Where to Eat in London: Fabrique Swedish Bakery

Fabrique | Swedish Bakery Cafe | Hoxton | Website
– reservations not available –

Who would have thought that one of the best Swedish bakeries in London would be located in the railway arches underneath of Hoxton station? The setting is contemporary, and might seem a little odd, but ultimately adds character to the store. It’s also pretty easy to find – just exit Hoxton station and turn right, within less than a minute you will be gazing at Fabrique’s big red doors, ready for some Fika.

The artisanal bakery is the first outside of Stockholm, making Londoners very lucky indeed. Offering Swedish coffee by Johan & Nyström, and a large selection of buns, flapjacks, brownies, rolls and more you won’t be left lonely for choice. There are only a few tables to sit at, but most customers are on the go, so there’s usually the odd table to hijack with a friend or two. My friend and I visited on a Sunday afternoon around 3pm and whereas there were a few people sat at tables, we found a seat out front and enjoyed a Cardamon Bun and an Earl Grey tea with ease. It might seem odd that I choose a Cardamon Bun rather than Fabrique’s famous Cinnamon Bun, but actually I’d tried the latter before and wanted to try something new instead. Whereas their Cinnamon Buns have earned rave reviews, and I did enjoy mine, I loved the Cardamon Bun even more. I also now go back weekly for their sourdough rye rolls – honestly the best sourdough I’ve ever had. The staff are lovely, very helpful and always up for a chat.

Fika is open Tuesday-Sunday until 6pm.
You can find out more on their website, here.

 

Guest Post: When Fashion & Culture Clash!

It’s been a while since I featured a guest post and I think this is a great one to come back with!
The lovely Alina is from Germany and blogs at ‘A Panda in Wonderland‘. She is passionate about fashion and travelling, amongst other things. Psst, she’s also currently running a giveaway!

Today she will be sharing with you how she doesn’t give up on her personal style, even when it means loving the fashion of one culture (Japan) that conflicts with her own (Germany).

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When the doors of the arrival gate opens it is not only the cold, rainy weather that welcomes me back to Germany but also the judging gazes that lie upon me.
I’ve been traveling back and forth to Japan since 2008 and the problem of wearing my japanese outfits back home has not gotten any better. In my opinion some countries are either too conservative or too boring to accept something ‘different’ from what they see everyday. Seriously, doesn’t wearing jeans and T-shirts all the time get boring?

The usual comments I receive (most people don’t even have the courage to say it to my face) are: ‘Isn’t that too short?’ , ‘What’s with the dolly look, she must be one of those anime freaks!’ or ‘How old is she to think that she can wear such pattern?!’ Most of them giggle or point fingers on top of that. Honestly speaking, I don’t really give a damn anymore what they think since I rather wear my unique outfits than drown in the boring crowd of Jeans.
I’m facing the same problems with hair accessories like bows or hairbands. In Japan you are constantly being complimented on them while back home everyone is rolling their eyes. It is scary how some people just can’t tolerate what they aren’t used to.

If you have ever been to Tokyo, you are probably aware of the fact that almost no one looks the same, outfit wise. They all have their own style, a different hairdo and fashion taste, yet it seems to be tolerated by everyone around them. If you have time, sit down in a nice câfe and watch the people who pass by, it always inspires me fashion wise.
Colorful or patterned tights are also a little bit risky over here. You immediately end up in the cheap woman section even though you are just trying to pimp your simple H&M dress. Ridiculous in my opinion. Clubbing in my ‘night out’ outfits from Japan is a unbelievable pain in the ass because everything that Japanese consider stylish (Oshare) is judged as slutty over here.
So no matter what you do, you either end up in the ‘slutty’ or the ‘anime freak with no taste’ section. Even though you are just chosing another fashion style than the majority is.

Nevertheless, I’ll continue with my personal style and would like to encourage everybody else who is facing the same problem to do the same.
After all it’s me (you) who have to feel comfortable in what you wear not everybody else 😉

Where to Eat in London: Dishoom

Dishoom | Bombay Cuisine | All-day Menu | Shoreditch | Website
– reservations available –
 
If I told you there was a Bombay Cafe in East London, you’d probably think I was crazy.
Well I may be a little weird, but I’m definitely not crazy, because right in the heart of Shoreditch is Dishoom.
Drawing inspiration from the elegance of the old cafes in Bombay, Dishoom is as beautiful inside as the food is delicious.
We stopped for brunch on a Saturday morning, around 10:30am.
It wasn’t busy but there were a few couples and groups dotted about.
Breakfast is served until 11:30am on weekdays, and 1pm on weekends (possible hangover cure?).
The inside of the restaurant is spacious and gorgeously decorated in a rustic Bombay-inspired manner.
We were sat by a very chilled matradee and served by a friendly waitress, both whom matched the atmosphere.
I was enticed by the variety of food on the breakfast menu, especially when I saw the Indian inspiration.
I’d heard that the ‘Spicy Chai’ was amazing, so I ordered one for myself, whilst the fiance had the ‘Breakfast Lassi’.
He went for the ‘Full Bombay’ and I filled up on the ‘House Porridge’ & ‘Fire Toast – we were both impressed.
Whereas I was intimidated by the spicy scrambled egg, the fiancé said it was “the best [he’d] ever had.”
We both enjoy our food (probably more than the next person), so after we both said we’d be back I knew it was a hit! Next time I definitely plan to have the ‘Chocolate Spicy Chai’ and the ‘Sausage Naan Roll’ (an interesting sounding take on an English staple), or the ‘Bombay Omelette’ – if I’m feeling brave (I can’t handle spice). The prices were reasonable and the food amazing. I’ll be trying out the lunch (I may have already arranged a date with a friend) and the dinner menu soon.
Check out Dishoom’s website here.

Where to Eat in London: Fika

Fika | Scandinavian | Lunch/Dinner | Brick Lane | Website
– reservations available –

I’m a pretty big foodie, if you hadn’t already guessed, so sometimes I like to post about food in London. This is an ongoing series (you can find the series here) as my love for food and discovering new bars, restaurants etc. continues to blossom. Lately I’ve decided to do special feature posts for places that really stand out to me. Today is Fika – a Swedish ‘Bar & Grille’ that has an amazingly relaxed atmosphere.

I’ve been before for Fika (Swedish for coffee break), when I had tea, gorgonzola & ginger biscuits. We were so impressed that I decided to take my fiancé back there for a post-Valentine’s Day meal. This time we had lunch and a very special treat of Semla, which is a traditional sweet roll eaten at Lent. It’s basically the Scandinavian version of Pancakes for Pancake Day, so I wanted to reserve a couple and enjoy it. The roll is very much like a bread roll (spiced with cardamon seeds), but hollowed out and filled with almond paste & whipped cream. It was certainly something different, and I didn’t dislike it, in fact it was nice as it wasn’t too sweet, although I think I would have enjoyed it slightly more if there had been extra almond paste – but it’s a favourite of mine, so I’m biased.

Before our Semla, we indulged in some lunch where I had Swedish Meatballs and the fiance had Lax Planka Salmon both of which were wonderful, and full of flavour! The meatballs came with the oh-so Swedish traditional accompaniment of mashed potato, red wine sauce and lingonberry jam. You might think that the lingonberry and red wine would counteract each other, as they’re both strong flavours, however both complimented the other, and the dish, very well. The portion sizes were perfect and left me feeling full, but not enough that I couldn’t fit in something sweet.

Fika are offering Semla for the whole of February, but you’ll need to book.