October 2018. End of my second trip to the UK.
But I knew that fun was over and the next few days were for work so I didn’t have much time to visit London again.
And that was a shame because the weather was just perfect.
The day I got into London from Birmingham by train I spent half of the day in a t-shirt. That’s how good it was and I think that when you have London and great weather it is just amazing.
Even though I did not have time to visit again that much I still had to eat and because work meant 08:45 to 17:30 i just wanted some things close to my hotel.
I was accommodated again at Novotel but unlike 2017 i was a bit upset with the hotel’s offer.
500 pounds for 3 nights and breakfast is not included? It doesn’t even matter who booked the room, who chose it, the offer, etc. When you book at this price, more even being a business hotel, it should have breakfast included.
Frankly I don’t know if I will return here in 2019 because even if I am accustomed to the obscene prices in London I still find some things too much.
Since I wanted things close to home most of the places I will review here are in the Hammersmith area.
It is not touristic, I don’t think there is something great to be seen here but business is made here so if you are ever in the area for work or you see these places in other parts of the town it can help you.
In today’s post I will talk about:
- Bill’s Hammersmith restaurant
- Slug and Letuce
- Green leaf café
Before starting I must tell you that I ate 3 times at Nando’s and one time each at the other locations.
The third meal I had at Nando’s was in the airport before going home while I was looking for a Burger King.
At this point I have a confession to make. Regardless where I am going when I wait for my return trip home I eat from Burger King.
Always. If it is available in the airport.
And that’s not a crazy ritual or something. I really enjoy Burger King but only when I’m on airports.
I ate in Barcelona, in London, in Bangkok, in Valencia and I guess I will keep eating it whenever I can.
While the rest of the year I am trying to eat healthy and be conscious about my food choices I let myself indulge in 2 things while travelling:
- I always eat local foods. Be it fried, greasy, etc. If it is local, I’m game.
- I have my little farewell meal at Burger King(if I can)
So back to the article I will start with Nando’s since I ate there a few times then focus on a great place for breakfast and give you some basic info about two other places.
Nando’s is a chain of restaurants with locations in many countries. They are Portuguese I think and you can think of them as a fast food restaurant but not in the way you think of McDonalds or Burger King.
To my delight Nando’s offers healthy, normal things cooked fast. While eating at the Hammersmith location I often saw people coming from the gym and ordering chicken and potatoes or chicken and veggies so it really caters for many people.
If it is one thing they are famous for then that thing is surely the Peri Peri chicken.
I ate the same thing over and over again while changing or adding salads or potatoes and trust me. This is one chicken I would eat each day.
The simplest meal I had at Nando’s consisted of the butterfly chicken breast, sweet potato and butternut and a bottle of water and costed 13.70 pounds. Adding some mash and olives put my bill at 18.56 while the third time in the airport I paid around 18-19 pounds for the meal (forgot to write it down at that time and so I don’t know for sure).
Nando’s works like this. You enter the place, you are led to a table and given a number (table number). After studying the menu you go to the counter, order, pay and the staff will bring the food to your table.
Nothing fancy, nothing extravagant. Simple yet delicious.
You pick the sauces, plate and knives and forks from a big table then you eat.
The sauces come into different intensities depending on how much hot you can take.
I think I tried medium and it was really lovely. Not sweet, not overly hot, it really added to the chicken’s texture instead of burying it under a wave of hotness.
By looking at the menu from Nando’s UK site you can see that food is actually healthy combining many flavors, meats, vegetables and different sauces to create unique tasting experiences.
Chicken reigns supreme but there are so many vegetarian options available also so you can get something to eat regardless if you enjoy meat or no.
While this is not your traditional restaurant where your order is taken at the table this place really has something good.
Food and great prices.
The food is clean, fresh, it tastes great. It has no intention of being high cuisine but instead focuses on food from around the world made in a delicious way.
The prices are great also and the portions are very OK.
I had my fill with the first basic meal I took and on the other times I just wanted to taste extra things.
So in my opinion Nando’s do really deserve a visit and yes, it can offer so much more than your regular fast food joints.
Moving forward with the article I will tell you about a special breakfast place.
It was my second day at work and it was beautiful outside. Really beautiful. At 8 in the morning I had only a t-shirt on me and a little jersey and I felt hot.
And I wanted to eat somewhere nice before moving to work.
So luck has it I found this place.
The place looks extremely well inside and the little terrace outside is just great for wonderful days like that morning in October.
I was able to sit and relax and enjoy a great breakfast while enjoying the morning’s sun and I recommend that if you are ever in that area to try it as well.
One garden breakfast, a stack of 3 pancakes, water and a small espresso took 23.70 pounds and I can say that here I find the price justified.
I loved what I ate and even though it wasn’t English breakfast or had meat in it, it was absolutely delicious.
I truly think that all the rest of the dishes are just as great and that makes Bill’s Restaurant a must visit especially if you are in the area.
Trust me when I say this. I would love to be there from time to time and enjoy the pancakes, sip on that espresso and just stretch in the sun.
The espresso is good also even if it doesn’t taste like my favorite espresso ever, it still is great.
The staff is also really nice and helpful and just a pleasure to interact with.
Based on my experience with this place I highly recommend trying it especially if you are in London for work.
Having these two places put in order I will write a bit about two other places I tried during my London working days.
First place I tried when arriving in London was Slug and Lettuce on Regent Street.
After dropping my bag at the hotel I got out fast, taking my camera bag with me.
15 kilometers later, after a lot of walking I reached Regent Street and since I was hungry and it was like 16:00 hours and I had nothing to eat all day I stopped at the Slug and Lettuce.
Slug and Lettuce is also a chain of restaurants and I’ve seen it in Birmingham while I was there but I wanted to try different places that proved delicious in the end.
The interior is nice. Really nice with a special small pub atmosphere. At least that was how it felt in London’s restaurant.
The staff is nice and smiling so I have nothing bad to say here.
For food I had a chicken pie, brownie bites and water and that took 16.5 pounds out of my pocket.
You’ll still enjoy it and find it an OK pie but I had better.
The brownie bites were decent too so I can’t really fault the food.
If you want something quick, decent and with an OK price this place will serve you.
Being so centrally located (Regent Street) I would have expected bigger prices but in the end I was satisfied with the price.
The final place in this review is a small place called Green Leaf Café in Hammersmith.
One day on lunch break I just wanted a quick bite to grab and walking down the street I saw this little place and decided to stop.
I was tired of trying new places and a bit bored after 2 weeks so I just entered the first place I saw.
The space is really small with only 2 tables outside and 2 small tables inside.
It is, from what I saw, based on humus, falafels, shish, minced meat but I am a huge fan of Turkish, Lebanese food so I knew this place was for me.
You order things from the small glass window and have them cooked or heated before serving.
I chose a big falafel and a double shish spicy minced lamb plus a San Pellegrino and that costed me 14 pounds.
The food is decent and I have nothing to complain about. I wasn’t looking for a fabulous dish but just something to keep me satisfied until that night’s flight home.
If you are in the area working and looking for a quick bite you might try this place.
And we came at the end!
I don’t know what 2019 will bring and if I will reach London again this year. I think I spent 2 months in the city during all these years and I still enjoy it very much.
I think that series deserve a proper finish and I will try to post it as soon as possible.