South East

Bread Baking

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Borough Market is one of my favorite places to visit in London and I’ve written about it before. I just love the combination of the fresh and prepared foods along with the location and general hustle and bustle of the place. I have walked by the Bread Ahead Bakery & School many, many times and viewed all of the yumminess baking inside but had never taken a class. That changed this past January when my friend Kate invited me along to join her for the Quintessentially English baking class.

I think I had been intimidated by trying to bake bread at home because it always seemed to require an exactness that I don’t always follow when I am in the kitchen but this class made it all completely accessible. First of all, it was a small class (maybe 10 people in total) so you felt like you could always speak up and ask any questions you may have. And secondly, the bakers who taught the class were so knowledgable, they made everything seem incredibly easy!

During this class we learned how to make a cottage loaf, devonshire splits, bath buns and a lardy cake. Everything turned out better than expected and I was happy to go home with an armful of delicious bread! I was surprised by how physical kneading the dough can be but it also made it more rewarding in the end (and hey, its a fun way to get some good arm muscles going!). We were also given the recipes used for each type of bread so we can recreate them at home.

This was definitely an experience I enjoyed and I hope to take a few more in the future. They have all sorts of classes available ranging from a doughnut master class to an intro to french baking. They even have a gluten free baking class!

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Frank’s Cafe

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Fancy sipping some cocktails atop a parking garage (also known as car park over here) on a nice summer evening while taking in a beautiful view of London’s cityscape? Then head on over to Frank’s Cafe in southeast London for just that! Only open during the summer months (usually from around June – September) this pop up bar has become quite the popular fixture of Peckham and you can expect a big crowd on an especially nice day. This is a prime example of why I love London- you can always find something fun and unexpected to do. For my first visit to Frank’s we couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day and we sampled quite a few cocktails in celebration, of which my favorites were the Aperol Spritz, Moscow Mule and the Dark & Stormy. They do serve food as well but we stuck to the liquids as we were heading out to another spot for dinner later on that evening. I would definitely suggest heading on over with a group of friends before the weather turns too much cooler and take advantage of this unique London experience. According to their website, it looks like a production of Titus will be going on until the September 21st so you can get in a bit of culture with your cocktails and nibbles as well!

 

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The Shard

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I love to have family or friends visit us in London because it makes me go out and enjoy parts of city that I keep meaning to visit but don’t simply due to getting caught up in the  busyness of everyday life. So back in January when my sister and brother-in-law visited, I knew I wanted to take them to The Shard to get one of the best views of London below. The 87-story skyscraper was completed in 2012 and the viewing deck opened to the public back in February of 2013. There are two levels to the viewing area, the second of which is open air which is a little scary at first but I got over this pretty quickly. We managed to book our time for about 20 minutes before sunset on such a clear day you could see for miles and miles- I don’t think I really understood how huge this city is until I saw it from so high above. I know a lot of people complain about the price to get up to the viewing area, but my thinking is this isn’t something you do everyday, more of a special occasion type of thing. Plus once you are up there, you can stay as long as you like- no time limit. So why not take your time and take all of London in for a bit?

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Borough Market

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A great place to visit for tourists and locals alike if you’ve got a little hunger pang, want to do some grocery shopping or simply want to chow down on some delicious treats is Borough Market. Located just steps away from the London Bridge tube stop, part of the market is open for lunch on Mondays & Tuesdays while the full blown market is open Wednesday through Saturday. If visiting on a weekend or a particularly nice day out, I suggested getting there early as it can get quite crowded at these times. A few of my favorite vendors for a bite to eat are Kappacasein for their raclette (cheese covered potatoes with a side of mini gherkins), Brindisa for their chorizo roll or the German Deli for a Bratwurst. Monmouth Coffee has amazing coffee but don’t be alarmed by the line out the store, it goes quickly. And if you have a sweet tooth, options are a plenty! I always suggest bringing a tote along in case you see some fresh produce, meats or cheeses to take home with you.

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*shot on a Rolleiflex and Contax 645 with Kodak Portra 800, Portra 400, and Ektar*

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