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: market
Its been 13 years since the last time I was at Camden Lock Market and a lot has changed! From what I remember about the market, the majority of the vendors sold goods like clothing, art, housewares, etc. Food now has a dominating presence here reflecting the increase in sophistication of the British palate. Everything from Peruvian food to Dutch pancakes to Polish pierogies! Coffee bars, cafes and chocolatiers are scattered around the market – you will even find a nitro-ice cream lab! We went first thing in the morning around 10am so most vendors were just setting up – highly recommend going for lunch during the week as long as you don’t mind crowds. If you’re on the hunt for the typical “London” souvenirs (i.e. mugs, postcards, magnets, etc.), the street from the Camden tube station leading up to the market is lined with souvenir shops – the most choice and variety I’ve seen around London! Here’s some of my favourite photos – there was so much to capture!
The Harrods Food Hall reminds me of the department stores in Japan! What I loved about them was that each one had a food hall in the basement level of the department store, so full with ready made foods, a bakery, restaurants and food gifts! I could spend hours just roaming the aisles – well, I definitely did that here in Harrods. My favourite room was the bakery and patisserie room – you can’t pass these counters without having at least a look, the rainbow cake was calling me However, if there’s one thing the English do well, its their sausage rolls and pies. I have to admit, whenever I travel to London I grab one of these to go at least two or three times during my visit. There’s something about meat inside buttery pastry/pies that completely satisfies my hunger!
Most of you know that I love grocery shopping! I think it tells so much about a country’s culture. With such a small country like Iceland (population approx. 350,000), it was tough to find items that were actually made in Iceland. Most of the things I found were imported from Copenhagen, which makes sense since the country used to be a colony of Denmark. But below are some shots I took of the gems I found while shopping at Iceland’s grocery stores (Bonus, Kronan and Hagkaup). My favourite item: Skyr! I loved it so much I had it every morning Its Iceland’s equivalent of “greek yogurt” – thick and smooth and comes in a variety of flavours! My favourite was pear! And like in North America with the popularity of yogurt drinks, they also sold a drinkable version. I just love dairy!!!
If you’re a lover of grocery stores like I am, you will love Trader Joe’s! I will admit, I love going to grocery stores and aimlessly walking through aisles especially when I’m on travelling on vacation. There’s so much you can tell about a culture through what is sold in grocery stores! Well, Trader Joe’s is a retail food store that produces and sells its own products – many of which are organic. The store we visited was in Rochester. Its products are very unique, like chocolate covered edamame or chocolate covered frozen bananas. They even had mochi ice cream (a japanese dessert made with ice cream covered by stick rice) and macarons (sold frozen where all you need to do is thaw for 30 minutes and voila, deliciousness!). The best item I discovered: corn and chile salsa! A tomato-less salsa made with corn, chiles, red peppers and coriander seeds – it is so tasty and one of the best salsas I have had in years! I can’t wait until they open in Buffalo!
Over the long weekend, my girlfriends’ and I decided to take a bit of a road trip to upstate New York. We drove from Toronto to Rochester and the region southwest of Rochester called the Finger Lakes! For me, New York always meant New York City and well, I now know better. Places like Ithica, Corning and the Finger Lakes are places with an abundance of hidden gems – national parks, waterfalls, gorges, glass art, vineyards and homemade ice cream! There was so much to discover. And all along the way, I found and picked up some goodies that haven’t made it across to our side of the border – well worth the trip I say!
Its a good thing I have friends who look out for me otherwise I would completely miss awesome events like Cheese Boutique’s 10th Annual Festival of Chefs! What a unique series of events – every weekend in May, the Cheese Boutique hosts a local chef from some of Toronto’s top restaurants who makes a dish inspired by the theme of the day. In addition, a local vineyard is also invited to pair the dish with one of its wines – and this past Saturday it was Hidden Bench from Beamsville and the Chef was Chef Sam Gelman from the infamous Momofuku! And all for $5 that goes towards the Famous PEOPLE Players. Ever since I heard rumours of Momofuku coming to Toronto, I knew I had to add it to my restaurant bucket list – although I did go to Momofuku Milk Bar when I visited New York City last December I haven’t had a chance to dine at Momofuku TO yet so this was my first taste of what I can expect. The steamed bun stuffed with pulled pork shoulder, griller guernsey girl cheese and topped with slices of cucumber – it was absolutely delicious! Steaming the bun gave it a soft and delicate texture and the grilled guernsey girl cheese completely reminded me of the texture and saltiness of saganaki. I did walk around the store afterwards and well, $40 later, I came out with three different cheeses, some pastries and an iced coffee to sip on my way home!
I have this secret love for grocery stores. When I travel, I try to at least visit one grocery store, usually a big chain store because of its category and product selection. I love roaming aimlessly through each lane reading labels and comparing prices – I know, sounds boring but I can spend hours doing this In Toronto, there are a number of different grocery stores, some national chains and others that are ethnic specific. Well recently, my friend I introduced me to one called Starsky. Its an Eastern European grocery store carrying a wide selection of meats, sweets, baked goods, and ready made foods. One of their specialties is cheesecake – slabs and slabs of different cheesecakes, cut to whatever size you want and sold by weight! The two slabs I purchased were approximately $10 each – score! To my surprise, these cheesecakes are light, not too sweet and don’t have a crust. They have so many varieties it becomes hard to choose – I’ve vowed to try a different one each time! The strudels and the Paczki (Polish donuts) were delicious too! I will have to try their deli and meats on my next visit which I hope will be sometime soon
One of my favourite places to go in London is to Borough Market. Some of you may recognize it from the famous movie Bridget Jone’s Diary – Bridget’s flat was located at one of the many entrances to the market but I was first introduced to the famous market in 2006 by G, a good friend who lived in London at the time. And ever since then, I’ve been going back on every visit. Although the market is best known for its fresh produce and farm to table meats I go back for my old favourites like those large, light and sugary meringues or the oversized chocolate brownies. This time around, the weather was a bit chilly and you can’t do better than sipping a hot cup of mulled wine while strolling the market – you’ve got to love London for that! Here are some of my delicious finds…..I can’t wait for my next visit!
It was just past 2pm and we had been on the road for over 2 and a half hours, perfect time for a break to each lunch. Recommended by one of our paddlers on the team, we decided to get off the highway and head into downtown Kingston to Pan Chancho Bakery and Cafe. Its a store, cafe and restaurant with a great patio out back all in one! As you enter, you are greeted by a smorgasbord of homemade bread, baked goods, desserts and ready-made dishes. We decided to sit outside on the “home-y” patio to take in the great weather to enjoy our meal. Looking at the menu the Tarta de Espanol jumped out at me – how can you turn down tomato, fennel and manchego cheese wrapped in pastry! It was delicious, flakey and so savoury! I couldn’t resist but buy a a double chocolate cookie on the way out for a little snack later! If you’re ever in the Kingston area, I highly recommend a stop at Pan Chancho, even if its for a loaf of bread!