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This post originally appeared in my old blog, www.the-alice.co.uk
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….