Food, Glorious Food

April 5, 2010

This post originally appeared in my old blog,

We both love food. A bit too much sometimes… portion control is not our forte, but we are definitely one of those families who eat for pleasure rather than just nutrition. Every meal in our house is thought about and cooked with love for maximum taste – 90% of the time we make our scrambled eggs with double cream (naughty but so good) and stacks of black pepper and they’re always served with toast made from homemade bread. Our love of food is one thing I’m really looking forward to passing onto our kids.

Naturally, eating out is one of our favourite hobbies and one we indulged in a couple of times a week B.C. (before conception). These days not so much – for one thing I’m knackered in the evenings and would rather slump in front of the TV with a plate of home made grub and for another, we stay away from restaurants in the name of money saving. However, I’ve been advised by goodness knows how many mums to eat out as much as possible before baby comes as it won’t be so easy to do afterwards.

One massively memorable meal that will stay with me for a long time is when we went to L’atelier de Joel Robuchon, I was 8 weeks pregnant. It was a Friday night, my fatigue and sickness was unreal, but we had a friend over from Denmark who wanted to treat us and hello – 3 Michelin Stars! I would have crawled there if necessary (thankfully, it wasn’t, but it was a close call at times). I’m glad I went as I got to sample some truly marvellous food; quail with the tiniest taste of fois gras, pig trotter on parmesan toast, lamb cutlets and Robuchon’s famed truffle creamed potatoes. However, my stomach did not enjoy the experience having been fed nothing richer than plain pasta for the previous three weeks, and MAN was I jealous of the boys’ wine.

Then there was Nobu on New Year’s Eve where again I had to make an effort to keep my eyes open at the dinner table (I was home and in bed by 12.30am) and spent the day Googling ‘can pregnant women eat sushi’. Yes they can! But only a very small amount of tuna (mercury can be a risk).


When I got my appetite back it was the biggest relief – not being able to enjoy food was really one of the worst things that could have happened to me. I still get a bit sore that I don’t get to sip more than one small glass of wine, but that won’t be forever. For now, I’m happy to try and sample some more restaurants.

Last week I had the big treat of dining out with the wonderfully hilarious NotesToSelf . I realised shortly before meeting her that I barely visit restaurants without Will, so I really enjoyed some girl time and pregnancy gossip.

This Saturday I visited Jamie’s Italian at Canary Wharf with my three sister-in-laws and Will. I would recommend it to anyone; I was worried it might not compare favourably to Pizza East (which I love), but the food was surprisingly very different. Rustic, as Pizza East is, but in a different way. The pasta is all made on-site (I had wild mushroom, delicious) and their crispy squid flavoured with fennel seeds is to die for. I thought their Italian meat selection was really good value (though I couldn’t eat much of it, or the lovely looking buffalo mozarella) and their risotta balls… mmmmm.

When Baby H arrives I think it’ll be a challenge for us to dine anywhere other than home (or maybe Pizza Express) for a while so we really need to make the most of London’s restaurants in the next couple of months. I’d like to try:

– Caravan, Exmouth Market – this place had had such a great reception from the food blogging community, I really need to try it.
– Saf – I want to take some veggie friends of ours to this botanical restaurant.
Centrepoint Sushi – I LOVE this place. Love love love.
Hix Oyster and Chop House– I’ve never eaten here but always wanted to, it’s right next door to Will’s office.
32 Great Queen Street – we met friends here for drinks here a couple of weeks ago and the food looks awesome. This great review from London Eater clinched it.

My mouth is watering already….

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  • Reply Me , The Man & The Baby April 5, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    Oh how I miss going out for meals! *sigh!

    • Reply aliceharold April 6, 2010 at 11:47 am

      Right, I will count this as another vote to get out and eat at restaurants before baby comes ;)

  • Reply notesredshoes April 5, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    wonderfully hilarious – wow, that makes me smile :-)
    it was a wonder dinner!
    Just had brunch at caravan … the corn bread french toast is great, but hubbie had the salt beef fritters – to die for. Hey we should do brunch one weekend – the four of us.
    I can highly recommend lunch at Hix Soho.
    My new personal fave –

    • Reply aliceharold April 6, 2010 at 11:46 am

      It was brilliant – I haven't cackled that much in ages!

      Brunch sounds like a fab idea, I'm really eager to try Caravan.

      I haven't been to Yauatcha yet but my colleague has been raving about it – putting it on my 'To Eat' list! xx

  • Reply mummy bear April 7, 2010 at 10:16 am

    Wow! Some gastronomic meccas there! We used to go out for inner all of the time. Not anymore – I can count on one hand how many meals out we have had since Little Miss go out for breakfast rather than dinner…I love it as she comes along too!

  • Reply Katie April 8, 2010 at 11:06 am

    Another +1 for brunch at caravan, it's so good and the coffee is amazing (they roast it themselves in the basement!)

    Saf is brill, too.

    • Reply aliceharold April 14, 2010 at 11:01 am

      Ahh I love places that roast their own coffee!

  • Reply Muddling Along Mummy April 9, 2010 at 9:03 am

    I had a wonderful lunch at L'Atelier, horribly expensive but utterly divine

    Have you tried St John? And Vivat Bacchus?

    Also afterwards you will get nights out and trust me, they're even better when you have them less frequently – get a good sitter and get your baby used to them so you can head off and enjoy

    • Reply aliceharold April 14, 2010 at 11:01 am

      I have never been to the St John – I keep meaning to go for the snout-to-tail experience but I'm just not brave enough! I actually ate at Vivat Bacchus not long ago and was impressed, I enjoyed their cheese room (and snuck a couple of tastes of some amaaazing stilton). They had a couple of great TopTable offers on recently.

      • Reply Muddling Along Mummy April 14, 2010 at 11:14 am

        St John usually has a wimp option although interestingly I'd heard that the chap who ran it has moved onto somewhere called Hereford St, also supposed to be good

        Love love love the cheese room at Vivat Bacchus

  • Reply Metropolitan Mum April 16, 2010 at 11:46 am

    It's only now that we started going out again. In the beginning, it wasn't only highly impractical (never been a fan of pumping breast milk), but also didn't we WANT to go out. So don't worry about that too much. There is a time for everything. xx D

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