It’s situated on Kings Road, perfect when you’re hungry and tired from shopping, which wasn’t why I first noticed it though. I first went there with a friend who insisted on going there with me. And thank god I gave in to her, or else I’d probably never have discovered my favourite restaurant! Whenever I’m in the Sloane Square area now, I always pop in for an Italian pancake, which is my favourite, and a fresh orange juice. They also have amazing “My Old Dutch shakes”, you should try the belgian chocolate and the nutella shake!
1. Hampstead Heath and Primrose Hill: They’re not very far apart and both give you a panorama of London which you’ll never forget. The Heath will always be my favourite park though, with its ponds (the Viaduct pond is très belle), Kenwood House and the Pergola. It’s perfect for picnics, long strolls alone or a walk with the dog (lots of dachshunds there!). I’d say Primrose Hill is perfect on New Year’s Eve and Bonfire night, but it’s mayhem up there. So many people, it’s crazy. However, if you’re looking for somewhere to go sledding with your children in winter, Primrose Hill is the place.
2. My friends flat in Belsize Park: It holds so many lovely memories for me, like sleeping on an air mattress under a table (don’t ask), eating a lot of cupcakes for breakfast and Tesco sushi for dinner, laughing with my friend about the weirdest jokes, watching TV or playing Wii with her, stealing her laptop for hours and the amazing view of Belsize Park I had every morning when I looked out of the bedroom or kitchen window (it’s funny to watch the people outside).
3. Camden Market: Shopping…need I say more? Camden is my shopping heaven on earth where I will always find something to buy, no matter if I need it or not. Vintage fashion is something I love and Camden basically is nothing but vintage fashion. Every time I’m there, I find about 20 new dresses I’d immediately buy if my wardrobe space allowed it. I always joke with my friend that if you live anywhere near the market, you don’t need to leave Camden your whole life, because you can get almost everything there. The food there also is great and very unusual – have you ever tried liquid nitrogen ice cream (at Chin Chin Laboratorists) for example? I spent most of last summer sitting in the grass next to the canal, eating cupcakes and ice cream.
4. Harrods: I know a lot of people who say they prefer Selfridges to Harrods – and I don’t get it. If I could choose where I’d rather go shopping, which I can, I’d definitely choose Harrods. I’ve always loved it, since the very first time I set foot in it (not that long ago, actually). The intèrieur is fantastic. Every single corner gives you that feeling of luxury. I could spend days in there; no wonder if you consider that it has over a million square feet of selling space (thank you, wikipedia). My favourite department is the Food Hall, especially the Lola’s Cupcakes counter!
5. Burlington Arcade: I can’t help it but think ‘Diagon Alley’ whenever I’m there. The Guardian described it as ‘the posh people’s equivalent of Diagon Alley from Harry Potter’ and if you ask me, this is exactly what it is: a real life Diagon Alley. Except, of course, that you can’t purchase owls, wands or potions there, but accessories, jewellery, fashion and a lot of other things. I will always get that ‘magical’ feeling though, and who knows, maybe one day I’ll find a wand in one of the Lulu Guinness handbags there…
6. Lulu Guinness Ellis Street store: I simply love the Lulu Guinness store on Ellis Street! It’s eye candy through and through. When I want to buy a Lulu Guinness bag, I always go there, because it was the store where I bought my first Lulu G. bag. I want to stare at the lips clutches and collectables for hours. The lovely Lulu team is always nice and helpful. They know exactly which bag suits me best. I’ve been to the Burlington Arcade store only once, but maybe from what I’ve seen it has a good chance to become my new favourite Lulu store.
7. Bubbleology, Soho: I’ve tried my first Bubble Tea on a trip to Berlin last year and was delighted when I found out that there’s a Bubble Tea store in Soho. Bubble Tea became my new Starbucks Caramel Frappuccino – something I drink almost every day. The fruit juice bubbles and jelly are just so delicious with the (Caramel, Coconut, Cocoa, Apple, Strawberry etc. flavoured) tea. The store is cosy and almost always full of people.
8. Richmond: It’s not exactly in London, but still part of it – and a very beautiful one. It’s well endowed with a lot of parks, lovely houses and green spaces, located by the Thames where you can find lots of houseboats. The view from Richmond Hill is breathtaking, especially in spring and summer. It’s a really picturesque little town and even Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt seem to love Richmond.
9. Hamleys: Yes, I mean the toy shop on Regent Street. I’m a big child and it’s still a magical place for me. I know Hamleys must feel and look like wonderland to children. You can try out so many things there! My favourite part of the store is the ‘Harry Potter corner’. It looks a teeny bit like Ollivanders Wand Shop. They even sell writing quills (so cool!) and the Marauder’s Map. I’m sure the people working there absolutely love their jobs. I’d love to work there!
10. My Old Dutch Pancake House: Pancakes, pancakes, pancakes! Delicious, warm pancakes with maple syrup & butter, berries, nutella or mozzarella, italian herbs, halloumi and olives! The prices are reasonable and the pancakes are the best I’ve ever tasted. Have a look at the menu and tell me it doesn’t sound delicious. One of my favourite restaurants to eat. You have to try the Italian pancake!
What you need:
Pork cutlet or pork strips, Sour cream, Whipped cream, Gyros spice, Long grain rice, Cooking oil (sunflower oil), Quark/Curd/Fromage frais, Milk, Cucumber, Garlic clove, Herbs
What I maybe should say beforehand is that I’m a vegetarian and therefore I never really ate this dish myself. However, according to my friends it tastes delicious. It isn’t one of the usual gyros recipes you may know. It’s a recipe out of the big family recipe book, but I thought I’d share it with you. There are more ‘Recipes’ blog posts to come, depending on whether or not I find the time to cook (I usually eat out, buy microwave food or just order a pizza…and yes, I know it isn’t healthy, but there are days where I just don’t have the time to cook!). Back to the recipe: I don’t actually know how much calories it has, but it’s definitely a bit on the high-calorie side and will probably go straight to your thighs…just something I had to say so you can’t blame me afterwards for any gained weight (no, seriously, don’t let that scare you off)!
You start by cutting the pork cutlet into strips or, if you already bought pork strips, simply leave that step out.
Now you heat the sunflower oil in a pan and gently roast the pork strips from all sides until they’re crispy and brown (brown, not to be mistaken with black..!). Add one cup sour cream and another cup whipped cream (this is where the calories come from). After adding two teaspoons of the gyros spice, let it cook for a few minutes and stir it every now and then.
While the meat and the sauce are cooking, put the rice in a pot with water, add some salt and bring it to the boil at medium heat. When the water is boiling, you can turn the heat down a bit. Don’t place the lid on the pot or the steam can’t escape! Leave it like that for about 15 minutes.
You can prepare the Tzatziki afterwards or while the rice and the sauce/meat are cooking. Put the curd in a small bowl and add milk, herbs and fromage frais. Cut the cucumber and one half of a garliv clove (or better leave that out if you plan to meet other human beings that day) into pieces and add them.
Et voila, you have gyros meat/pork meat with rice and Tzatziki!