compliment. The lemon in the mayonnaise was not overpowering, and the bacon was just the right amount of crispy goodness! Ali also loved his breakfast – especially the chargrilled piquillo peppers, and kindly mopped up my yolk with his toast.

Sitting on its own on Twickenham Green, Arthur’s On The Green is a great and quiet place to stop by for food. With attentive service and gorgeous non-expensive dishes to choose from, this bistro has definitely mastered the art of brunch and is a must-try place if you’re ever in the area.

Arthur’s On The Green is located at 20 The Green, Twickenham,, London, TW2 5AB.

Love from Sarah

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FOOD – ole pera, finsbury park london

food - ole pera finsbury park london

One of my favourite restaurants in London, Ole Pera not only serves you delicious Mediterranean cuisine, they are also a great choice for those on a budget.

I was first introduced to Ole Pera by my first ‘London’ friend and roomie, Ellie, and I have literally been coming back ever since. One of their best menu offers is their two courses for £9.95. With a set menu of delicious Mediterranean dishes to choose from, you are literally spoilt for choice!

food - ole pera, finsbury park - starter bread, olives and spicy sauce

Aside from their friendly service, they also provide a free bread basket with green and black olives and a spicy sauce for you to snack on whilst you ponder the menu. One starter that I always order is the hummus. That alongside the olives, makes for an amazing combination.

food - ole pera, finsbury park - lamb shish

For the main, one dish I couldn’t recommend more is the chicken shish. Slightly blackened for a smoky effect, the chicken cubes are still moist and comes with a tangy salsa, tortilla wrap and a portion of dome sized sticky rice. Other options you can choose from on the set menu are the lamb shish or if you’re a vegetarian, the musakka.

Within easy reach of Finsbury Park station, Ole Pera is the perfect post-work spot. Not only will you get brilliant and attentive service, but their wholesome food is great for those watching their pennies and you don’t have to worry about leaving on an empty stomach!

Ole Pera is located at 145 Stroud Green Road, London, N4 3PZ.

[First image taken from here]

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FOOD – haché burgers, clapham london

food - hache burgers clapham london linebreak

My search for the best cheap eats in London led me to gourmet burger restaurant Haché Burgers. Opened in 2004, Haché Burgers offers quirky unrivalled burgers at an inexpensive price!

But the one thing which really sold it to me was their concept of the ‘Sunday roast burger’. Yep, you read that right. Nothing could surpass your mum’s Sunday roast, but at £9.95, this burger tried its damnedest! A Scotch beef patty sandwiched between two homemade Yorkshire puddings, soaked in a beef jus and topped with Dauphinoise potatoes and parsnip with crispy carrot strips. It sounded like heaven, and it most definitely was!

The medium rare patty melted in your mouth, whilst the crispy carrots and parsnips added an amazing texture. The Yorkshire puddings were large and soft, with the gravy and horseradish sauce being great accompaniments.

food - hache burgers, clapham - potato wedges and sweet potato fries

I also had a side of sweet potato fries (it’s becoming a reoccurring side dish in my food reviews, I know!), but you cannot beat a good sweet potato fry! These were nice and crispy and not too thin, and strangely complemented the Sunday roast burger perfectly! In fact, I could only manage a few fries as the burger was very filling, which was an extra bonus!

food - hache burgers, clapham - free sweets

For their interesting and not too expensive concepts, Haché Burgers is a must visit for those adventurous burger lovers wanting to try something new and different. They offer a quick and friendly service and the food does speak for itself!

Haché Burgers is located at 157 Clapham High Street, SW4 7SS, with branches in Camden, Chelsea, Shoreditch and Balham.

Love from Sarah

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FOOD – limeyard, ealing london

food - limeyard ealing londonlinebreak

Not willing to give up American cuisine just yet, I paid a visit to Limeyard, an all day American kitchen in Ealing.

With quirky decor such as a chequered floor, wooden tables and a surfboard hanging from the ceiling, one thing’s for sure, Limeyard is easy on the eyes. Add to that the classic American food with a modern twist, it’s no wonder that the restaurant is popular with families, couples and office workers alike.

food - limeyard ealing london- interior

After perusing the menu for what seemed like forever (there was so much choice!), I ordered the Californian chicken burger for £9.95 (a chargrilled chicken breast with a sweet & spicy mango salsa, avocado, chipotle mayo and sweet potato fries). This was one of the most delicious burgers I’ve ever eaten (and I do love a good burger!) I was pleasantly surprised with the sweet & spicy mango salsa, and despite it being a burger, it was a pretty healthy choice with the large amounts of avocado stuffed in there!

food - limeyard ealing london- californian chicken burger

food - limeyard ealing london- mango frozen daiquiri

Another plus was that I just so happened to be there during happy hour, and I could not pass up the opportunity to have a cheeky cocktail! Between 5pm-7pm, if you buy a selected cocktail or pitcher you get one free. I chose a frozen margarita for £5.95, which came in the flavour of the day – mango – which complemented my Californian chicken burger perfectly!

food - limeyard ealing london- tables

If you’re after American food, but with a partially healthy twist, I would recommend Limeyard. Aside from classic burgers, they also offer mouthwatering dishes such as miso salmon, Long Beach salad and coca-cola glazed rack of ribs. I will definitely be going there again!

Limeyard is located at 8 Ealing High Street, London, W5 5DB.

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