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Flat Iron in London

Flat Iron

It was lunch time in Covent Garden and we were hungry. We nearly went to an All Bar One for old time’s sake, until we spotted a man butchering a huge piece of meat in the window of another restaurant: Flat Iron.

Amidst so many tourist traps, this place was a gem and really the best lunch experience we had in London – very reasonably priced (£10 for the whole shebang), awesome customer service and a unique dining experience. Beef dripping popcorn to start, flat iron steak as the main event (with horseradish because that’s the way I roll) and salted caramel ice cream, rolled in chocolate, scooped on your way out. Small menu so they know what to do and do it well. It was a well-rehearsed dance that was smooth and effortless from start to finish.

Plus, they were very cool with our kids. My son ordered the burger, which was massive and decadent (probably would order without the béarnaise sauce for kids’ next time, but I took a couple of bites and loved it). An ooey, gooey masterpiece.

Flat Iron

Flat Iron

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Dining at The Spotted Pig

Spotted Pig

I’ve been wanting to eat at the Spotted Pig in NYC for quite awhile.

With British chef April Bloomfield at the helm, it has reached legendary status among celebrities and foodies alike and has shown the world over that British food can be tasty.

Taylor Swift and Calvin Harris eat at Spotted Pig

Taylor Swift and Calvin Harris eat at the Spotted Pig.

We came for dinner on Friday night around 7 p.m. and were told that it was a two to two-and-a-half hour wait. There don’t take reservations – ever. Only the opportunity to leave your cell number and, of course, there’s this great big beautiful city to browse while you are waiting.

We had a drink at the White Horse Tavern, which was nearby, and best known for being Dylan Thomas’s favorite watering hole (along with many other writers like Hunter S. Thompson, Jack Kerouac, James Baldwin, and the list goes on. It was a cash-only bar and felt like your average local pub in Britain.

Then we just took a stroll, making stops at Goorin Bros. Hat Shop and Sockerbit Swedish sweet shop, where we bought one of these for the holidays:

Swedish trolls

These gnomes are not edible.

It wasn’t until about 10 p.m. that they called our name. Score!

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National Curry Week!

curry

Today marks the beginning of a yummy week – National Curry Week! Check out TripAdvisor.com’s roundup of best curry restaurants in the U.K.

Personally, the best curry I ever had was in Bradford, England over 15 years ago! It was a little spot called The Kashmir, but remember it being a revelation of the tastebuds (and it was cheap as chips)!

What’s the best curry you’ve ever had?

The best fish and chips in London

Fish and chips at Masters Super Fish

We stumbled upon a truly excellent fish and chips shop on our last trip to London and I have to share … Masters Super Fish on Waterloo Road. It’s not much to look at – a simple hole in the wall that is reputed to be a favorite among black cab drivers. In fact, when we were there, we did see quite a few!

But we were there to get our fish and chips fix, not for the ambiance. We had met up with my sister-in-law for a tour of Parliament, followed by a trip on the London Eye earlier in the day. It was the logical next step.

Whitebait and onion rings

We started with some whitebait (not for me!) and onion rings. The kids enjoyed the look of the whitebait and my son enjoyed eating it!

But the best bit was their fish and chips, which were accompanied by white bread, prawns and a pickle. I ordered the haddock and it was the best British fish and chips I’ve had in years. Great batter, fresh fish, enormous portions, good price. We will be back!

Masters Super Fish, 191 Waterloo Road, Southwark, London. SE1 8UX. 020 7928 6924

Anniversary dinner at Ode

Ode

Interior of Ode

One of the highlights of our recent trip to England was celebrating our 14th wedding anniversary at Ode in Shaldon, which has been named UK’s most sustainable restaurant by the Sustainable Restaurant Association.

The food was absolutely amazing, delicious, fresh and exciting from beginning to end. Service was friendly and helpful (owner Tim Bouget was lovely!). And all of this for a great price! Our wedding anniversary fell on a Wednesday and Ode features a reduced price menu on Wednesdays: three courses for 29 pounds! We added a couple of glasses of kir royale to start and a very pleasant French white wine to accompany our main courses.

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Ode to another Ode

Cafe Ode

Last year, I blogged about Ode in Shaldon, a gorgeous little seaside restaurant in Devon, which was named Sustainable Restaurant of the Year.

Nearly one year later and I’ve learned that they have since opened a sister restaurant, Cafe Ode, which received the Sustainable Restaurant of the Year award last November. The new(ish) spot has a nice casual feel, with the same fresh and unfussy approach to cooking. One feature that sounds delish is their Friday Fish Supper, a three-course meal that changes weekly (think mussels with cider cream sauce,  beer-battered, line-caught pollack and fries and coffee-burnt Devon cream as an example).

Congrats to chef-proprietor Tim Bouget for another worthy eating destination for us on our next trip to the West Country!