Best of British – London

A London Food Feast

This month I hosted Best of British from my own blog and rather enjoyed the diversity of clever ideas and recipes you all sent in. Karen from Lavender and Lovage who has given us a great insight into the history of ‘London’ Bath Buns with a recipe dating back to the Great Exhibition!

Fiona Burns is Karen’s sister and she’s sent in a fascinating history of the Jewish community in London, along with a recipe for salt beef to use in a sandwich.  I have to admit, I have a secret yearning to try making salt beef, but I’ve never been quite sure how much I’d manage to use!

We had the most magnificent pigeon pie from Jill at Lapin D’Or – as she said, a London icon – and of course pies are something we associate with London too.


In fact though our only pie and mash entry was a really interesting pie and mash cupcake from Caroline Bakes.  I keep thinking what a fabulous party dish these would make – rather like those mini yorkshire puddings you see sometimes!

Barfi 1 - choclette

A couple of Indian influenced entries next – with Choclette’s Blackberry, Coconut and Rose Barfi looking so scrummy I could quite easily see myself getting carried away…(and yes I know those indian places round the back of Euston on Drummond Street – they do produce fantastic indian sweets!)

pumpkin curry

Chris produced a rather fabulous Pumpkin Curry using every imaginable indian spice and promising us something RED HOT.  Well, I will just have to try for myself won’t I?

Neither would look out of place on Brick Lane or Drummond Street.

Spicy Peach Pit Panna Cotta

Janine’s Peach Pit Pannacotta also reflects what I think a lot of people understand by London food.

fish and chips

For many of us our earliest experiences of ‘London Food’ are from visits to London as children where we try new strange food from overseas – be that a curry on Brick Lane, Italian food in Soho, or Asian food in Chinatown.  And London is a great cultural melting pot.  Eventually food becomes so ingrained in local culture that most people forget the origin.  My own entry of Fish and Chips is something we see as quintessentially British but which actually has Jewish origins. Over at Galina’s blog there was an altogether more historic fish dish of Sea Bream stuffed with Faro, an ancient Roman grain, which Galina has titled ‘Ave Londinium’.  And, that’s very much what I was hoping for by challenging bloggers to show their idea of historical and multicultural London in food.

sea bream

I did very nearly make a pea and ham soup, but I doubt it would have been anywhere near as wonderful looking as this split pea and ham hock soup from Amanda at feed 5 fast 2, who like me and Karen is doing the 5:2 diet and writing up some of her recipes for us all to enjoy.  I do remember my mum describing the peasouper fogs in London, it’s something she told me we simply can’t imagine today.

bThis soup does though, for me, conjure up foggy London streets with a warm fire waiting at home (and inadvertently adding to the smog!)

Lucy - foraged blackberry bread and butter pudding

We had another lovely looking pudding from Lucy at Intothesky  who went foraging for blackberries to make this blackberry bread and butter pudding

Treacle Tart

And Camilla from Fab Food For All made this great Treacle Tart – which really made me reminiscent of my childhood.  Golden Syrup just seems to be so English!

Claire The 'Idle Hour' Burger

The Idle Hour Burger – a re-creation of the burger served at one of my favourite pubs in Barnes came all the way from South Africa courtesy of Claire at Underthebluegumtree who has entered some fabulous recipes for Best of British!

Omelette-Arnold-Bennett (Janice)

Janice meanwhile chose to go VERY upmarket and produced an Omelette Arnold Bennet a dish which originated in the kitchens of the Savoy Hotel!


Jacqueline’s Porter Steak pays tribute to Smithfields and great British Beef.  And, makes me feel hungry every time I look at the photo!

The Strapple Cake (mother Hen)

For Mother Hen, London means afternoon tea!  Something I can’t dispute.  And she’s created this rather fabulous ‘Strapple Cake’ (with strawberries and apples) specially for us.  A lovely first time entry into Best of British!

I asked my fellow blogger over at By Invitation Wine Blog to pick this month’s winner.  Why?  Well, he seldom cooks but he does love eating!  And he knows London very well.  His favourite entry was the Blackberry bread and butter pudding from Into the Sky, so, Lucy, congratulations we will be contacting you to get your postal details to pass on to New World Appliances

I’ve really enjoyed reading your entries and seeing what everyone made of last month’s challenging challenge!  For October, we are off to Dorset to  Karen and her Sister’s place as the planned host had a family crisis. I’m really grateful to Karen for stepping in at the last minute – you can read about Best of British Dorset here.

Best of British Master


3 thoughts on “Best of British – London

  1. That’s a nice lot of entries Fiona and some really interesting dishes too. You’ve now explained my confusion as to why Karen was hosting, so I’m pleased I wasn’t dreaming up phantom hosts.

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