London defied the stereotypes when it came to food. Without a broiled piece of meat in sight, we ate well and affordably (for London). The first night, we walked the quiet streets of Chelsea, down the famous Kings Road to a bustling pub called The Builder's Arms. The crowd of Manchester United fans swilling beer took us a back after a long time changing flight, but we were quickly whisked to a quiet back table.
We both enjoyed veggies to start followed by a golden pot pie for Kara and a smoked trout on a bed of beets and spinach for myself. The beer was served room temperature, which I found adorably British and our friendly waitress kept the kitchen open so we could have some comforting toffee pudding.
The next day we traveled to what is reportedly one of the best fish and chips spots in Marylebone, The Golden Hind, but were saddened to find it closed on a Saturday afternoon (lots of places there hold odd hours) so we settled for some very good (but very un-British) Italian across the street at Caffe Caldesi. I recommend the beet ravioli filled with speck.
Not to be denied, we ordered fish and chips for dinner, though at the very popular Tom's Kitchen, a recommendation by our hotel that was lively, had pretty wallpaper, and served great food (along with the fish we went crazy for their side of parsnips) and served some excellent pear cider called Poire Granit that put my gross out sweet connotations that come from, say, a Mike's Hard Lemonade to bed.
The next day while in the Brick Lane market, I tried a bite of my friends “3 very posh bangers in a bap” sold by a gregarious man in the middle of the market. It was incredible, the sausage was amazingly flavorful, the bread, hearty and soft. But our best meal was to come around the corner at the lovely and very crowded Story Deli. Decorated by the impeccably elegant Ann Shore who also runs the Story shop down the way (see minutes section), the bright space is filled with communal tables, pockets of airy dreamy inspiration and incredible crunchy pizzas. I ordered an irresistible chorizo and pumpkin (!) version piled with arugula.
Exhausted, that night we stumbled through Chelsea again upon a dim lit Mediterranean/Italian restaurant called Daphne's where a fashion model (unfamiliar) made for amazing eavesdropping while I ate grilled octopus.