We visited Camden Lock Market on an early Wednesday morning and of course, we planned on finding a place there to have breakfast and our most important morning coffee! Roaming through the alleys we came upon Ruby Dock Cafe. With a breakfast/brunch menu and some delicious looking baked goods displayed on the counter we couldn’t resist. I’m obsessed with anything iced (and yes, I still order iced coffees in this frigid Canadian weather!) so it was an iced latte and toasted banana bread topped with cinnamon butter – it was delicious! A perfect way to start the day! If you’re in for something lighter, the friand (a small french cake that is apparently popular in Australia) is a good choice. I didn’t know this prior to popping into Ruby Dock but it looks like the owners also own two other popular restaurants in London: Lantana Cafe and Salvation Jane. I think I need to add these onto my next visit
Tag Archives: coffee
Hello LONDON, I love you!
Its been just under two years since I’ve been back to London and I’ve missed it. And in a city as densely populated and cosmopolitan as it is, its small quaint places like Damson Cafe that really make the city unique. Hidden on a side street just a block a way from the Oxford and Tottenham Court Road tube station, the “country farm” atmosphere is inviting and a perfect place to grab a coffee and catch up with a friend. The front counter perfectly displays homemade baked goods, one of which catches my eye – the Victoria Sponge! Just landing in London, how can I resist a cake named after Queen Victoria! Typically made with raspberry jam, the Damson’s version is made with blueberry preserves and whip cream sandwiched between two layers of sponge cake! It was deliciously moist and totally hit the spot. And to go with the cake, a “Flat White” – espresso with steamed milk and no foam, the perfect afternoon snack!
Landing in our second city, Akureyri, on our tour of Iceland we took a stroll along the main street of downtown Akureyri looking for a place where we can grab a bite to eat before heading out to the Nature Baths in Myvatn. Located in a royal blue building is a cafe called Blaa Kannan – which means Blue Teapot. We enter and are welcomed by a beautiful interior made of timber, giving it a “log cabin” vibe with large chandeliers throughout. Most of the seating provided are communal-type seating giving it a more social atmosphere. I went for a spinach quiche that came with a side salad and of course, a coffee, for a late lunch. Although I wouldn’t say that Blaa Kannan blew my mind away with their food, the environment and atmosphere of the cafe is great – casual, relaxed and there’s a constant buzz which makes for awesome people-watching!
I don’t know what it is but my appreciation for cafes and coffeehouses have grown on this trip to Iceland and London. On our way out of Stykkisholmur we stopped by a bakery we saw the previous day driving into the town. It was early so the pastries were bountiful. I had read about some traditional donuts called Kleina and so when I saw them you know I had to try them The donuts are made with a “cake” dough but unlike most of the donuts available in North America, they are unglazed and therefore you actually taste the dough and not just the sugar. Pretty tasty!
A coffee house is the perfect place to meet with friends to plan a vacation trip to Europe! There’s a number of them around the city and the popularity of independent coffee houses has completely fuelled my coffee addiction! On a Sunday morning I, S and myself decided to meet at Lit Espresso Bar – an espresso house located in the Roncesvalles area of Toronto. A neighborhood joint, the espresso bar was busy with locals enjoying their morning coffee and a line-up 6 people deep that never let up. Although the espresso and coffee should be the star of any coffee house (Pig Iron Coffee supplies Lit), the pastries need to be up to par and offer something a bit different than the regular Tim Horton’s. Only problem is, you need to go early to get the best selection – they had the most scone selection I’ve seen in awhile! So I ordered the double dark chocolate scone, a chocolate scone with large chunks of bittersweet chocolate topped with crunchy sugar crystals, it was decadent and delicious standing up to the strong iced latte! I would definitely come back!
Last Monday, as I stepped into my favourite Starbucks located in my office tower (I love the fact that they know my daily drink and how I like to have it!), I noticed a new sign launching a new drink called Refreshers. Curious as I am for anything NEW, especially when it comes to food, I enquired with the Baristas and they described it as an energy drink! A great afternoon pick-me-up using what they call, green coffee extract. So of course, I had to try one – they all recommended the Cool Lime Refresher! I must say, if you are a fan of the Mojito, you will love this new drink! Perfect for a hot summer day, it has all the components of a mojito without the alcohol…..and frankly, I wouldn’t mind having this with a little somethin’ somethin’ – if you know what I mean
Verdict: A bit on the pricey side but worth at least one try!
If you remember my post on Mister Donut in Japan well you know I had to just go to Mister Donut while on my shopping trip to the US. As expected, the donut flavours are nothing like what they are in Japan but they did have new flavours: their Oreo donut and Oreo Crumble donut. So you know I had to try both and my favourite – the oreo donut! A whole donut stuffed with vanilla whipped frosting, white icing topped with crushed oreo cookies! What more can you ask for? An oreo in a donut – YUM! And their iced coffee wasn’t too bad either – I love the US for their unsweetened iced coffees and iced teas
For those of us who travel or live in the US have at the very least, heard of Mister Donut. Now I know what you’re thinking, why on earth would I bother going to Mister Donut when there can be so many other foods I could be eating! The Japanese are infamous for taking foods from other cultures and countries and adapting them to the tastes and palettes of the Japanese. And if you have had the chance to bite into a donut from a Mister Donut in Japan, you know exactly what I’m talking about! The donuts are not as sweet but light and airy – similar to biting into a krispy kreme, a complete departure from the “bread-like” texture of donuts here in Canada. And they have unique flavours like adzuki (red bean), mitarashi (soy sauce & sugar) and donuts made from rice flour as opposed to the wheat flour – marketed as a “healthier” donut…..lol, I don’t know if there is such a thing! My favourite: the french crueller sandwiched with whip cream and half-dipped in strawberry frosting! YUM!
This trip to Japan was my first time visiting and staying in Nagoya. Ok, its actually my second – the first visit was when I was 13 years old and only for the day so I don’t remember much. Nagoya is the 4th largest city in Japan and they have built a tradition in their coffee shops called “Morning Service”. It is a boiled egg and toast that is served free of charge with any beverage order – yes, you read right, FREE (before 11am)! And this free service is available at all cafes and coffee shops across the city regardless – mom & pop shops or at big chains. Who said Japan is expensive – frankly, food is pretty reasonably priced and the quality and freshness is far better than what you could get in North America at that price! During my stay, my cousin and I would go almost every morning to a coffee shop chain called Komeda (a chain native to Nagoya). In addition to the morning service, the chain is also famous for their sweet pastry dish – “shirono-whirl”. Its part puff pastry, part brioche topped with soft-serve and drizzled with maple syrup. YUM!