Little Catch Up

Grab a cuppa, it’s time we caught up.
I’m curled up with a big, steaming mug of green mint tea.
Alright, and a cookie. A monstrous creation you may have already seen on Twitter. It was one of those moments where tidying the cupboard turns into experimental baking, resulting in chocolate cornflake marshmallow cookies.
Anyways, is your tea ready? You’ve nipped off for a biscuit haven’t you…
I’ll begin.

So, I was home in California for a bit, as you probably figured out from the ocean heavy Instagrams @alessandra_ldn.  www.alessandrabrian.com But then I returned to my lovely London and dove head first into research – or one may say, fork first.
You see, I’m working on something. And this something requires a lot of research, also known as eating.
Needless to say, I am very good at research.
www.alessandrabrian.comWhilst conducting said research, I’ve been gallivanting around the city enjoying the sunny (not) last (hopefully) days of winter. So, here’s what I’ve been up to.

A skip around Borough Market has always been one of my favourite foodie activities.

www.alessandrabrian.com

There’s always beautiful foods piled high, crowds of foodies searching for a treat and a delicious smell in the air. www.alessandrabrian.comI took the obligatory Shard picture for you. It’s no secret I am not a fan of this monstrosity, but you probably like it, so there you go.
I popped into my favourite cheese shop, Neal’s Yard Dairy for a fair share of samples, you know, for research.
www.alessandrabrian.comOh and look what I found in Whole Foods! They’re called graffiti aubergine.
Don’t they look cool? 
www.alessandrabrian.com And more cheese porn.
This was just begging to be researchedwww.alessandrabrian.com As I’m sure you’re aware, starting something new is daunting.
It’s a roller coaster of ups and downs filled with doubt and anxiety.
But, at the end of the day, if you’re trying to accomplish something you’re truly passionate about, it will all be worth it.
It always helps to have a little motivation, so this is my background at the moment. Just a little reminder to well, make it happen! Feel free to make it yours for that extra push each day.
www.alessandrabrian.com I’ve been having lots of meetings and brainstorm sessions, the best of which take fuelling the body into account. This particular brainstorming session took place at Hally’s over a light snack of avocado on grilled sourdough. www.alessandrabrian.com Oh, and a less light pot of truffled Welsh rarebit with dipping toast. www.alessandrabrian.com Which was balanced out by chargrilled field mushrooms and gremolata. www.alessandrabrian.com Don’t look at me like that, it was hard work!

For one of my meetings, I checked out the new Workshop Coffee Co. location in Marylebone. A darling coffee bar with fresh flowers, a smiling barista and the smell of roasted beans hanging in the air. Your cuppa comes with a cute little brew timer to let you know when your steep is complete! www.alessandrabrian.comI ventured around Selfridges for some Valentine’s Day pressies and was drawn like a bug towards an electric section of neon signs. www.alessandrabrian.com

www.alessandrabrian.com www.alessandrabrian.comIn the home section, I found some of the much lusted after Fornasetti collection, some of which clutters my LUSTlist on Pinterest.  
www.alessandrabrian.comAround the corner, I found the mother of all Moleskines! There’s a regular sized one to the right for comparison. You’ve got to have a lot of ideas to fill this bad boy. www.alessandrabrian.comPossibly less difficult to fill would be this handy book. Possibly.
www.alessandrabrian.comFor Valentine’s Day, I put plenty of love into Ottolenghi’s Soba Noodles with Aubergine and Mango.
www.alessandrabrian.com Speaking of love…
Homemade. Chocolate. Salted. Caramel. Truffles. www.alessandrabrian.com I also found something that should probably be carried around with me at all times. Imagine being really hungry and stumbling upon this box. I wonder what would be inside? www.alessandrabrian.com

Anyways, I’m glad we were able to catch up. I have plenty of food posts to fill you in on, so get the snacks ready as I will definitely be making you hungry. Talk to you soon!

Insta-Catch Up

I’ve been quite the busy bee lately. Lots of late nights and busy days.
Have you been the same?
I thought we’d do a quick little catch up of what’s been going on.

I was wandering around Camden the other day on some very official business, and had to take a minute to stare at the beautiful Camden Lock. There are certain parts of London that make you feel as if you are no longer in a bustling, cosmopolitan city. Camden Lock is one of those places.
If you haven’t strolled around Camden Lock on a Sunday afternoon, you now know what you’re doing this Sunday.
Wander the food market and sample dishes from all over the world, shop around the strange little shops and stalls, and be sure to get your fill of people watching with the funky crowd that calls Camden home.

Along with the goths, hipsters, and strange individuals forever adding flavour to Camden, I found these feathery friends floating along the Lock.
During the week, I had the lovely opportunity to dine in the Italian Room at Novikov. The room is massive and airy with a modern, Tuscan decor. We had a lovely three course meal of Beef Carpaccio, Flat Stone Roast Chicken with Rosemary Roast Potatoes, and a delicious Tiramisu. Then we wandered through the “Market Place” in the Asian Dining Room which had  beautiful vegetables, spices, and seafood displayed in front of the kitchen. The best thing about October: Pumpkin flavoured everything.

Had a lovely Whole Foods date with lots of sushi.

Found some stunning artichokes displayed at Whole Foods. Aren’t they beautiful? I also found a stand jam-packed with “Thanksgiving Essentials.” I can’t wait for this year’s feast!
Another stunning display at Whole Foods of Mushroom Madness. I see a theme developing here involving displays of food…
I tried Vita Coco’s new Tropical Fruit flavoured Coconut Water. I’d recommend trying it, but definitely prefer Coconut Water without flavouring. Natural goodness. I’ve been getting excited for Halloween and loved these spooky cupcakes from the amazing bakery at Whole Foods.
I just love the simple fresh flavours of Thai Summer Rolls. The Thai Basil and Peanut Sauce pack such incredible flavour. I may just have to do a Recipe Post on these. Look what I found! These truly are the Brit version of an American favourite: Sour Patch Kids. The kids look and taste different, but are still delicious! 

I’m glad we caught up. Anything exciting that you’ve been up to that I should try in LDN?

Whole Foods Market

After a day of errands or wandering the streets of London, there’s one lunch that never fails to satisfy my hunger: Whole Foods sushi.
I frequent the South Kensington location as a cure for homesickness. One step inside the world’s largest Whole Foods, and you’d think you were still in America. With similar interior, some of my favourite food products, and even several employees from across the pond, a trip to Whole Foods gives me a quick America fix before getting back to being a happy, little Londoner.

As i’m sure you’ve heard, the Soho Whole Foods location has relocated across the street to a much larger venue. I couldn’t wait for the opening, and grabbed the lovely Innas to come along. We each got our box of sushi and sat at their outdoor tables to enjoy the spring sunshine.

Whole Foods sushi isn’t the most innovative i’ve come across, but it’s the best tasting and most reasonably priced with the freshest ingredients i’ve found. The brown rice with spicy tuna and spicy salmon is my favourite.