Guilty Pleasures:
The London Food Diary

As you may or may not know, skyn ICELAND has been creating quite a buzz across the pond. We are so excited to be a part of the UK retailer, Marks & Spencer’s first ever beauty initiative.

Recently, I traveled to London to meet the M&S team and our talented Beauty Advisors who will be the on-site selling specialists in each store. Almost as exciting as the purpose of my trip was retracing my old stomping grounds from my study abroad days.

I’m quite passionate about good food, not culinary, exotic delicacies necessarily, quite the opposite- my favorite food is a sandwich. But, if you give me a well-crafted sandwich, I will talk about it for days down to the condiments and seasoning. So, naturally the only memories I captured were of the delicious London foods I ate. Buckle your seatbelts, we’re going on a succulent tour through Kensington, London:

Lamb Doner Kebab at Star Kebab. A kebab (pronounced kee-bab) is like an American gyro. It’s one of the few ways that I’ll eat a lot of veggies in one sitting. (Inside: Lamb, carrots, lettuce, cabbages and garlic mayo sauce in a pita. Delish.)

Grilled Chicken Wrap at Nando’s. Chicken wraps are pretty basic, but the house sauce really gave this wrap its kick. And anytime I can curl up with a good helping of mashed potatoes, sign me up! (Inside: Grilled chicken, pineapple, Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, special sauce (served mild because I’m a wimp) with mashed potatoes.)

Gelato at Oddono’s. A hidden holy grail of gelato, thank goodness I remembered how to find this place. Gelato is slightly healthier than ice cream because of its lower butterfat content, so I got two scoops. Those are the rules, right?  (Inside: 1 scoop Cookies n’crème+1 scoop Dark Chocolate)

Sausages and Colcannon at O’Neill’s. Colcannon looked like another excuse to eat mashed potatoes, so I ordered this traditional Irish meal. Colcannon turned out to be mashed potatoes with cabbage, and I can’t stop thinking about the revolution my mouth went through while I ate this tasty treat. And, bonus, Colcannon is often made with kale when the vegetable is in season. (Inside: Irish sausage and Colcannon in an au jus type dressing)

Drinks! I’m an avid water drinker by nature, and because of all the walking in London, my body was craving water to keep me hydrated. But I couldn’t leave without a taste of my two favorite drinks that you can’t get stateside.

  • Snakebite: This deliciously pink drink is comprised of a mixture that’s half Black Current Cordial and half Strongbow. The stateside version is gin and cider, which does not satisfy the sweettooth (that I have to a fault).
  • Babycham: This sparkling perry has an interesting history. Created in 1953, it was the first alcoholic product to be advertised on UK TV and was specifically geared towards women. The drink’s popularity has waned over time, but what I love aside from its admittedly offbeat taste is the slogan. It just can’t get any better: “The Happiest Drink in the World.”

Needless to say I’m looking for substitutes for each of these dishes in New York. If I could have one of these dishes per week, it would make me the happiest girl in the world.What are some of your favorite traditional English meals, homemade or when dining out?

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