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Have you ever been to London before? I have, and when I think about that trip and the food I ate (even though it was only a weekend long trip), all I remember was a lovely afternoon tea at The Wolseley and some bangers and mash I had at a pub with a Pimm’s Cup to wash it all down. How stereotypical is that!? Granted, I was studying in Paris and didn’t have much money, especially since the U.S. dollar was worth 1/2 of what the pound was.

After looking through this book, I KNOW I missed out on a lot. Whereas before I figured I’d go back to London again because I didn’t get to spend much time there and my husband’s never been, now I’ll be mapping out delicious places to eat too! It’s been added to my list of culinary destinations thanks to Aleksandra Crapanzano’s incredible “research” of the best dishes at great restaurants of all different types.

The beginning of the book is filled with a history of London and it’s culinary evolution along with charming black and white photos of different parts of a restaurant and/or bar. There is even a London culinary tree included!

The cookbook is broken down into sections such as Light Fare; Pasta, Rice & Grains; Fowl; Meat; Desserts; Chilled Desserts, etc. Two sections of dessert!!!!! I KNOW! Each section contains its own Table of Contents which makes it much easier to find what you’re searching for. And in each Table of Contents is each recipe listed with the restaurant and chef.

Perhaps you’re in the mood for the Welsh Rarebit from St. John or the Potted Shrimp from Rules. Maybe the Fennel and Watercress Soup found at Newman Street Tavern for a light lunch. And if you’re in the mood for pasta? You must try the Cinnamon-Scented Porcini Duck Ragu  (Mission) or Risotto All’Amarone Della Valpolicella with Spiced Pumpkin (The River Cafe). You’ll find cassoulets, Deconstructed Cheesecake, Purple Sprouting Broccoli, Garam Masala Christmas Pudding, and so many other enticing recipes that you’ll never leave your kitchen AND the next trip you book will be to London to try each dish at the actual place it is served.

Oh, and if the name of some of the recipes throws you for a loop or sounds like something you’d never try, then just let your mouth water at the beautiful accompanying photograph and you might change your mind.

This book is not only an incredible and unique addition to your bookshelf, but a guide to your next culinary adventure in London. Aleksandra Crapanzano has done all the hard work for you. What are you waiting for?

The London Cookbook at Penguin Random House


I received this book for free from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.