The Birthday Edition: a weekend in London – part two

On our second day in London we had the tough decision of which museum to go to – we only really had time for one (considering how long we always end up looking around). We went with the British Museum since it was only a short trip on the tube and also rated very high on TripAdvisor. Afterwards we walked through Covent Garden, I had a sneak peak at Oxford Street, while Craig did his best impression of a ball and chain, and then we had a few drinks with friends in Shoreditch.

Bills1

We were determined to find a more gluten free-friendly breakfast place so, after a quick Google, we walked up to Bill’s Restaurant in Hoxton. Another London chain, Bill’s had a great breakfast menu and even gluten free bread – I was sorted. I absolutely adore the interior of this place, full of bric-a-brac and exposed brickwork, a really pleasant place to spend the morning. I went for another fresh mint tea, Craig opted for green and we ordered two breakfast – I got a bacon sandwich (£4.25)  and he went for a Bill’s breakfast (£7.95) (not Bill’s actual breakfast, obviously).

Bills2

Bill’s was not cheap but it was well worth the expense – a far superior breakfast to the previous day’s Breakfast Club in Spitalfields. Lovely service and an all-round great start to the day. With full bellies, we walked along to Old Street to witness the Silicon Roundabout and onto the Tube to the British Museum.

After the museum, we walked on down to theatre town. I really enjoyed walking around Covent Garden and seeing the theatres all lit up, the little boutiques on Monmouth Street that I’ve written about at work and the street performers in the market. However, this area was a little swanky for us, so finding somewhere to eat was hard. The only place I had on my list for that day was Dishoom, but I didn’t fancy indian food so after a quick search I realised that Wahaca had a venue nearby. Tucked a few streets along from Covent Garden market, the Mexican street food restaurant was a welcome sight after walking miles around the city.

Wahaca1

Greeted by a lovely waitress we were seated and began to peruse the menu. However, it didn’t highlight the gf options so I had to take a look at a separate sheet. I’ve got to hand it to them – this was the best gf menu I’d ever seen – the majority of the corn-based dishes (tacos) were gf, and they also included a section for those with ‘milder intolerances’ as some food was fried in the same oil as breaded products. I felt like I was dying of thirst, so we ordered a couple of Citrus Fizzes (£1.95), basically sparkling water with lime and mint – exactly what we needed.

To start we had tortilla chips and homemade guacamole and salsa to dip (£4.25/£3.25). Now, this guacamole has become somewhat of a legend in our house since that day. It was hands down the best guac I’d ever tasted, the menu said it was made fresh in-house every day and you could tell. The salsa was great too and we were glad we ordered these nibbles before our meal.

Wahaca2

For mains, we decided to order a selection of tapas, or ‘street food’, and see where it got us. We chose the tender, marinated chicken taquito (£4.15), grilled British steak taco (£4.50), pork pibil taco (£4.25) and sweet potato cubes (£3.50). This seemed like a good start as we weren’t sure how big the portion sizes would be. We were thoroughly impressed with every aspect of this meal; each plate was a perfect combination of flavours and, although they look small, they were pretty filling too! My only criticism would be that the sweet potato portion was a bit stingy, and that’s possibly the cheapest ingredient of them all.

I couldn’t recommend Wahaca higher  – this was possibly my favourite meal we had in London (maybe tied with Honest Burgers). I haven’t even mentioned the service yet. All the waiting staff were yapping on to each other in Spanish, which I loved. Not only as a languages graduate but they all embodied that accommodating, friendly vibe I have always experienced in Spain. Our waitress told us her name, sat down next to me when she took our orders and always returned to check if thing were okay (and not in an annoying way).  

We wandered around Oxford Street and I spent some of my birthday money, then we went back to the hotel to scrub up to meet some friends for a drink. After a few too many Rekorderligs in The Cornerhouse and Bar Kick on Shoreditch High Street, we stumbled home via Bamboo Box, a thai street food/take away. Even the post-night out take aways have gf options in London! (Gotta love Shoreditch). I’ve got to admit, I’m not sure exactly what we got but mine was a coconut-y curry with jasmine rice and Craig went with a salt and chilli chicken – a really great, a surprisingly healthy, way to end an evening out.

All in all a great experience in London and we’re counting down to the day Wahaca opens in Newcastle!

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