Summer’s Outdoor Drinking at The Filling Station (KXFS)

The Filling Station, just off York Way

Regent’s Canal and the duck made out of plastic rubbish

I’m sure like many Londoners I’m more excited about the sudden return of summer, rather than the start of the Olympics at the end of this week.

I can already feel myself silently judging the increase of tourists on the tube and their strange ways. Never stranger than when they start asking for directions and talking to people they have never met before on the tube. People talking to each other on the tube? WHAT?!

But in a bid to avoid the newly mass crowds surrounding Oxford Circus, Leicester Square and pretty much anywhere Central… I have been sticking to hidden gems that only the in-the-know Londoners know about.

That’s why when my best friend told me about a secret, practically empty, pop-up bar and restaurant next to Regent’s Canal in an ex-petrol station, I insisted that we had to go that very night.

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Best Places for Dessert in London

The Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich from Spuntino, 61 Rupert Street, nearest tube: Leicester Sq.

Dessert is definitely my favourite part of a meal and sometimes, my only part. I’m a firm believer in never eating too much so that you’re too full for dessert. As many of the great restaurants in London often have their dessert menus over-looked by about to burst customers, I’m going to share with you which restaurants have the best desserts I’ve tried.

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Primrose Bakery – Kind of Overrated

Image from Lyn Harris's Little Black Book

If you love to bake and enjoy looking at new cookbooks in bookshops, you have probably heard of or come across the Primrose Bakery cookbook. In London you don’t even have to be in a bookshop to find it, they now sell it in Urban Outfitters. Imagine my disappointment to finally try a cupcake from this famous bakery, when after traipsing through the residential side of Primrose Hill, in reality it didn’t live up to the hype.

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Decorating Cupcakes Somewhere in Zone 4

At GCSE I was lucky enough to go to a school that allowed me to take the easiest course known to man, Food Technology. For my year 11 final project I spent my last term baking a cake every week and then spending two hours decorating it. My theme was birthdays and my biggest achievement was making a farm themed birthday cake (because every little kid who lives in the countryside I’m sure would love a farm cake). I made mini sheep out of icing, I created a tiny duck pond with miniature ducks made out of icing, I made lily pads to decorate the pond, I made a fence out of matchmakers… I basically did everything I could to make this out of touch birthday cake work.

Food Technology was more stressful than I imagined it would be. All of that decorating and precision took so much time and effort and I grew to really detest piping icing.

Now in my second year of university, I have rekindled my love for decorated cakes. Mostly cupcakes and mostly eating them, not making them. But as a present my mum enrolled me on a cupcake-decorating course that she found on groupon. I was extremely excited.

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Latte at Lanka

Image from laissez fare wordpress

Lanka is a Japanese café and coffee shop near Primrose Hill, on Regent’s Park Road. It has a stylish interior, with a brick wall and bar for customers to sit at, including bamboo placemats that give the café an authentic Japanese feel. Japanese gourmet chef Masayuki Hara owns Lanka. I saw Hara today walking around the café chatting to customers about new cakes that he was making, he seems like a chatty guy but as it was my first time and I knew nothing of his food, I just watched in awe as regular customers made friendly comments about his past cakes and creations. Continue reading