ask Jen about
breakfast and brunch • vegetarian • bakery • desserts • café • coffee shop • pattiserie
What do you do and why do you do it?
I run Taste Tripper and Chocolate Ecstasy Tours. Both businesses help people discover the great people and locations in London involved in making delicious food and drink. With Chocolate Ecstasy Tours we guide you to them personally, with Taste Tripper you make your own delicious journey. I absolutely love food and I love London. My favourite thing is discovering talented people making delicious things, so I want to share them with everyone. I'm also a big fan of all of London's other fun facts and history and I like geeking out on food knowledge, too.
What are the best TV shows of all time?
I loved The Good Wife and The Good Fight. Give me all the law room dramas. I get lost in any "who done it" style dramas like The Mentalist and Person of Interest, too.
What’s the area/ spot in town you’ll never be caught dead in?
Oxford Street. Which isn't entirely true because I will go there, but I avoid it where possible. Too many people, it's so slow to walk down the street and it makes it hard to appreciate the architecture.
What’s the thing you LOVE to do in your city that you never get to do?
I love wandering to explore new areas. I am always walking around London but my days are so busy I rarely get to pick an area and wander aimlessly to stumble upon all the changes and the older beauty this city has. I love it when I do make the time to do this. EVERYWHERE you go in London has incredible architecture, beautiful green spaces and usually interesting shops, cafes or restaurants.
What’s the most expensive restaurant / spa / hotel you’ve ever been to in London? How much did it cost and what did you get there?
Probably Le Gavroche. I was treated so I have no idea how much it cost but I imagine it was a lot. It was wonderfully decadent from the moment we stepped inside. The cheese soufflé was a dish of dreams.
What restaurant in London looks crap, but the food’s amazing?
JEN café in Soho. Obviously it has a great name. :-) The staff are pretty surly and the seats are plastic stools near the ground but the dumplings (made in the window) are delicious and great value.
Which snacks can you only get in your country, and which ones do you recommend?
Jaffa cakes! You can probably get them in other countries but they are so good and addictive. As long as you like chocolate orange. I actually don't buy them because it's impossible to eat just one and I eat so many other sweet things for work.
What’s the one place you think is overrated in London?
Oxford Street. I'm not sure if anyone actually rates it, though I have heard tourists feel like they need to go there to shop. All of the shops there can be found elsewhere and it's just unbearably busy most of the time.
What’s the one place you think is underrated in London?
Most of the lesser-known parks: St James, Battersea and Victoria Park in particular. Once you're in them you feel like you're not even in London. They're so green and so pretty.
What are the London spots a first-time visitor can’t miss?
Walking across Waterloo Bridge is beautiful and free. You can see most of the major London sights from it. I love the bustle of Borough Market but go early on a weekday to avoid it being uncomfortably crowded.
Tomorrow’s your last day in London. How do you spend it?
I'd watch the sunrise from somewhere high - probably Duck & Waffle so I could have great food at the same time. I love going out for breakfast. I'd probably spend the whole day wandering, through museums and galleries that I've always meant to visit more, stopping for great coffee, matcha or hot chocolate and cake along the way. All the way from Liverpool Street through Holborn, down through Temple Gardens, into the National Portrait Gallery, across to the Tate Modern and then back over into Westminster Abbey for a tour and then walk through St James Park and Green Park and all the way to Notting Hill for dinner at The Ledbury.