A food-filled trip to London and Oxford

Last Friday, after work, I headed into London on the train to meet with my two uni friends, Laura and Charlotte, for a good catch up. I’ve said this before, but I do like going to London with people who know London. Both Charlotte and Laura are very travel-savvy as well so I  know I’m in good hands and can relax (and not make any Anna Errors).

We met up at Waterloo and then headed straight to Covent Garden to get some food. We had no real place in mind so walked around enjoying the beautiful Christmas lights and decorations – and smelling the delicious food stalls that were selling hot mulled wine and tasty cakes.london-covent-gardenAnd seeing an “Apple Market” just made my evening 😉img_6595We eventually decided on Southern Joe’s for dinner. It was fairly dark inside but looked pretty cool and the menu seemed to specialise in chicken (and you know I love me some chicken).img_6597It was very much Southern American food with lots of fried chicken, burgers and gumbo. I ordered half balsamic honey roasted chicken (after a brief discussion with the waiter who seemed to think that half would be too much for me, but I reassured him otherwise).img_6596Laura ordered a burger and Charlotte ordered the vegetarian gumbo which came with cornbread. She let me try her cornbread and I’m not joking when I say it tasted of sticky toffee pudding. It was literally like a pudding. How bizarre! My chicken was delicious – probably insanely unhealthy with all the honey glazed-deliciousness (and serving size) but satisfaction was left high (as was my blood sugar I imagine).

As we were in Covent Garden and because no meal is complete without a pudding, we headed over to Snog for a frozen yogurt.snog-frozen-yogurtI went for a regular sized original flavour(which was actually quite big – says the girl who at a previous time had ordered the large) with raspberries and brownie chunks. It was delicious.img_6600

We then headed to Soho to go to The Piano Bar, where we’d booked a table for drinks. However when we got there we were told that it was full. We were a bit confused because what exactly does booking mean then? The bouncer on the door had no idea and just said we couldn’t be let in because it was full. Well, that’s helpful! So we headed off somewhere else instead – and I’m quite glad we did as where we ended up was lovely and the cocktails were DIVINE (I can’t remember the bar name sorry!).img_6606I had a gin sour which contained sloe gin amongst other ingredients (including an egg white!!). It tasted delicious. After lots of giggles and cocktails, we headed back to Laura’s.

The next morning, a little bit tired, we got up and headed to Oxford to meet our two other university friends.oxfordThe train was ridiculously busy from London to Oxford but luckily the three of us got seats. It was nice to travel on a train with friends rather than on my own.

We met up in Starbucks (“but first coffee” springs to mind) and one of our friends dropped the bombshell that she’s pregnant. We were all squealing and cheering – much to the annoyance of the studious people in there trying to get work done. It’s quite shocking really; having babies is proper adult. She’s the first in our group to be pregnant so it’s all very exciting. I’m very pleased for her and her husband, they’ll make fantastic parents!

We walked round Oxford for a bit and got a bit of déjà vu walking through the Covered Market and seeing the cakes being make and decorated, as we’d previously done this pretty much at the same time (bar one day) four years ago (you can check that post out HERE).cakes-in-the-covered-market-oxfordLunch was next on the agenda and I quickly Googled Oxford restaurants and found a good one through Trip Advisor called Kazbar, a Spanish tapas restaurant.
the-kazbarThe decor was fantastic; lots of low seated tables, big cushions and cool art everywhere (I won’t pretend to have any further knowledge of this sort of thing). Normally tapas isn’t really my thing. I enjoy the food, don’t get me wrong, but the idea of sharing dishes with people is my nightmare (for the Brits reading this, imagine Smithy from Gavin and Stacey). But as I was among good friends they know what I’m like and reassured me I wouldn’t have to share 😉

We ordered some bread and hummus for the table (acceptable sharing) and everyone ordered three dishes while I ordered four (standard).img_6620Tapas is great because you can really have a lot of variety and mix and match flavours. I had slow cooked lamb, a goat’s cheese salad, pork ribs and chicken chorizo. Very tasty (the ribs were my favourite, of course).img_6626After lunch we wandered around the shops. Thankfully the weather was just cold and not wet. We then went into search of something sweet to just top the day off nicely. We found a nice little cafe and had a hot drink. My friend Kate and I had a cream tea. It came with two scones. I suppose normal people would share but Kate and I are quite good at eating (she’s my Florida buddy).img_6629I mean it was a bit of a push but we persevered. I was fully ready for a nap after that! After more walking, we parted ways and I headed back to Southampton. A lovely jam-packed (literally with the scone…sorry, couldn’t resist!) weekend.

What’s your favourite place to visit in the UK? I do enjoy London but only for a brief visit as I find it very overbearing, crowded and stressful.

Do you share food at a restaurant?

What’s your favourite cocktail/mocktail?

8 thoughts on “A food-filled trip to London and Oxford

  1. Hi,
    My name is Katie, I hate sharing food and can only eat Tapas with certain people.
    I love proving waiters wrong and firmly believe that two scones are better than one.
    But seriously, Okay. That was serious. I adore reading blogs when people are just out, having fun, catching up and balancing a healthy life with a weekend of indulgence. It’s good to eat real food!
    It looks like you had a wonderful weekend, I love London but I find it so expensive and sometimes I really struggle with navigation.
    I think my favourite place in the UK could be the peak district, there’s so many places to walk, run, climb and SO MUCH CAKE!

  2. What a lovely weekend! I find London so busy too- I like that I live close enough that I can go for just an afternoon or evening, instead of feeling that it took so long to get there (or cost so much) that I need to stay all day. My faavourite places are Brighton (loads of veggie places and cakes, lovely to walk by the sea, nice shops) and Bath (again, more cake, a nice place to wander, this time of year has the Christmas market, and of course the spa).
    I had a really nice mocktail (I think?) in Brighton at the weekend – it was called something like a ginger zinger, and was something like ginger, star anise, some other spices with lime juice. Sounds weird but it was lovely, and perfect for a cold weekend.
    Maria @ runningcupcake recently posted…Preston Park parkrunMy Profile

  3. Oh I looooove tapas! My absolute favourite type of meal. I like lots of variety in my meals so to be able to choose so many dishes without being judged is always going to be a winner!
    Sounds like you had a great weekend. 🙂 I haven’t been away for a long while, but as long as somewhere isn’t overcrowded, has lots of places I can walk and explore, and has some quaint pubs/cake shops, then I’m happy!
    Mary recently posted…Finding a routine – bathtime with HiPPMy Profile

  4. I absolutely CANNOT share food in restaurants! It’s terrible but I just don’t want to miss out. I love ordering lots of small dishes (and always go one dish above what they suggest on the menu, I like to be full). Always happy to finish off my friends’ food too!
    I love visiting London, but only for the day, and it’s great to go with people who know their way about. Also love Bristol, Bath and Edinburgh, great food and places to visit.
    Favourite cocktail: pretty much anything with rum! Pornstar martinis are pretty great and a simple cuba libre.

  5. Ooooh tapas is one of my favourites! They have another really good one up on the other side of Oxford centre which is one of my fav restaurants in Oxford! There are tonnes of great places here though, my favourite, Atomic Burger is just up the road from Kazbar if you’re in town again. 😉 Looks like you had fun here and glad you haven’t been too put off by the hoards of tourists! 🙂

    Bath is one of my favourite to visit and I love Stratford-upon-Avon too.

    Love a Aperol Spritz which I suppose is a cocktail? And moijito! 😉

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