Black Lion Pub – West Hampstead, London

Tis the season to eat Sunday Roast Dinners, fa la la la la, la la, la la!

We went to The Black Lion pub one Sunday recently after a walk in Hampstead Heath for a belly warming roast dinner.

We started off with a mulled cider and shared a baked Camembert. It was nice having a warm drink after being in the cold and the hot strings of Camembert on the oven baked bread was a perfect start to the meal.

Mulled Cider
Baked Camembert 

For mains we all went for the roasts. I got the pork because the menu said it came with crackling and let’s be honest, who doesn’t like crackling?

It did not disappoint.

Roast Pork
Roast Beef
Roast Pork with Gravy
Post Dinner Tea

We finished the meal with teas and coffees and a game of scrabble, before we then joined in on the pub quiz and another drink.

Pub Quiz Virgin Mary

We probably stayed in the pub for about 5 hours and we really had a great time.

I definitely recommend for a chilled out Sunday with friends and family.


Faltering Fullback – Finsbury Park, London, UK

Hidden away on a residential street and covered in Ivy and other plants, is the Faltering Fullback Pub.

As you walk in, there are two bar areas and seating areas like any normal little pub (although there are loads of random trinkets hanging on the ceiling), but as you continue your journey through the pub you find yourself in a large open plan room full of picnic benches, a stage for a live band, a little kiosk for Thai food served by a lovely Thai family, a pool table and then beyond this is the beer garden which is like a tree house and goes up on lots of different floors. One of the Harry Potter films was apparently filmed in this beer garden (beer tree house?) – if it wasn’t, I believed it.

I love how hidden away and surprisingly large this pub is and I love that it is really well priced, there is a pool table (hard to find a pool table in a London pub because of space) and there’s decent food.

Vegetable Spring Rolls
Thai Chicken Red Curry
Prawn Kwey Tiew

The food is decent if you are in the area and craving some well priced Thai food – it is a fairly simple menu and they serve all the popular Thai dishes that we are used to in the UK. From the menu, I would recommend the Kwey Tiew noodles, which are surprisingly really really good!


Farang (Pop Up) – Highbury, London

Seb Holmes’s Pop Up, Farang, is now in Highbury!

I hadn’t heard anything about it at all and then one day on the bus home, I realised that San Daniele (a restaurant which was always fairly empty) was absolutely buzzing and full of people. I also realised that there was a new sign outside and quickly jotted down the name in my handy dandy notes on my phone under my “Where I want to eat” page.

We booked it for Sandra’s birthday for the first weekend of December.

It was full of people again and we went into the candle lit restaurant that still had hints of San Daniele’s existence, but as a pop up, Seb really has transformed the place.

We wanted everything on the menu, so it was great that they had a tasting menu so that we didn’t need to make any decisions and we could just try it all.

Tiger Prawn mix on Betel Leaf
Crispy Prawn Won Ton
Crispy Prawn Won Ton
Tempura Chicken with Scotch Bonnet Sauce
Chicken and Mushroom Coconut Soup
Whole Seabass
Whole Seabass
Whole Seabass with Pickled Vegetables and Rice
Green Curry with Cornish Hake, Prawns and Salmon Dumplings
Persimmon Sorbet and Pandan Ice Cream
Black Sticky Rice Dessert

Everything was so full of amazing traditional flavours of the South East and it definitely made me feel like I wasn’t in London and back in Asia while we were eating there. Seb definitely has the Asian touch.

Our top dishes (in no specific order) were:

  • The Prawn in the Betel Leaf – it was a really nice start to the meal because of all the zingy refreshing flavours.
  • The Tempura Chicken in Scotch Bonnet Sauce – So spicy! But so so so so good.
  • The Whole Seabass – I literally kept eating this until the plate was clean (don’t think they needed to wash the plate after I was done with it). Not only was the fish cooked to perfection but everything on the dish was amazing!


Madame D – Liverpool Street, London, UK

Madame D from the outside
The menu

I went to Madame D in October as I had seen so many delicious looking photos on Instagram and needed to try it for myself.

The menu is ever changing based on seasonal foods, but they stick to keeping about 10 different sharing plates on the menu and they do every single one very very well. It was honestly very hard to choose what to order because we wanted to try everything, but we settled on the Curried King Prawns, the Steamed Whole Seabass, the Tenderstem Broccoli and the Himalayan Fried Chicken.

Curried prawns
Whole seabass
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Fried Chicken

Everything was really tasty and we left feeling incredibly full and satisfied. It was a buzzing atmosphere, the service was great and the food was just as delicious as it looked on Instagram and I was so pleased we went to check it out.

They also do have a cocktail menu which looks brilliant, but we stuck to wine and beer and it worked well with the food.

The interior
The bar


London China Town Restaurant – China Town, London, UK

Sunday Dim Sum was a family favourite of ours growing up and it still is when I go to Hong Kong to visit my Grandma.

It is essentially a Chinese version of brunch with lots of little dishes of dumplings. You will go in a big group with your whole family and sit around the table for a couple hours chatting away while all the plates of delicious dumplings and congee and rice and roasted pork etc continue coming out from the kitchen.

My current favourite in China Town is London Chinatown Restaurant. Everything comes steaming and fresh from the kitchen to your table, they have a good menu, the food is authentic, it all comes fairly quickly after you have ordered and it is really well priced. And the best thing is that you can usually get a table – which can be an issue on Sundays in China Town for Dim Sum.

Pan fried pork dumplings
All the essentials




Little Lamb Hotpot – China Town, London, UK

This is the real Hot Pot that I grew up knowing and loving, not the recent Lancashire Hot Pot I have recently been introduced to that is essentially a stew (why is it not just called a stew? This is beyond me!).

The Chinese Hot Pot is a bubbling pot in the middle of the table with delicious soups (usually two or more) and you have plates of thinly sliced beef, prawns, tofu, vegetables, etc which you put into the bubbling soups to cook. It is a fun, social meal but also extremely delicious, fresh, healthy and homely.

We recently tried Little lamb in China Town which does a £22 per person for whatever you want on the menu – you just cannot waste anything. So we got king prawns, thinly sliced beef, tofu, calamari, vegetables, noodles, fish balls and we ordered two broth soups – one stock broth and one spicy broth. And the cooking commenced.

Stock broth and spicy Sichuan soup
Buffet for our hot pot
Hot pot bubbling away

This was the perfect meal for a cold, rainy evening. The service was great and they didn’t rush us at all so it felt really nice being tucked up in the restaurant with the hot bubbling soup in front of us.


Xi’an Impression – Arsenal, London, UK

You would never have thought to go into this little restaurant across the street from the Arsenal Football Stadium. It is a little shabby and could definitely be mistaken from an average Westernised Chinese take out, but do not be mistaken, the food is amazing! It is real authentic Chinese street from from the Shan Xi region in China.

It is kind of BYOB except there is a corkage charge of £5 so it is not really, but at least there is that option.

If you are a fan of the traditional Chinese chewy noodles then you are in for an absolute treat! Definitely order the dumplings and the handmade noodles (I prefer the ones without the beef). I would also recommend the cucumbers that are ice cold in a watery peanut sauce which is a really refreshing addition to the meal.

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Pork Dumplings
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Pork Dumplings
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Cucumber in Peanut Sauce
Cucumber is Peanut Sauce
Sweet Potato Noodles in Spicy Sour Soup
Sweet Potato Noodles in Spicy Sour Soup
The Famous Handmade Noodles with Beef
Handmade Noodles with Beef