Cafe Design

Afternoon Tea in Sketch, London

Happy September everyone! 

During the long bank holiday weekend, I got to try Sketch, one of the nicest afternoon tea experiences in London! I have been wanting to go for the longest time and I am so glad I finally did. I had afternoon tea at the gallery. The space was mostly pink with pink chairs and pink walls. It was so girly and dreamy. I liked that they covered the walls with sketches. Some were funny and others were a bit strange. 

The afternoon tea was unlimited, which was something I did not expect and really loved! I was full from the first serving, but had a bit more because they kept offering so nicely. It was pure indulgence. It included a choice of tea, vegetarian finger sandwiches, traditional scones, pastries. There were two choices for pastries ones with beef gelatine and vegan ones. I went with the vegan ones and was pleasantly surprised of how yummy they were. I liked that we were able to try more than one kind of tea. I tried the oolong and the rose teas. Overall, the food was nice but nothing out of the extraordinary. The lovely tea selection, the interiors and the amazing service made it all so worth it. To top it off, they had MAD bathrooms that looked like they landed right out of space. It just added a fun twist to the space.

I will definitely be going there again. Keep in mind you need to reserve a table in advance because it gets booked up really fast.  

Amaranto restaurant at the Four Seasons London

Happy Wednesday all, 

Last week I was meeting my friends from Four Corners Interiors and Belle Afrique for a dinner and a catchup before I was due to leave to Saudi. After few hours of deliberating, we decided to go to Nobu. When we arrived, the interior, the food options and the atmosphere weren't all that, so we left. On the way out, we saw a nice looking restaurant, which turned out to be the Amaranto restaurant at the Four Seasons. I am not really into hotel dining, but my friends really enjoy it and they were very pleased to be at the four seasons. It was really hard to get a table without a reservation, so we settled to sit in the lounge area, where we had our three course dinner. It wasn't the most comfortable, but the staff tried their best to be accommodating. The interior was stylish and old English. There wasn't anything particularly memorable about it. The food was a little disappointing. The chicken is halal, but I went for the cod fish. It was very average tasting and frankly not worth the price tag. I highly doubt I will be going there again, but I at least got to try it. 

image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg

Breakfast Spots in Shoreditch

Good morning! 

Hope you had breakfast this morning because this post will make you wish you did! Plus, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. We even have an Islamic narration about it! "Have a royal breakfast suited to a prince, a middle size lunch and a humble dinner." - Imam Ali.  Last week, I was following just that and went on a Mission to find the best breakfast spots in Shoreditch. I dragged my artist friend Maaida Noor to test different restaurants with me. All the restaurants are between 4 to 8 minutes from Old Street Station. All the food choices below are halal and vegetarian. 

Five Days, Five Breakfasts:  

#1 Dishoom 

Dishoom is always my first choice when I go to Shoreditch. Their Egg naan roll and chocolate chai are just so delicious. The veranda is my favourite part to have breakfast. It is just so relaxed and comfortable. It is always a winner.  Full Review on Dishoom

image.jpg
image.jpg

#2 Bill's 

Bill's is a very English chain and I kept seeing it everywhere I go, but I haven't tried it till last week. I was so pleased with the food. The vegetarian breakfast had an unusual combination of guacamole and sweet chilli humous, but the flavours all worked well together. They had a good selection of dessert and my sweet tooth has been crazy this week so I had to try something. I went for the pecan pie and banana ice cream. They were so delicious. 

image.jpg
image.jpg

#3 The Bookclub 

I read mixed reviews about this place, but the name intrigued me and I decided to try it anyway. I am so glad I did. The buttermilk pancakes were really nice and my friend loved their vegetarian breakfast with their moist delicious buttered bread. I liked the jungle/ kiddy atmosphere. They have a pingpong table in the back. It felt like a good place to blog from. It is tucked away in an inside street. They also have events and other things going on depending on the time and date. 

image.jpg
image.jpg

#4 The Breakfast Club 

The Breakfast club is extremely popular. Everyone I know has recommended it to me, so when I found out that they have a branch in Shoreditch, I had to go by. We went during lunch time, but it was my first meal, so it technically counts as a breakfast. The location was great and the atmosphere was busy and load. I had the All American Vegetarian and my friend has their vegetarian burrito. The portions were generous. It all tasted nice, but nothing spectacular. I think it is overrated. The guacamole was so nice. Their cutlery and glasses were a little dirty and that was a let down, but overall it was still worth checking out. 

image.jpg
image.jpg

#5 Hoxton Pastry Union 

This place was the least favourite food wise, but the interior, atmosphere and location were perfect. It's only three minutes from the Old Street station. It was self service. The eggs we had were greasy and the bread was super dry we had to butter it and mayonnaise it to be edible. The cake was REALLY good though. If I go back, it will be to chill and to have dessert. 

image.jpg
image.jpg

Hope these suggestions help you have great breakfasts in the future. May we all be blessed with daily yummy breakfasts. 

Heladería los Italianos

After a very eventful day at Alhambra last September, my friends from the course and I headed to the best ice cream place in Granada, Heladería los Italianos. It was so busy and we had to stand in line for a little bit, but it was worth the wait. I got the melon ice cream and it was heavenly and refreshing. It was the perfect treat after a long day of discovery. I also liked the chandeliers in there. If you are there, give it a go! :) 

Address: Calle Gran Vía de Colón, 4, 18001 Granada, Spain

Pancakes in Zurich

Good morning!

I was waking up today with some serious pancake craving thanks to the lovely pancake/breakfast cafe that I tried in Zurich *yumz*. Just a short walk from where I was staying, there it was, Zum Guten Glück. A lovely local eatery where they specialised in different pancake types from savoury to sweet plus other breakfast choices. The interior was really light and felt effortless. Part of the floor was tiled in interesting patterns and that added richness to the design. My friend and I got the ricotta and almond pancakes that were covered in maple syrup. That combination was heavenly and surprisingly filling. The place is popular and it was busy and we had to share the table with complete strangers, but that's totally fine there. 

Stax Diner, Halal Burger to Remember

Happy Sunday everyone! 

It's getting so close to winter these days and with this cold weather all I can do is indulge in really good warming food. Yesterday, I found my new favourite halal burger joint in London by accident. It was so good that it's all I can think of today! :D It was located in Kingly Court, which is proving to be a really nice place to eat, although with Christmas coming really soon, it's crazy crowded there. 

Outside Kingly Court

Outside Kingly Court

Stax Diner  is in the first floor and it was SO crowded. 

Hello Stax! 

Hello Stax! 

The place is really small, which means the queue is outside, which is a little awkward. 

Waiting Sign

The menu had American choices from fried chicken and waffles to great burgers and shakes. 

The Menu was like a cute little fan 

The Menu was like a cute little fan 

To be honest, I wasn't a big fan of the interior space. The light fixtures were really cool but the tables and the chairs weren't comfortable, but I guess that's because of the very tiny space. 

Burger Joint Interior
Lights with Cans

The food was AMAZING and did I mention Halal AND ORGANIC! That's still hard to find in London. The supplier is Abraham Natural Produce farm. The same one I recently order my organic, grass fed meat from. The burgers were so fresh and delicious. SUPER GOOD. Will surly come back for the burgers. 

My Boston Float, which is ginger bear and ice cream. It went so well with the burger  

My Boston Float, which is ginger bear and ice cream. It went so well with the burger  

Meet my beautiful meat! 

Meet my beautiful meat! 

up close 

up close 

Loved the burgers. Go try them and let me know what you think when you try it! :D

Dishoom

Happy sunday beautiful people! 

This is my favourite day of the week when I am in London. The atmosphere is so relaxed and everyone is taking it easy. Plus, it's quiet in the morning. This day is appreciated by the whole nation I think. 

This week I finally went to the famous Dishoom for breakfast, so if you are looking for a place for today's breakfast or brunch then look no further! By the way, this place gets crazy busy, so I would advice you to book in advance. I went during a weekday's morning. That's why it was quiet and just amazing. 

Entrance 

Entrance 

The Shoerditch brand is where I went. They have a main resturant hall + bar that has a contemporary industrial look with a funky geometric floor pattern. It's louder there and very lively. The designers of the space wanted to tell a story with the details they chose, a story inspired by Iranian cafés that took a place in India in the 1960s and mix it with the current atmosphere of London. Read more on the design process in Dishoom's journal. I loved the fact they wrote about it. 

Main resturant + bar

Main resturant + bar

Geometric floor pattern 

Geometric floor pattern 

Part of Dishoom is the veranda. I loved the design so much. I can see myself there daily just drinking their delicious chai, writing and enjoying the coziness of the space. The design is indoors because of the London weather conditions, but has an outdoors feel. It's shabby chic with a rustic feel that makes you feel comfortable at once. 

Dishoom London
Spot the beautiful pattern 

Spot the beautiful pattern 

Another thing I liked about the space is the different light choices, the artwork that tells a number of stories and the green plants. 

Lights and plants 

Lights and plants 

Comfy seats and a very homey atmosphere 

Comfy seats and a very homey atmosphere 

Enough design talk! I know you are dying to know about the food! It was ready in empakisble timing and tasted amazing! You can tell how yummy the food is from the photos alone. Something I liked in the menu is that it tells you the farms where food come from, which gives a sense of community. 

Simple menu full of delicious choices 

Simple menu full of delicious choices 

We got the Aukri eggs, fire-y toasts, house porridge topped with dates and bananas, egg naan roll, fruit juice and chocolate chai. The naan roll was so good. The thought is just mouthwatering. The naan was very fresh, the eggs were tasty. The chocolate chai made it on my very favourite beverages list. It was the right level of sweet. I highly recommend their food. Note, the menu serves ham, but there are plenty of vegetarian and vegan options. Their dinner menu includes halal choices as well. 

Their tables are great for food photos! 

Their tables are great for food photos! 

Even their plates were gorgeous! 

Even their plates were gorgeous! 

On one of the plates, the sweetest story was written. I forgot to take a picture, but I will just share it from memory: once in Bombay, I went to a cafe. The nicest girl greeted me and talked to me for half an hour before I realized that she worked there. I went there every day for the remaining time of the trip and now the girl and I got engaged, moved to London to open our Bombay cafe and soon to be married. 

That adorable romantic story was surly a plus! 

If you go there based on this recommendation, please comment and tell me all about your experience.  

Enjoy the rest of the day!

Yumchaa Cafe

When I was younger the only hot drink I liked was hot chocolate and as I grew older, my taste buds enjoyed tea and with being in the UK -Tea Capital of the world- my love for tea has been growing. Now, everyone who tries a new tea place tells me about it and even suggests meeting up in tea shops! win win. Few weeks ago, my classmate tried Yumchaa tea shop in Camden and instead that I go with her. She didn't have to ask twice! 

What I found different in Yumchaa is they have all the types they offer laid out in lovely small cups with the names, so you can smell the tea and see it before choosing it. I thought it was cool and it gives each person a more hands on approach to tea. It was a good way to start a conversation as well. My classmates and I, compared the different types, laughed at the names and enjoyed that experience. 

The teas were also catgrorized and separated based on their types in a lovely way. Instead of having it written in menu pages. 

There was a good selection of deserts as well, which is always needed with a good cuppa!

The interior space was quirky, cozy and casual. 

In the center of the cafe, they had an glass ceiling that allowed access to natural light in the cafe, which brightened up the space. There were different chairs and sofas around. The mix was fun. Overall, it's a nice place to have tea, read a book or meet friends. Check it out when you are in Camden next. They have other locations as well. Details on their website