Adventure · Travel

First Term in London

My cost of living has gone up and it’s entirely my fault. Sure, it costs more to get around London than it did in York (because I walked in York and didn’t use public transport as much), but it’s because I keep socialising and eating out.

My flatmate pointed out after 2 weeks of living with me that she hadn’t once seen me at the stove! (My mum had come over and left things in the fridge, and I was still in the middle of going to all of the relatives’ houses before my studies had to start full swing, so not all of it was eating out… :D)

I have a very long list of places I want to eat at, so I’m never at a shortage for places to suggest when I’m with people. Here are places I’ve actually had a chance to try

Farm Girl Café

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At the beginning of Portobello Road when you’ve entered from the Notting Hill Gate Tube Station side. I’ve been here a few times actually because people are usually hungry or hungover when I meet up with them, and not only because of their location, it’s a really nice, cozy but funky place and they’ve got a great menu and tons of veggie and vegan options.

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The Little Yellow Door

About 50 meters from Notting Hill Gate Tube Station there’s this little yellow door. Based on a fictional flatshare, they are open Wednesday – Saturday. We went on Wednesday and ordered from the “Emoji menu” via WhatsApp. It’s a tiny place with lots of character, you should probably book, there were only two of us and they did accommodate us. I’m definitely going again with some more people, (maybe for my birthday? – this didn’t happen) and I’ll book the treehouse room 🙂

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See the cherry blossom tree mural? And under it a window opening where you can see a couple of people? That’s the tree house room.

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Khan’s on Westbourne Grove

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This needed to be on the list. My parents used to live off of this back in the day. Their chicken jalfrezi is to die for apparently – the spiciest concoction to ever pass through my parents’ bodies. There is student discount if you stay in to eat. I really liked their palak paneer, it’s something I will actually go back and have. According to my parents, NOTHING has changed about it. That is the key to their success.

Granger & Co.

The first time I passed Granger & Co. was on a weekday around 11 am, there was a huge cue of people waiting to go in.

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The second time I passed by it was at 8:30am, there was also a huge cue! Mum and I went to have drinks and snacks one night, sat at the bar, to see what all the fuss is about. All of the appetisers we ordered were great!

202 Westbourne Grove

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Another place with very very long lines on weekends, on trendy Westbourne Grove. It’s one of a long line of shops with attached cafés, this one seems to be doing exceptionally well. Mum and I walked in here and had coffee and croissant in the morning when we were out walking around together and decided to bring the kids back later on in the day for lunch because we liked it that much.

Farmacy & Redemption 

Okay, they’re totally different from one another, but I’ve decided to put them together because they’re both vegan, gluten free, healthy, organic places about 5 minute walk away from each other. Farmacy serves alcohol while Redemption is alcohol-free.

I went to Farmacy for brunch:

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And Redemption for dinner.

This picture of Redemption’s maki rolls isn’t mine, but I loved it so much that I didn’t have time to take a picture, and now I regret it because it is what dreams are made of.

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Calcutta Street 

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This is run and founded by a friend of a friend. It’s been getting very good reviews from a range of food critics, and it even received the seal of approval from my youngest sister. My favourite is one of the dessert options, the doi-aam (yoghurt with mango and the top is caramelized like creme brulée). Been dreaming about that ever since I ate it. It’s a tiny place, very close to university, so I will definitely be going back. Love being able to have Bengali food that is so authentic and there is such a nice homey, Kolkata feel about the restaurant for me.

Thenga Café

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After 12 (not on Sundays), under £5 for a filling veggie lunch, fair-trade coffee, and tons of vegan cakes. Very close to Kings’ Cross and Bloomsbury university campuses.

Franco Manca

This is a chain, they’re literally everywhere, the pizzas are easy on the wallet (they start at about £6 for an entire pizza which is better than most other chains), they only do pizzas, and Italians approve of their pizzas.

It’s well past the halfway point of second term and for some reason I still hadn’t published this. So procrastinating right now, I’ve uploaded pics I could find from my phone and some from the internet and it’s just time to hit publish now. 

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