Ottolenghi, Islington, London

HONESTLY’S VERDICT
In a word:  Original
Food:  Favourites are the salads (all of them) and breakfasts
Service:  Great service from familiar faces
Presentation:  Sleek, shiny and polished. Food.  Flowers.
Ambience:  Busy buzz of talk over the communal tables, avoid this with a breakfast visit
Location:  Our local is Islington, right in between Highbury & Islington and Angel tube stations.  Branches at Notting Hill, Spitalfields, Belgravia, and NOPI in the West End.
Value for money:  A personal fave: £18 for a large box of takeaway salad that easily fills two.  Breakfasts between £5 and £10. Coffee or tea £2 to £3.
Worth a visit?: Yes, this is a must visit foodie establishment.  Plus their almond croissants are our of this world amazing!

Ottolenghi is original, a much reproduced original, although very few manage to hit the high standards in the deliciousness stakes of Yotam Ottolenghi and his team.

Food-wise,  it’s a casual, European dining style with a couple of large communal tables with a few small tables along one side of the restaurant.  The menu is very much seasonally influenced with enduring favourites making a regular appearance.  Flavours are a mix of Mediterranean, Middle and Far Eastern and ingredients are sourced from the UK and Europe with a focus on small scale, artisan producers and growers.

Continue reading

Duke of Cambridge by Riverford, Islington, London

HONESTLY’S VERDICT
In a word:  Organic-gasmic
Food:  Organic, seasonal food and booze = perfect
Service:  Attentive, swift and knowledgeable
Presentation:  Clean and simple food-wise, rustic pub interiors without that eau de stale beer!
Ambience:  Buzzy busy vibe, but not overwhelming – which I love – you can hear yourselves across a table.
Location:  Tucked away down a back street in Islington, it’s about a 10 minute walk from Angel tube station
Value for money:  Starters for under £10, mains under £20, desserts £6 – regular London prices for beautiful dishes from top notch organic, seasonal, sustainable ingredients.
Worth a visit: If you like really tasty wholesome food, organic produce and to support ethical producers, then you must road test the Duke of Cambridge for yourself.

The Duke of Cambridge has to be my favourite place to eat in London.

  • Firstly, it’s organic as certified by the Soil Association.
  • Secondly, Riverford* supplies much of the organic and seasonal ingredients and produce.
  • Thirdly, organic booze = no hangover!
  • Oh and fourth, it’s a twenty minute walk from our home.

Perfect.  Yes, I’ve come to view the Duke of Cambridge as pretty perfect.  I love the fact that the pub focuses on serving up the best organic ingredients from an ever changing menu; from lunch to dinner, from day to day, and from season to season.  It doesn’t get much better than this in my opinion.

Continue reading

Honestly Foodie | @ Daylesford

Daylesford Organic Farm, Kingham, Gloucestershire

HONESTLY’S VERDICT
In a word:  Heavenly
Food:   Organic, succulent and seasonal. Inspired flavour combinations create a lasting impression
Service:  Lacking a little finesse in their communication
Presentation:  Stunning- food, location, interiors, exteriors
Ambience:  Just perfect; quiet enough for a romantic meal, busy enough to not be over heard whispering sweet nothings!
Location:   We visited the farm and HQ in the Gloucestershire Cotswolds
Value for money: £50 a head for a three course meal with a few glasses of booze
Worth a visit?: Yes. Go now, flee the city and lap up the beautiful English countryside and the fantastic food on offer

This place is beautiful, I mean really stunning.  And the food…just delicious.  And organic.  And I had possibly the best dish I’ve tasted since our visit to La Chassagnette in the South of France in 2010.  BIG call!  The combination of the baked fig starter, company ethos, beautiful farm and the location made for one winning combination!

Need I say more?

I will.

Continue reading