Bluebelles, Golbourne Road

So if you keep walking north on Portobello Road, you eventually leave Notting Hill and make it up to Ladbroke Grove, which includes the very cute area of Golbourne Road, which has a mix of local Portuguese and Moroccan restaurants and vintage clothing shops, along with some trendier delis and curated lifestyle stores.

Bluebelles is one of the later, sitting on Portobello Road, and has a super cute brunch menu, along with about ten side dishes that help you to mix and match your meal to perfection!

We were lucky enough to snag a table outside ( we thought), until they kept adding tables every time someone else showed up… turns out they are quite lax on Sundays and can spread out when the bike shop next door is closed!

First came the coffees… Andre is not very impressed with his Americano, which has little bits floating in it…

But the food was much better… he got the Original Stack, which was like a full English on a stick: sausage, egg, portobello mushroom and crispy bacon, all on a rosti. It was actually pretty delicious.

I was also thrilled, I got the green breakfast, which was two poached eggs, guacamole (looks surprisingly white but tasted like any other guac), mixed leaves, and feta, all topping a slice of sourdough bread.

The food is MUCH better than that first coffee, to the point that we were going to order much more of it… so this will be a repeat brunch place, especially knowing that we will probably be able to get a table outside on a nice day!

Snaps and Rye, Goldbourne Road, Notting Hill

Brunch up on Goldbourne Road on a Sunday, as the weather was warm and the sun was out! We headed up to Goldbourne Road, thinking we’d head back to our favourite Bluebelles, but decided to try Snaps and Rye for lunch, instead. The tables outside aren’t in the sun until around 2pm, but it was warm enough that we could still sit outside, and the people-watching on Goldbourne is great!

We started with some tea and coffee… Snaps and Rye is one of the only cafes that gives you extra water with your tea, so that you can use the teabag more than once! And check out the cute pottery…

Andre went for the smorgasbord, a variety of different toasts… there’s the guacamole with tomato pico de gallo on top, the hake pate with smoked salmon, gherkins and capers on top, the herring topped with pickled red onions, and the sliced beef, also topped with gherkins and red pickled onions. I tasted both middle ones and they were both delicious!

We shared a beetroot and goat cheese salad… check out how nicely it is presented, with walnuts, pickled mushrooms (ya, sounds a bit odd but was good) and seeds.

As my main, I went for the Danish rarebit, which came with a number of different sides, but was a delicious cheese and grain mustard on toast, with a side of tomato ketchup (Bloody Viking ketchup, as they call it) and hog’s pudding (a grainy, very fresh-tasting sausage). Not the healthiest thing in the world, but it was delicious. 

Happily fed, we sat and watched people (and dogs, there are LOTS of dogs on Goldbourne Road) and enjoyed as the sun slowly crept onto the terrace…

(Quick note: Snaps and Rye does a prix fixe dinner every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night, with a 4 course meal. I’ve only been once, but it was full of fresh, delicious ingredients… I’d really recommend this as well!)

Lorne, Victoria

A night out with my friend Leigh, and we went to Lorne, a restaurant that I had pointed out had just opened near her… and she had since tried four times!

The restaurant itself is cosy, narrow but quite deep, giving it a private, comfortable feeling – and the decoration can only be described as the same as what you find on the walls at Michael’s in New York, kind of South-of-France contemporary.

She was raving about the pea puree (served with small shrimps, watercress, radish, and preserved lemon). The puree had a thicker consistency, making it more like a thick custard than puree, with a very clear pea taste.. it was delicious.

Then, i went for the hake with courgette, black olives, and cannellini beans. The courgettes (partially grilled, partially stewed with the beans) were very good, and the hake was perfectly cooked… unfortunately, it was a Monday, and the fish had a slightly fishy taste to it. But the rest of the dish was very good and blended together quite well.

So will I make it back here again? Definitely with Leigh. And definitely to try a few of the other dishes.

Capriciossa, Oeiras, Portugal

A day trip from Lisbon and heading to the beach, we wanted to go to a local seafood restaurant, but learned that most of them were closed since it was Monday (and fresh fish doesn’t come in on Sundays, so you wouldn’t want to each fish on a Monday anyway!)

Instead, we were recommended Capriciossa, a pizza restaurant on the beach. And it was fine, a good place to come for a low-key meal if you have the time… the service was very slow (we probably waited over an hour for the pizzas to come) and they were just ok, but then, it was more about sitting out in the sun !

I got the sausage, mushroom and tomato version, whereas Andre got the cheese, ham and egg… both… fine. They did the job.

Then we had a bit of times on the dunes over next to Guincho beach.. check out the kite surfers and my hair in the wind!

We alos are both sporting some pretty cool outfits… namely my Portugal fleece, which I picked up when absolutely freezing on the scooter on the way to the beach…

And Andre’s very cool wool sweater, picked up in Sintra for the same reason. Why does he look so much more stylish that I do?!

Barrio Alto Hotel, Lisbon

The next morning, we headed over to our favourite rooftop hotel for brunch… The Barrio Alto Hotel in Chiado has a direct lift up to a secluded rooftop, where you can order a meal or drink. It has a fantastic view of Chiado, the river, and the other side of Lisbon over the bridge.

We went for a rather simple breakfast, with the idea being that we’d grab lunch soon… I went for the cut fruit, which included some papaya, pineapple and orange. Andre went for the bread basket, which was plentiful and came with a bunch of jams… which watch quite enough for the two of us! We sat for a while, reading a copy of Le Monde that we’d found in our hotel lobby, and enjoyed the view…

Clube Nacional de Natacao, Lisbon

An afternoon hanging out at the racket and swimming club in Lisbon, we grabbed a quite bite afterwards… a veggie quiche and a pasta with smoked salmon, rocket and goat cheese… simple food that hit the spot!

Caviar House and Prunier, Heathrow Terminal 3

After messing up my flight dates and only realizing when trying to check my bag in at Gatwick, I managed to push that flight back a few months and to book a different flight leaving from Heathrow that night… Urgh.

I had been looking forward to a chilled out dinner in Lisbon with Andre that night, but instead was at the airport… so I made the most of it. I went for the special, which included two types of gravlax (regular and dill-marinated), a salmon tartare (mixed with some nice relish), king prawns, small pink shrimps with Rose Marie sauce, an oyster, and some potato salad, covered with a spoon-full of caviar.

If I had had any misgivings about eating seafood at the airport, they were instantly squashed… this was a delicious plate and good pick-me-up before I prepared to board my flight to Lisbon!