This month something slightly important happened, I turned 22. Unlike the other birthdays that have come before, this one felt different. I didn’t feel overly excited. However, this changed when I was placed on a train at 8 am to London.
Getting up before 7:30 does not appeal to me, I don’t even do it on a work day, so the thought of getting up that early on my birthday, well that was just not an option to me. To my partner, however, it was the only option. So there I was, hungry, tired and grumpy on my birthday on a train at 8 am.
My frustration was short lived once the events of the day began to unfold.
Stop number one: Lola’s Bakery
Lola’s – also known as the best place to get a cupcake in the UK – have cupcake stands in most tube stations in London and a few cupcake shops dotted around the city. I didn’t go to one of these. I went to the bakery.
While the coffee was a slight let down, the Eggs Benedict were perfectly cooked and served on thick delicious gluten-free bread with a creamy hollandaise sauce. Finished off with a cookie and cream cupcake (also gluten-free, not that you’d be able to tell) and the day was off to a good start.
Stop number two: Souk Medina
Souk Medina will take you far away from London, once you go through the curtains you enter another world, orange walls encompass low patterned chairs and benches with uneven tiled tables.
I had the kefta tagine with eggs, it tasted phenomenal and incredibly authentic, with a thin dipping sauce and perfectly cooked kefta.
Stop number three: Coffee Island
After lots of eating and walking, it was time to have a coffee, but coffee roasters is no ordinary cafe. They have an array of beans on the wall to either grind and take home or have in your coffee.
They weigh out the coffee – so you get the exact amount needed for the right strength – then warm the milk just enough to taste great without burning the coffee or your mouth. There are artisan coffee shops, then there’s Coffee Island.
Stop number four: The Tea Terrace
What better way to counteract a coffee than a cuppa tea? After walking approximately 8 miles around London, I was more than happy to go into House of Fraser on Oxford Street to experience The Tea Terrace.
Feeling somewhat like a princess, I enjoyed a fruity raspberry tea and shared a slice of lemon cake (they have a selection of gluten-free cakes and scones). The setting was beautiful with large colourful chairs and Cinderella carriages, it didn’t feel as if we were in a department shop.
Stop number five: Honest Burgers
What better way to end the day than with a bloody good burger? Honest Burgers have an array of toppings for their juicy burgers. While these burgers may not be the biggest, they are thick and juicy unlike most thin patties found in burgers nowadays.
I kept mine pretty simple with cheese, bacon and crispy onions, all of which complemented to an amazing burger. However, the chips, the chips stole the day. Covered in Rosemary and Garlic they tasted exactly like roast potatoes, just in chip form!