Half a dozen things that people who get paid to write about food and drink have actually written
one) Brace yourself, London. The most Instagrammed breakfast item of our times is getting its own event. That’s right: pop-up pro Meredith O’Shaughnessy is hosting a five-course avocado brunch this Sunday. The fruit has been liberated from its toasty shackles and is finally getting the gourmet treatment it deserves. Avocado soup, risotto, cocktails, ice cream and chocolate; the green guys are getting puréed, baked, deep-fried and frozen. Who knew they were so damn versatile? Anyone who’s ever bought one of these wrinkly beauties knows they aren’t cheap so, of course, neither is this feast. Tickets cost £55.
two) The name ‘Poilâne’ is synonymous with the word ‘sourdough’. The brand’s famous round loaves are made from stone-ground flour, sea salt and decades-old naturally-occurring yeasts, baked in wood-fired ovens. All these things are rather commonplace now.
three) At the risk of deviating from window-shopping and spending actual money, I decided to get my afternoon caffeine fix about five minutes away at Caravan Coffee Roasters, the official sponsor of Coffee Masters London, 2016. Perched at one end of Exmouth Market, this roaster-come-restaurant mirrors the market’s gritty yet stylish feel thanks to its exposed concrete floor, industrial shelves and French bistro-inspired chairs. Visit during the summer months and you’ll discover that its large bi-fold doors have been thrown open, welcoming in the sights and sounds of the street. Sipping on an Kenyan Karimikui AB filter coffee – with beautiful intense cherry sweetness and light tea notes – I perused the restaurant’s mouth-watering menu… it’s fair to say Caravan’s high on my list of brunch venues next time I’m in the area.
four) As smooth as their silks, as tempting as their scents and now, as flowery as their shirts – two exclusive new flavours of Häagen-Dazs ice cream have arrived at Liberty London to celebrate spring. And given that Liberty has never had an ice cream shop before, we suspect this is going to be something special.
five) To celebrate the very best deep-fried chickpea balls around, the first ever London Falafel Festival is coming to Borough Market on May 1. A £20 ticket to the fest will get you samples of four of the very finest falafels from around the world. There's charred-aubergine falafel by acclaimed chef Mustafa Elrefaey of Zööba, all the way from Cairo; black-eye-bean falafel by Hadi Hazim of Beirut pop-up sensation Fusion Cult; plus two home-grown efforts; one from street food pros Hoxton Beach – made with fava beans and chickpeas – and the second a spiced chickpea sandwich from falafel and houmous bar Pilpel. And if you're wondering how you'll squeeze in all those pulses, fear not – all the samples are handy half-sized portions.
six) Celebrating 75 years in the UK, the SPAM Brand has become the most iconic meat brand on the planet — referenced by Monty Python in THAT sketch and recently enjoying a renaissance in hip areas of London like Dalston and Shoreditch.