I am in the midst of finally reading “Eat, Pray, Love.” I just finished the first section of the book where she eats her way through Italy and writes incessantly about the amazing food in each location. While reading her descriptions of one mouth watering dish after another it left me with an insatiable desire to eat Italian cuisine, that very day, and lots of it. This landed me on the doorstep of Bocca di Lupo a small trattoria nestled in the heart of Soho. It opened its doors in 2008 and prides itself on authentic and uncomplicated Italian dishes. (The numerous awards definitely support this.) The menu draws its influence from the twenty different regions of Italy and one has the option of ordering most dishes in small or large portions. I love this touch as I a big fan of sampling more than one dish off of a menu. I always make sure my husband and I order something different when we are dining so we are able to share the two (half-sies style) and experience more than one culinary creation. So small dishes, more options is ideal.
Below is a sampling of what we feasted on. Note that the menu changes daily based upon the ingredients available so not all dishes below will always be on the menu. Everything we ate was amazing. I will not be cruel here and go on and on about the food, but will let you know that I was asking for more bread to sop up the sauce left on each plate. I am also already plotting a return visit as I was too stuffed to even try their famous gelato. Such an amateur.
Make a reservation if dining during the evening, or I will let you in on my secret to walking in and getting the best table in the house. Dine on Sunday afternoons around 3:30pm to 4:00pm. This is my favorite time to see a restaurant. After the maddening dinner rushes on Friday and Saturday are over and the staff are making their way through the final day of the weekend. I have always been able to walk in without a reservation and be seated immediately. So if in London and you are unable to hop on a plane to Italy this is the next best thing (and only a short tube ride away). Just be sure you are “hungry like a wolf.”
Artichoke a la giudia (₤5.00)
Spaghettini with mussels, prawns, langoustines and squid (₤9.00 for the small)
Cappellacci of pumpkin & amaretti with sage & butter (₤7.50 for the small) It was more like dessert it was so perfectly sweet and buttery.
Bocca Di Lupo
Location: 12 Archer Street, London W1D 7BB
Telephone: 020 7734 2223
Mon – Sat, 12:30 – 15:00
Sun, 12:45 – 16:00Pre-Theatre
Mon – Sat, 17:30 – 19:00
Mon – Sat, 17:30 – 23:00Sunday Dinner Sun, 16:00 – 21:30
This is by far the most exciting place to be on a Monday at 3:00pm! Criterion Auction House holds weekly auctions where you never know what you may end up walking out with. I have been on numerous occasions as every week brings in a new assortment of vintage and antique treasures. The range of products is spectacular as they have furniture, artwork, fine china, jewellery, mantle clocks, light fixtures, and that very special item you did not even know you needed in your life until you walked in the door that day! They once had a framed Christmas card from Prince Charles that I desperately wanted to hang on the wall in my flat to dupe guests….”oh yes we go way back Charles and I, (followed by haughty laughter).” However once the bidding escalated to over 200 pounds I politely withdrew. If you are looking to pick up a great deal or a unique gift this is the place to go and it is quite a thrilling way to spend an afternoon. If you are unable to make it in person you may also bid live over the phone when your item lot is up, or you may pop in over the weekend and complete a bidding slip for them to bid in your absence.
Address: 53 Essex Road, Islington, London N1 2SF
Telephone: 020 7359 5707
Hours: Friday 2pm-7pm, Saturday & Sunday 10:00am to 6:00pm, Monday 10:00am onwards with the AUCTION at 3:00pm every Monday.
Looking for a way to jazz up an ensemble for the holidays? Why not try accessorising your nails? There are a lot of products out there for unique nail art. As manicures are ridiculously overpriced in London, and none of them are as good as my little Korean nail parlour in NYC, this has become my go to. It is a really simple process, saves you on time and money and is bolder than a one color mani. No worries about your polish chipping, smudging a wet nail, hoping that the manicure will last through the week……
If you are really daring you could try the lip tattoos by Violent Lips and really add some ga ga to your ensemble.
Pucker up and pout! Lipstick Queen was first introduced to me by my good friend Marcy. She went into a long inspring story of the woman behind the product and how it came to be (story here) so I just had to give it a try for myself. I have since become a devoted follower as it truly does transform your lips, and I no longer have to ask my husband a few hours post application, “Do I still have lipstick on?” My current favorite of the lipsticks is the Saint Rouge as a bold red heavenly lip is perfect for the holidays. I also just recently branched out and purchased the Space lip gloss from her Big Bang collection. It looks great worn alone or layered over a nude lipstick to give a nice subtle metallic sheen. Perfect for adding a little glamour to the scene, or nestling in a loved ones Christmas stocking, or adding as a unique tie on bonus on a present. Check out the website below to find a retailer near you!
trousers: H&M, blouse: Reiss, blazer: Anthropologie, shoes: Nine West, necklace: vintage