a giveaway: london vegfest 2013 tickets

london vegfest 2013

I shared an avocado loaf recipe with you yesterday – and today I bring you a pair of tickets to london’s greatest veggie food show! I miss living in london, and sometimes I miss it even more – and this is one of those times. 160 food stores, cooking lessons, comedians and loads of people talking about and eating food – this just sounds like an incredible amount of fun.

and we all know that food festivals mean free food – and what’s better than that?

so since I can’t go (did you think I’d share otherwise?) – I have a pair of tickets to give away for each day of the festival!

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portobello market, london

just a couple of snapshots from the world-famous portobello market at notting hill. it was a rainy day, but the streets were bright with crockery and knick-knacks out laid out in proud recognition of british style and history.

incidentally I bought a sort of stylized russian hat there that day, which will serve as yet another indelible memory of good times in london.

the last photo here are of wooden rackets, and remind me of my first tennis lesson five years ago, when I brought along my father’s aged – and well-preserved – wooden racket. my coach was stunned into sputtering incoherence – I doubt he had seen one over the last decade, and not anyone who brought it in earnest to truly use (in my defence, I didn’t know better).

good memories, these. if you’re ever in the area, by the by, dri dri gelato serves a mean cup of italian ice.

cafe rouge, heathrow

decent frenchish at london heathrow’s terminal four. gone are the days when I expect airport food to be mediocre – there are multiple decent chains in the london airport, and even singapore’s changi airport is turning itself out to be more like a mall that so happens to have some runways by the side. this was our last meal in london before we flew back to singapore, and thank goodness it was pretty good as we were in the middle of a great british airways fiasco.

we had got on our original late-night flight from heathrow, woke up after 10 hours of travel time for the customary before-touchdown breakfast, only to be told by the captain that we were on the way back to london due to engine failure – and that we had been on the return route for 6 hours by then. we had to queue up for more than 3 hours to try and get a return ticket home (24 hours after our first one) and by then we were famished, and not very happy people.

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borough market, take 2

I’m feeling quite terribly homesick for london right now, so I thought I ought to dash this one right off into the blogosphere. there is something about london in winter, and I wish I were back there – even with the blighting cold that seems to have hit earlier this year.

you’ll see now that my photos mark the date at which I was in london – it was barely midway through autumn where pumpkins abounded with mushrooms and other seasonal goodies, and mulled wine was starting to make its presence felt in the market through long queues at stores and the smell of alcohol and spices wafting through the air.

the medley of mushrooms in the second photograph are especially beautiful in light of the fact that you can barely get such a variety in singapore – and if they are available here, the prices are far too ridiculous. I had also never seen mushrooms as blue as the ones I saw at the market that day, and I think they would be amazing wilted down in a knob of butter and grated garlic.

there is much to enjoy in singapore food-wise, but especially on days like this one, looking at photos of my adventures in london take me back to a wonderfully unforgettable – and dearly-missed – period of my life.

borough market, london

a first of two posts on borough market – I love this place. there is something incredible about markets – the produce, the produce-producers, the products from the produce – my catalogue of posts about markets is rather testament to my fascination with them.

london doesn’t have nearly as many pedestrian markets as in france, and I’ve always found somehow that london markets have a higher ratio of cooked food and packaged food stores than actual grown produce. that’s just my impression though – and not necessarily a bad one as it means I can nibble from store to store (the remainder of that usually goes to my long-suffering partner and family).

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dining at the whole foods market, london

okay food at the whole foods market food court along high street kensington. whole foods is admittedly a pretty awesome place for groceries – but sometimes its cooked food options aren’t the best. I’m happy enough with their salad bar on the ground floor – hugely exorbitant though – and some of their cold offerings behind the counter, but their hot food always seem a let down – usually overcooked, continuously heated food with grey-ing vegetables and I suspect, very few nutrients. the food court above fairs better, though I’ve really only patronized the mexican, the japanese and now the american barbecue store. it’s not bad food necessarily, and possibly could remain an option if you’re already doing your groceries there, but certainly not worth traveling for.

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addie’s thai cafe, london

really good thai food at earls court. addie’s is pretty well known despite the fact that it’s more of a local than a destination restaurant, but the offerings of fantastic thai food at reasonable prices in london are less abundant than you might think. I generally like going to busaba eathai, but with a small-ish (comparatively) menu as compared to addie’s, the flavours there can get a little monotonous after a couple visits – and addie’s is brilliant for punchy thai meals.

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zizzi ristorante, hampton court

surprisingly great italian near the hampton court palace. so I’ve been to zizzi’s before, about two years into my stay in london, and I did not have a great time. the food was mediocre, service was hectic, the place was cramped – this was at the earls court outlet – and I left never wanting to come back. and I didn’t, until now, and it was great.

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balans, london

great simple brunch place along high street kensington. I used to live not ten minutes from this place, and always wondered what the food was like – I think I didn’t expect it to be impressive seeing as how this was a pretty generic chain (though really my liking for food at ASK and byron really should have advised me better). but this place was fantastic, and really just the thing for a mid-morning brunch with the family. it isn’t spectacular, but it is pretty good, and wholly able to satisfy the craving for some hearty food in the morning.

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geales, london

best fish I’ve had in london – or at the least the best that I can recall, located near high street kensington. I am really excited about sharing this with you – it was such a fantastic meal with staggering portions, my family had a lark of a time (especially because we love fish and seafood) and I am still berating myself over the fact that I never visited once in the last four years – truly idiotic behaviour. I implore you to learn from my mistake and come have a great dinner here.

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