Review: La Fábrica

Tapas has somewhat lost its meaning in London dining of late, popping up in a vast range of cuisines to indicate everything from starters to street food. If this liberal use of language has got you longing for the proper stuff, you won’t get much better than La Fábrica in Stroud Green…

Read my full review for North Four magazine

La Fabric45 Stroud Green Road, London, N4 3EF

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Santi Taura: Fine Dining in Mallorca

Mallorca isn’t especially known for its cuisine. That’s not to say that it doesn’t have a rich food culture, but it’s not exactly brimming with Michelin stars. Fine dining is thin on the ground, especially outside of Palma. Restaurants like Santi Taura stick out like a sore thumb as a result – and that’s no bad thing.

The popularity of Santi Taura means that reservations usually need to be made months in advance (especially for a large party like ours). We were gifted ours by a Spanish cousin of one of our party, who had hoped to celebrate his birthday there, but was now unable to get off work. We were charitable enough to take the table off his hands.

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A Handful of Parisian Brunches

Although I could live off the €1 pain au raisins from the local boulangerie, sometimes a gal needs brunch. Brunch in Paris is generally pretty expensive (according to my source it can be around €20 a plate) but, luckily for the financially challenged, there are places that are slightly more reasonable. Here are a few that I tried.

Bob’s Kitchen 
74 Rue des Gravilliers

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Bars behind Bars: Paris’ Secret Watering Holes

Le Comptoir General

Credit: Le Comptoir General

Unlike London and New York, Paris has been a bit slow to catch on to the hidden bar concept. Slowly but surely, however, a few of these speakeasy-esque, prohibition-inspired drinking spots have sprung up around the French city. On my short trip to Paris, I managed to visit three very different bars – so different, in fact, that the only thing they have in common is how tricky they are to find. And the alcohol, of course.

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Long Queues and Good Thymes*: The London Brunch Quest

Eggcellent Brunch (sorry)

Eggcellent Brunch (sorry)

*I cannot be held responsible for this pun

There are a lot of things I love about living in London. You’re never more than a tube ride away from world class theatre. There’s a green space around every corner and a borough for every mood. There are enough underground cocktail bars and cute pop ups and brunch locations that you can continuously feel smug and in the know.

You know what I don’t like about London? The fact that everyone else seems to share my taste in theatre and green spaces and underground cocktail bars and cute pop ups and brunch locations. It’s almost impossible to be spontaneous in a city where no reservation usually equates to half an hour shivering in the cold trying to assess how quickly the queue is moving, followed by another half hour scanning every menu within a half mile radius before finally dashing towards the first empty table you see, half-crazed with hunger and hysterically screaming ‘MINE!’.

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Burro e Salvia – Shoreditch’s first pastificio

Burro e Salvia

It’s easy to walk past Burro e Salvia without giving it a second glance. The clean, white facade blends in to the trendy barbers, coffee shops and boutiques that line Shoreditch’s Redchurch Street. Were it not for a colleague suggesting it as a lunch destination, I might never have discovered it at all.Unsurprisingly, Burro e Salvia puts pasta in the spotlight – both in the menu and in the way the space is laid out. The restaurant is tucked away beyond a counter and small deli section where the young, friendly Sfogline (the female chefs) make pasta which can be cooked at home or eaten in the ’tasting corner’. They even host workshops where attendees can learn to make Ravioli or Egg Pasta whilst sipping on coffee or wine. Continue reading