This week is said to be the coldest week of the year in the UK, and at this time of year (not surprisingly) I’m a sucker for being cosy and feeling comforted. After the fun and excitement of Christmas and the slog of January, it’s difficult to motivate yourself, especially when it comes to going back to work, and food, for me any way, is pretty much the ultimate comfort (the complete opposite of any kind of fitness resolution, I know).
With three of it’s restaurants in the Top 50 Best and copious numbers of other restaurants, markets and street food vendors from over 270 different nationalities, it’s obvious that London is a great place for food. You really can find anything and everything here, which is what I love about being in this city. In my quest for comfort on these dark days, below are my top four comfort eats, perfect for cheering you up on a dark and rainy afternoon.
First of all, a Sunday roast is a true British tradition that really cannot be beaten on its comfort levels.
Set underground in the centre of busy Soho, the cosy tables and the smell of open cooking are a warm welcome from the chilly December air. Temper‘s roast itself is everything you could want: indulgent, melt in the mouth and served with a large amount of extras. My favourite is definitely the cauliflower cheese which is super rich and gooey: the ultimate comfort. As you sink back into your food coma, even the relaxed and friendly service is guaranteed to put a smile on your face. In all, the perfect chilly Sunday. They also do other dishes in the week including various meats, flat breads and tacos, including the infamous cheese burger taco you may have seen on Masterchef. For menus and information visit their website.
Hoppers, Frith Street
Hoppers is another Soho gem offering a Sri Lankan feast for the mouth and the eyes. The first thing that struck me about Hoppers was not just the warm red interior, but the speed of the service.
We opted for the taste of Hoppers selection and not long after we ordered dish after dish after dish of delicious food started to appear. You feel like royalty as the plates arrive and even more so when you start to get stuck in. The perfect mix of spices, flavours and textures really is a one way ticket to flavour town and if you’re in London it really can’t be missed.
You will have to get there early though – they don’t take any reservations and there is always a queue before the doors even open!
Okan, Coldharbour Lane
Ramen is a winter warmer essential in the capital and is currently my boyfriend’s favourite thing to eat when we go out at the weekends. Okan on Coldharbour Lane is not only our local, but the best we’ve had so far (and we’ve eaten a whole ton of ramen while living here). Okan is friendly and has a cosy, authentic feel which embraces you as soon as you walk through the door. It’s simple and delicious menu is amazing and each hearty ramen is like a hug in a bowl.
Much like Hoppers though, they do not take reservations, so give yourself plenty of time to enjoy this one.
Tiger and Pig, Brixton
As they say, best til last. I know know, I’m sorry, Brixton again, but really this area of London is amazing for food at the moment.
Tiger and Pig is the newest addition to the famous Brixton Village, and I must say, Bao being my favourite food, I was just a little excited… Ok, I was horrendously excited, but luckily it did not disappoint. We visited first during the soft launch at Christmas time and a couple of times more recently and it just gets better and better. While it has to be said that there are still a few small teething problems that they’re working out and asking feedback on, the food makes none of that matter. The Bao themselves are moreish and full of texture, and the starters (I love sides and starters) are delicious.
Light bite or full on banquet, Tiger and Pig is definitely worth a visit.
If you have a favourite cosy spot, I’d love to hear from you!