BACON MY HEART @ ST JOHN Bread & Wine, LONDON – Solo Dining

Halloween was yesterday. However for the past few days I have been coming to terms with something more frightening than: killer clowns, ghouls, witches. Do you want to know what it is? I opened my fridge on Sunday and uttered the scariest line ever:

where’s the bacon?

There is no bacon in my fridge. I love bacon. In fact when I was in my right on teen years and vegetarian for a couple of them – on one fateful Sunday the smell of bacon was all too much that I caved. Yes I wanted to save animals but does bacon count. Having lived in France and visited the USA a number of times I can tell you that no one does bacon like the English. It’s not just the bacon there are several other factors:  the bread, sauce and to butter the bread or not. I’ve eaten some terrible bacon sandwiches in my time. However, sometimes you chance upon the perfect bacon sarnie and it’s so good there are no words. The best bacon sandwich in London can be found at St John Bread and Wine.

Location, Location

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It’s located across the way from Spitafield market – so you can have a wander round the shops in there and then cross over the road for a sandwich.

Good Vibes

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You don’t come here to look at the fancy interior. It is all about the food. St John created by the great Ferguus Henderson is all meat. He introduced the nose to tail eating – nothing is wasted here. This is carnivore heaven, apologies vegetarians. The interior is old school actually it felt like an old school room. The menu is given to you on a sheet of paper or you can look at the blackboard. It is also very relaxed. Your order is taken and then in the great British tradition you are left alone to read, look around or just be.

Drinks & Eats

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I ordered a cappucino and bacon sandwich. I know this is nose to tail eating and there were certain items on the menu I couldn’t bring myself to eat. Kidneys in the morning no thanks. I came for the bacon sandwich and this is what everyone should strive for. Fresh grilled homemade bread, just enough butter so that is when your teeth sink it the bread your fingertips glisten but, most importantly, there is no ooze. The bacon rashers just enough fat and a slight chew. Can it get any better. Yes – the ketchup is homemade. There are times when I am grateful to dine solo and this was it. A meditative moment, musing on the greatness of the bacon sandwich.

As for the cup of coffee; rich, dark, smooth and strong just how I like a lot of things including my coffee.

If you want to experience good meat and the perfect bacon sandwich get yourself down to St John Bread & Wine.

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Baby in the corner? Not at all – not only did I arrive 30 mins before end of service I was allowed to sit anywhere I chose! Now that’s service.

Pricey? My sublime coffee and bacon sarnie cost less than £10.

Where? 94-96 Commercial Street , London , E1 6LZ

How? A leisurely 10 minute stroll through Spitafields market

Open when? Breakfast 8am – 12pm / Lunch midday – 4pm / Supper 6 – 11pm

Website: https://www.stjohngroup.uk.com

Square Meal

Hot Right Now – solo dining @ KILN, London

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The hot new trend on the London restaurant scene is the “no reservations” policy. So what it means in practice is this:

You turn up with a couple of friends and ask for a table.

The reply is – sorry we don’t have any tables for another two hours.

Wait, what I though there was a no reservations policy?

Yes there is but you come and leave your name and number and then we text you when your table is ready.

Otherwise known as these hipper than hip restaurants don’t want to have to pay someone to manage a diary, they want guaranteed bums on chairs so make you rock up and leave your name and then they call you. The flaw in the plan – it’s cute at the beginning but the no reservations but we do really policy gets old fast. I still have yet to eat at Hoppers because every time I turn up at 6.30pm on a Friday night – solo or with friends I’m told there are no spaces left. The restaurant opens at 6pm so either the whole of London runs to put their name down on the list or the door person doesn’t know how to work the iPad their holding. The problem with all of that is, maybe I’m getting old, but I just want to eat when I want to eat and I like having a reservation beforehand. All this spontaneous booking rubbish means if you forget to put your name down or have a friend who just doesn’t queue forget the hip place. Although 4 is the magic number so if there are 4 or more of you – these types of restaurants will let you book the old fashioned way. So you know what you need to do – make some friends. However, as a solo diner sometimes just sometimes you get lucky and skip the 3 hour wait – YES 3 HOURS – and sit down straight away at 7.30pm on a Saturday night just before catching a film at the Curzon Soho as part of the London Film Festival at the hottest table in town – Kiln Soho! View Post

Oyster Happiness @ Wright Brothers, London

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How will I know I’m successful?

I shall go to the cinema at midday and afterwards sate my appetite eating oysters all day and not worry about the cost. However, whilst I am still in the fake it whilst I make it stage I must watch the pennies, sort of. How is it possible to eat oysters everyday and not worry too much? Not walk and text is how. Walkers and texters miss all the bargains – you have to keep your eyes peeled. A few weeks ago I came across the sign above and made a mental note. I thought I really must try out this place although I did have a sense of fear. You see I’m a virgin. An oyster virgin in public. I’ve eaten the delicacies with people who know what they are doing in sweeping gardens in South West France and on a dock of a bay in San Francisco. The imagery is sickening I know! However, eating them in a restaurant and ALONE – I recoiled in silent horror just as I imagine an oyster does when the shallot vinaigrette is first poured on. View Post