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London Food Trip 2016: From Afternoon Tea In The Palace to Street Food Market

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Usually, when we traveled, we didn’t bother of what to eat and where to eat. As long as our lil boy seemed to like it, then we just ate at the first place that we saw whenever we felt hungry. Did we read reviews? Nope. Did we search for recommendations? Never. And we never wanted to queue…………….we would just go to the next one with the shortest queue or no queue at all because lil boy because our lil boy would be very cranky if we had to queue for a long time. Did we even bother how the food would taste? Hmmm……………not really. Like I said before, as long as the lil boy approved of the choice of food and agreed to eat in one specific place, we just popped in to the restaurant immediately before he changed his mind. Yes, back then he was such a picky and fussy eater and didn’t like to sit down and eat during our travel. Meal time was quite stressful for us whenever we traveled.

As he grew older and bigger, the pattern started to change when we traveled to Sydney. I wrote in my post that I was amazed that he finally wanted to try and like certain food that he never even wanted to try before, and he ate a lot which made me very happy. The point is, he started to like food and enjoy eating……………..and that made traveling a lot easier for us since then.

Before we went to London, I briefed him that he probably wouldn’t be able to eat the food that he usually eats daily at at his hometown. Most of the time we would eat bread and not rice, do not expect to find fries, nuggets and crispy fish easily like in Australia (I told him this also because I wanted him to eat different kind of food instead of just looking for nuggets or fish and chips, and so that we would have healthier choice of food). He said he was okay and looked excited. I was surprised.

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Although we planned to eat healthy food during the trip, but we couldn’t resist the temptation of the pizza which was sold just outside the tube station, hahaha……………. and the pizza was so huge (big, thick, but crispy). Well, basically we could just buy and eat anything that we found when we were hungry

 

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We loved pepperoni pizza in oval shape and it was different than what we usually had

One of the thing that I wanted to visit during our London trip was Borough Market, which basically was a food market. There would only be food and food everywhere we looked around. Many people recommended this place and it had very good reviews. When I told him about this, he was very excited and said that he wanted to go there. Wow…………….was this really serious? Would I finally be able to embark on a culinary journey  during one of our trip. Okay, this was too much and too exaggerating, hahaha……….., but it was something that I would never have imagined before to do with this boy remembering how hard we struggled everytime meal time came. So yes, I was very happy and excited, especially as he was the one who always remind me to put our visit to Borough Market to our itineraries. He also read reviews, recommendations, and also watched videos about this food market and decided what he wanted to eat). So checked, Borough Market was on list.

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Must have item in Borough Market: bread stick with cheese and olive. In fact, this was one of the main reason why the boy wanted to visit this market: because he loved cheese bread stick so much………….

Besides visiting Borough Market, one other thing that we wanted to do was to have a proper English Afternoon Tea like in the story books or in the movies. Although the plan was cancelled several times because of time limitation, we finally determined to do it before we went to Windsor the following day.

A real English afternoon tea

One of our bucket list: enjoying a real English afternoon tea

An afternoon tea in a restaurant wasn’t going to be cheap, so I wanted something different than to just picked any restaurants or places that served afternoon tea. After some considerations, my choice was The Orangery which located in the Kensington Palace gardens. I though it would be nice to finally experience an afternoon tea in such a beautiful place surrounded by pretty garden, and not in the middle of the busy city.

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A lonely Christmas tree in Kensington Palace Garden

The Orangery

The nearest tube station was High Street Kensington, but expect to walk at least 30 minutes from the tube station, but the walk itself was so much fun and I enjoyed looking around busy streets with crowded shops and restaurants everywhere and also people who were busy doing their Christmas shopping, and then suddenly, we crossed the street and came into a quiet and beautiful palace and gardens.

Kensington Palace was the place where Prince George lived. Since I adored this cute little boy so much, it was so excited to catch a glimpse of the place where he lived, hahaha…………

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Kensington Garden

The restaurant was at the very back of Kensington Garden, so we had to walk through secret gardens and the palace itself. You will need to pay to see what’s inside of the palace, and we would love too, but unfortunately we had very little time for our lunch and afternoon tea because we still had other places to go.

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There was another eating place inside the palace. The nearest toilets were also inside here.

According to its website, The Orangery is a relaxed and elegant setting for breakfast or lunch and the only royal palace in London where you can enjoy a traditional afternoon tea. It is surrounded by beautiful formal gardens in the grounds of Kensington Palace. The Orangery was once the setting for Queen Anne’s sophisticated court entertainment and its soaring ceilings and classical 18th century architecture are a magnificent backdrop
for the restaurant’s simple and honest menu of delicious English dishes.

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The secret garden behind big trees, and nope…………..we were not allowed to the garden, we could only see it from outside, but it was beautiful and the squirrel was also tamed

 

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The Orangery

We were greeted by one of the staff, and that particular staff would be the one serving and helping us throughout during our lunch or afternoon tea (but we could always ask help from another staff and they were all polite, friendly, and helpful). I assumed that we were the only tourist in the restaurant because everyone else enjoyed their food quietly and didn’t bother to even take pictures, so I was the only one who didn’t stop to take pictures that afternoon, hahaha…………….and then the staff offered help to take our pictures together (and she did it twice because she said the first one was not good enough).

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It was a very formal seating and everyone was very quiet, so my husband said even though the food was good, but it was too formal and quiet for him, hahaha……………….

Daddy ordered lunch while the boy and I, we both wanted to try the afternoon tea. By the way, this restaurant also had smaller set of afternoon tea for kids, we ordered the kids’ version one for the boy. The lunch set came with bread and butter in a small plate, and we loved the bread so much. Daddy and I are not bread lovers (it’s very rare that we will have bread, only once every few months, so you can see that we both don’t really like to eat bread), but we just loved all the bread and croissant that we had in London. They tasted different and so much better than what we usually had. Our favorite were the plain ones: plain bread and plain croissant. They were so delicious and the best ones that we ever had.

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Bread and butter, and the bread was soooo…………….good

 

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Lunch menu: Crispy Gressingham duck leg confit, potato puree, sautéed greens and port jus for £15.00

 

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The duck was crispy on the outside but soft and juicy (not dry) in the inside. Daddy said everything was perfect and balance, although I didn’t really like the gravy because it was too sweet for me

Then came our afternoon tea set: normal set for me and kids set for the boy. I chose earl grey tea while the boy chose…………………………………….orange juice……………….hahahaha…………………he didn’t really like tea but thankfully the kids set came with choices of juice.

A happy boy with his orange juice

A happy boy with his orange juice

By the way, I just loved the plates and the teacups  that they used to serve bread and tea because they were just so beautiful. Look at the pattern in the above picture, even I would like to have the same plates and cups at home.

A pot of tea was served with rock sugar

A pot of tea was served with rock sugar. In restaurants, tea was served with small brown and white rock sugar, and they were my favorite. It tasted different that the one that I usually bought. Unfortunately, I really forgot to at least buy one to bring home

An afternoon tea in the palace………………drink like a royal family, hahaha……………

 

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Our drinks: a cup of tea, orange juice, and ice lemon tea

 

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Our afternoon tea came in 3 tier cake stand

 

Afternoon tea children set

Afternoon tea children set

 

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Normal set vs children set: with a selection of sweet cake, savory sandwich, and scones

 

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The sweet selection: it was too sweet for me

The actual reason why we were here was because the boy had been wanted to try scones with cream and strawberry jam. Not just any scones, but English scones, just like the children in Enid Blyton’s book had for their afternoon tea. He was curious of how it would taste, because scones were the Five Find Outers, The Secret Seven, and other kids favorite in the Enid Blyton’s mysteries books, so he had been craving for this cake for so long…………..and finally, here are the scones complete with English cream and English strawberry jam:

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Orange-scented and currant scones served with Cornish clotted cream and English strawberry jam

 

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This is how you eat it: cut the cake in two, then spread cream in one side and strawberry jam in the other side

 

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Voila…………..

How did the boy like it? Well, it turned out that he didn’t like it that much, hahaha…………..although he could finish 2 scones, but I loved the strawberry jam so much, it was very different that what I had known before. If I were a bread lover, I would certainly buy one jar and brought it home with me.

From the last plate, here are the selection of sandwich:

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A selection of afternoon tea sandwiches: Egg mayonnaise and cress, smoked salmon and cream cheese; Coronation chicken, roast ham and English mustard sandwich; cucumber and fresh mint

The afternoon tea was £27.50 per person and cheaper for the kids afternoon tea, but I don’t remember how much the price was. Overall, it was a very nice experience and hopefully won’t be one in a lifetime, hahaha…………because we really want to come back again to London one day.

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The Orangery Restaurant in the background

There are many restaurants, hotels and cafes that serve afternoon tea in London, so you can choose the one that suits your budget. By the way, we didn’t have to make reservations, and that was a plus point for us since we didn’t know where we would have available time to visit the restaurant.

Saved by “Wasabi”

 

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During our trip, we usually left the hotel very early in the morning and came back late at night. So, as you can imagine, we were very tired at the end of the day. Most of the time, we preferred to buy take away food and ate at the hotel. The boy was the one who always refused to have dinner outside and he always said to bring the dinner back to the hotel. He would take a bath, changed into his pajamas, and enjoyed his dinner on the bed (the hotel room was so small that there wasn’t enough space for one person to sit on the floor) in front of the TV. It was so relaxing to finally sit or lay down on the bed.

There was one restaurant near the hotel that we liked because it served rice and noodles, hahaha……………..very simple reason but it was also the main reason.  The name of the restaurant was Wasabi and it served Japanese food. Wasabi could easily be found in many places around London too. The restaurant already packaged the food so it was very easy for us to take away.

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Choices of food

We just had to choose the food from the shelves and brought it to the cashier. We could either ate there or takeaway the food, which was very convenient and also very fast. At least, we didn’t have to wait for the food to be cooked and packaged which could take a long time.

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Wasabi served rice, noodles, sushi, salad, and even soup

We liked it also because the food was also hot and  fresh, but also sold out very quickly. If we came late, some of the items were already gone, especially this one:

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One of the best noodle soup in a cup. When we bought it, the staff would put it in the microwave for few minutes and it was still piping hot when we ate 15 minutes later

Although we liked the noodle soup so much, we could only buy the soup 1 time, while the rest of the nights, it was always sold out every time we came. So, this restaurant really saved our nights when we were too tired to eat outside. It was so easy and fast to pick whatever we wanted and bring it back to the hotel immediately. There were many varieties of the food so we didn’t have to have the same dinner everytime.

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2 types of kakiage

There were also side dishes too like gyoza or chicken karaage which the boy loved so much (but these two were also sold out very quickly).

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Dinner on the bed as the table

 

On the sixth day of our trip, daddy accidentally found a Chinese Food Restaurant (it was still walking distance from the hotel but it was located on the other side, so we never would never see it unless we walked on the different direction). Of course, we were so happy……………………….and so we had this for 2 days in row. The fried rice was good (it contained pork I guess so that was why it was so good). Unfortunately, it didn’t sell white steam rice, so it was very weird to not eat kungpao chicken with white rice. The corn soup was too sweet in my liking but the boy finished one whole bowl by himself.

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Sanbao Chinese Restaurant Hammersmith. Right picture: kungpao chicken (which was also too sweet according to us) and fried rice were not good combinations

 

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Corn Soup with seafood, pork, and chicken fried rice

 

Fast Food, Anyone…………….?

Although we tried to avoid fast food, but sometimes it was inevitable that sometimes (only two times actually), we had to end up in one of the famous fast food chain restaurants like KFC or McDonald’s. Most restaurants closed early on Saturday night, so on the first day of out trip where we slept until 9 pm, it was very difficult to find dinner although we were very hungry, until we saw KFC as one of the restaurant that was still opened that night……………..and so we ended up in KFC

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KFC Hammersmith……………….we didn’t really like it, KFC in Indonesia and Singapore were better in taste

Other time, when we were exploring around Big Ben and London Eye at night, as far as we could see, we could only find McDonald’s, and it was very crowded with very long queue. I guess everyone was hungry because it was already past dinner time and it was very cold. So, we followed the crowd and queued for chicken and fries.

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McDonald’s in front of London Eye

 

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The chicken was surprisingly good

 

Oh Cakes, The Delicious Cakes……………..

While we were there, the boy also said several times that he wanted to try macaroons. Thankfully, we found it in a patisserie near our hotel. So one night, we stopped there to buy some snacks for the boy and we ended up buying macaroons and cheesecake.

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Patisserie Valerie Hammersmith

For the cakes, it was cheaper to takeaway the cakes than eating them at the restaurant.

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Yummmm……………..delicious cakes…………..

Everyday during our trip, we we wanted to go to the tube station, we always passed by this patisserie and we loved to see all the beautiful cakes in the display shelves. Very often we stopped for a while just to see all the pretty cakes, although we didn’t buy them (daddy was not allowed to eat sweet things and thankfully, I could still manage my diet although I loved cakes so much). So, we finally only bought macaroons (twice) and cheesecake for the boy.

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Chocolate cakes, cheese cakes, tiramisu, fruit cakes, fruit scones………………….yes, I would love to try everything but fortunately I still remembered that I had to loose some kilos of my weight, hahaha……………..

 

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The colorful macaroons

 

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Love at first taste……………..

 

Speaking of sweet treats, it was also the first time for the boy to try Spanish Churros in Hyde Park Winter Wonderland food market and he liked it so much that now he’s craving for this again in Singapore, hahaha………….

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Spanish Churros and Belgian Waffle

I don’t know since when that he starts to like eating sweet food like this (we had the churros with melted chocolate and it was too sweet for me but the boy said he loved it). He didn’t like anything sweet back then when he was younger, so it’s always surprising to see new things that he likes nowadays.

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Churros with chocolate

 

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Yummy hot churros in a freezing cold night

 

Borough Market

While we were in London, we also didn’t miss the opportunity to visit Borough Market, as one of the famous street food market in London. There were other markets too, but we only chose the one which only sell food and not other things. The nearest tube station from Borough Market was London Bridge, and it was a  walking distance from the station to the market.

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Borough Market was across the street. It was actually the back side and not the front side

We definitely loved Borough Market, and we even planned to come back here the next day after our first visit, but unfortunately we didn’t have enough time. For opening times, you can check in Borough Market Website. When we came, it wasn’t full market day, so some of the food stalls were closed, but on the positive side, it wasn’t very crowded either.

Besides ready to eat food and beverages like bread, sausages, sweets, pasta, cheese, ice cream, and fruit juice, this market also sold fresh food like fruits, vegetables, and seafood. Here are some of the things that i captured with my camera:

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Fresh seafood: fish, crabs, lobsters, oysters………………

 

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Fresh fruit juice

 

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Fruits and vegetables

 

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The boy was going to smell truffles

 

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And……………..the smell was terrible according to him, hahaha…………

Since we were so hungry but wanted to try several things, we decided to order small portions and shared the food. The first one that caught our attention was the long queue at a Chinese food restaurant, so we decided to also try the food here (because long queue means good food, right?).

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Wok It Restaurant…………………the queue was getting longer after we ordered our food

 

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What combination do you want?

 

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We chose one portion with noodles and another one with rice

 

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Free hot tea……………

 

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Fried rice with and fried noodle, one with teriyaki sauce and the other with hoisin sauce

 

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Look who were so hungry……………..

After that, the boy asked for ice cream……………..like seriously??? who would eat ice cream in such a cold day like that except him? And indeed, he was the only customer in the ice cream shop, hahaha…………….

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He ordered his favorite vanilla ice cream

 

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The seller also sold cheese

 

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Vanilla ice cream

While daddy was queuing to order our next food, I looked around to take some pictures of the market (and as usual, I was the only one who were busy taking pictures inside the market……………..until I found one gentleman who did the same thing as me and it was like having a new friend, hahaha………..)

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Turkish delight

 

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ATM booth inside a telephone booth

 

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Argentinian food

 

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Fresh oysters and there were many people who were waiting to be served, although I didn’t know what was so good about eating oysters alive……….

 

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Anyone needs a reference of how to cook your pasta?

So, what did we have next? Well, we saw people queuing for this, and so we did the same……………

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Now, this is what I call real street food…………..

 

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One Cajun Fish please……………..

 

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And……………….the boy didn’t like it. If we knew he wasn’t gonna like it, we would have ordered it spicy

 

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It was more like kebab to me

Last stop was the Fish Kitchen which served fish and chips, and since we were quite dull at that time, we just ordered the fries, and we got 1 box full of fries (really big portion)for only £2.5. Even one portion of fish and chips only cost £10.5 and we would get 2 big fried fish and a lot of fries.

 

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Recommended to try……………….the items that you’ll get is worth the price

 

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Hot fried crispy fish

 

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Wow……………there was a lot of fries

 

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Let’s share…………………behind them were Indian Food and German Food

 

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We loved the fries, they really taste good (big and thick but crispy)

Well, that was our adventure in Borough Market, and to close the post about one of our favorite places, this is the picture of Christmas decorations inside  Borough Market:

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The market was ready to celebrate Christmas

That will be the end of my post about our food trip in London. Well, there are still other things too, like our (the boy and I) favorite Japanese ramen and we loved it so much that we ate it twice, and then we also finally ate fish and chips (twice and in different places), but I will only write about them all in my future posts.

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Author: cruiseoflife

Hi there. I'm from Indonesia but now live quite far away from my home country. I love cooking for my family. I learned how to cook for the first time from my mom and I believe that mom's cooking is always the best, and I do hope that my son will feel the same too even though he grows up so fast. I love Indonesian food as I grew up with it, and I promise to myself that my son, although he doesn't live in Indonesia right now, will always like and enjoy authentic Indonesian food. I make this blog so that my family will always remember our togetherness and happy time that we had, are having, and will have when we eat together and have good memories about a mother's love through her dishes. Hopefully these recipes will help other people to make healthy home cooked dishes for their families.

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