Eating Our Way Across Europe: London Part 1~ Traditional Eggs Benedict

Cheerio from London! Honestly, I don’t know why I said that. I never heard anyone say ‘cheerio’ while we were in London. Although I did hear “Top of the morning to you” many times in Ireland…but we will get to that …after Paris…
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Eating Our Way Across Europe: London Part 1~ Traditional Eggs Benedict

I have so many amazing recipes coming your way from our three weeks in Europe, including the Traditional Eggs Benedict with Easy Blender Hollandaise Sauce pictured above! Plus travel tidbits, suggestions on getting the best vacation photos using your iPhone (we left the ‘real camera’ at home this time) restaurant recommendations and even a few ‘quick hair’ tips that will save you time and effort. If you haven’t yet, sign up for my free email newsletter so you don’t miss out. Right there under my picture in the right side bar—>

The Trip That Almost Wasn’t

After almost nine months of meticulous planning on my husbands part, alas I am NOT a planner, we weren’t sure until the day before the trip that we were even going. Six weeks before we were supposed to leave our 27 year old daughter was diagnosed with salivary gland cancer. A month and a half of biopsies, two surgeries, recoveries, appointments with the oral surgeon and oncologist we got the news that the tumor was ‘low grade’ and that the second surgery had ‘clear margins’ meaning they got it all, and while she will need years of follow up appointments she does not need chemo or radiation. To say we were relieved, and  so very grateful. So with one day to pack and a little arm twisting my husband got me on a plane. Eleven hours later I was standing at the gates of Buckingham Palace!

Eating Our Way Across Europe: London Part 1 ~ Traditional Eggs Benedict

Hair tip! A fedora hides a multitude of sins, just slap it on and go. It looks cute and protects your face from sun. Not that the sun was much of a problem in London.

Where We Stayed

My husband and I prefer to stay in boutique hotels when we travel. We appreciate a smaller more intimate setting and the personal service guests receive in such an atmosphere. This time we chose Hotel 41 on Buckingham Palace Road and we were not disappointed! This 30 room hotel is not only beautiful but the staff is very friendly and offer truly amazing service!  Located in the hub of London, The 41 is walking distance from the Palace, three of London’s largest parks, Westminster Abbey, the London Eye and a some of London’s best restaurants.

Eating Our Way Across Europe: London Part 1 ~ Traditional Eggs Benedict

 

What To Expect from London:

London reminded us of Manhattan, busy, bustling, and high energy! Business is booming and because of that the construction of high rises is in full swing. So expect traffic, lots of bodies and some noise. But unlike Manhattan there are laws against honking horns and the streets are amazingly clean. In fact ‘clean and friendly’ are the words that come to mind first when thinking of London. Everyone we encountered in London was warm and welcoming. Strangers on the street would offer to help when they saw we were lost or had questions, and even the police and taxi drivers were were unbelievably nice.

The weather in London can be very unpredictable so pack layers, scarves, jackets, beanies and gloves. If I had it to do over again I would have packed in ‘shades of grey’, meaning jeans and leggings with black, white and grey tees, sweaters, coats, boots and shoes so it could all be worn mix and match. This saves time and suitcase space. Laundry tip: We brought a bottle of Woolite along and washed our own tees and underwear and just hung them to dry in the bathroom. We learned last year in Italy that sending out laundry in hotels costs a fortune.

The Sights!

The first few days in London we visited all the big attractions, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, The London Eye, Museums, The Tower of London etc…and then we spent our last few days visiting some less traveled spots (blog post coming in two days). And although I would love to blog about every single thing we did and post ALL my photos there are just too many! You can see more on Instagram here. Here are a few of my favorite photos with some tips on making your vacation photos truly memorable.

Eating Our Way Across Europe: London Part 1 ~ Traditional Eggs Benedict

Photo tip: If possible use something in the foreground to draw the eye to your subject. In this case I used the flags on each side of the sidewalk to lead the eye to Big Ben. I think it makes this photo much more interesting!

Eating Our Way Across Europe Part 1: London ~ Traditional Eggs Benedict

Photo tip: Use the ‘law of thirds’. Your subject doesn’t always need to be smack dab in the center of your photo. In fact by placing The London Eye in the right third of the frame my husband was able the capture the expanse of the River Thames making this photo more visually pleasing.

Eating Our Way Across Europe: London Part 1 ~ Traditional Eggs Benedict

Photo Tip: Keep your eyes open for photo opportunities! We were actually walking back from exchanging or currency when I looked up and saw this scene. My phone was deep in my purse and I really didn’t want to dig it out but I knew this corner with the pub, the bike and red phone booth just had to be photographed. It captured the ‘vibe’ of the London neighborhood where we stayed so well. I stood back behind a tree to get the leaves in the left foreground and voila! One of my favorite photos.

Eating Our Way Across Europe: London Part 1 ~ Traditional Eggs Benedict

Photo Tip: Use the editing tools on your iPhone! This photo was not nearly as beautiful before I edited it for color, light and cropping. To do this simply tap your photo and then tap ‘edit’. Your phone will offer you choices for ‘light’, ‘color’ and ‘cropping’. There will be choices within those choices too so practice before your trip so you are familiar with all the options in advance.

Eating Our Way Across Europe: London Part 1 ~ Traditional Eggs Benedict

Photo tip: Use color when you can. We had passed by this red phone booth many times. But the day I was wearing my red rain coat I made sure to stop and take a photo. I am not telling you to plan your clothes around photo ops but when it’s serendipity, take advantage. The yellow cone and my shoes… again, some good luck! By the way, I bought those jeans the second day of our trip and couldn’t button them 2 weeks later. I would laugh but it’s not funny.

Eating Our Way Across Europe: London Part 1 ~ Traditional Eggs Benedict

Photo tip: take pictures of things that inspire you. I loved the window boxes and wall planters we saw all throughout Europe so I took photos hoping to recreate these picturesque gardens in my own yard when we got home. They won’t win any awards, but I love to look at them.

Finally, The Food: Where We Ate!

We found some pretty great restaurants in London, here are a few of our favorites.

Below is a spread from Jamie Oliver’s restaurant Barbecoa. We loved it.  BONUS: The restaurant has the most amazing view of St. Paul’s Cathedral.

Eating Our Way Across Europe: London Part 1 ~ Traditional Eggs Benedict

Michelin star winner Quilon: was located right around the corner from our hotel and honestly, it blew me away! The best Indian food I have ever eaten. The cauliflower chili fry and lobster butter pepper are my top picks.

Santini: If Italian food is your deal then head over to Santini. You can look forward delicate handmade pasta, delicious salads and a perfectly cooked filet mignon.

Babaji Pide: Londoners are flocking to this kitchen in search of flat breads, turkish teas and coffee, and traditional stewed chicken and beef dishes.

If you are looking for less expensive or more casual dining, no worries! London has cafes on every corner that feature everything from traditional fish and chips to baked potatoes with your choice of topping for 5 pounds!

Today’s Recipe: Traditional Eggs Benedict and my little twist!

Our hotel provided breakfast every morning and we were very happy about it. The chef at Hotel 41 prepared the most lovely Traditional Eggs Benedict. We sort of became addicted! When we got home I added it to our morning repertoire but made it a little simpler by using a hollandaise sauce made in the blender. I also add my own California flare by added avocado, because that’s how I roll.

Traditional Eggs Benedict with Blender Hollandaise Sauce

Our actual breakfast in London taken with my iPhone

The Recipe: Traditional or California Style Eggs Benedict

Tips on Poaching Eggs and What You Need: Don’t know how to poach and egg?  I have a video tutorial that shows you step by step how to do it! You will need a small pot and a blender.

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Print

Traditional Eggs Benedict with Hollandaise Sauce

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield 2

Traditional Eggs Benedict or a California take, both are made with Easy Hollandaise Sauce and  or choose Learn to poach a perfect egg here.

Ingredients

Hollandaise Sauce:

3 egg yolks

small pinch red pepper flakes

pinch sea salt

pepper

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard

1/2 cup melted butter

The rest:

1 tablespoon white vinegar

1 english muffin, sliced in two and toasted

4 slices Canadian Bacon

2 eggs, poached

avocado slices, or avocado mash (optional)

1 tablespoon chives, chopped

Instructions

See video tutorial linked above to learn to poach eggs

Make Sauce:

Melt butter and set aside

Add yolks, lemon juice, dijon and spices to blender.

Whirl for 30 seconds, then slowly drizzle in melted butter and blend for 30-60 more seconds. It should thicken immediately

Place sauce in a small pan, and keep slightly warm but don't allow to simmer! Whisk here and there

The Rest:

Place a small pot of water with one tablespoon white vinegar on high heat and bring to a boil

While waiting for water to boil, crack two eggs into a small dish being sure not to break yolks, set aside

If using avocado, slice or mash with a fork

Place English Muffins in toaster and toast to liking

When water is boiling, use  one had to hold egg dish near pot and use the other hand to stir water briskly until a vortex forms (see video!) then gently, carefully pour eggs into center of vortex

Cook 2-5 minutes. I like my yolks runny so I cook 2 1/2 minutes.

Butter English Muffin, add two slices of Canadian bacon, avocado (if using), then add egg

Spoon Hollandaise Sauce over eggs and season with salt and pepper. Garnish with chives if desired.

Courses Breakfast

Eating Our Way Across Europe: London Part 1~ Traditional Eggs Benedict

More Recipes From Europe!

Our next stop is The Cotswolds to enjoy some scones with clotted cream!

 

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37 thoughts on “Eating Our Way Across Europe: London Part 1~ Traditional Eggs Benedict

  1. Oh my. The photo tips, travel tips AND a recipe! Thanks for all the info! One more thing. How did you get the bird’s eye view of the table? I’m imagining you standing on top of your chair in the dining room while the wait staff is gasping in horror.

    • Haha! No but I wouldn’t put it past me! I was able to do it just standing, the table was definitely a few inches lower than my table at home. It was placed in front of a small sofa. I hope this post wasn’t overkill! I fit a lot in there:)

  2. Linda, this post was spectacular! I am planning a trip to Paris in 2016 and am so excited to hear about that part of your travels. However, you can cover every part in blog after blog if you want. Love this, cuz!

  3. Don’t you dare leave anything out! I want to hear every detail. I am going to Paris in 2016 and look forward to that part, but, again, don’t leave anything out. Fabulous tips and recipes from across the sea!! Thanks Cuz!

  4. Welcome back Linda! I cannot wait to read all of your Europe adventures! The eggs Benedict looks amazing! I have never tried it before!

  5. That eggs benedict looks AMAZING! Absolutely one of my all time favorite things <3 Thanks for sharing the great tips for staying in London!

  6. Linda, thank you so much for sharing your trip, pics and recipes and tips. Definitely not overkill, we want more. Looking forward to your Paris adventures.

  7. Welcome home!! Definitely gobbling up your every word and detail! I love your tips and to share in your experiences. The photos! (I have so much to learn!!!) Thanks, Linda– so much fun to read!!

  8. London definitely has the best eggs benny I’ve ever had. I’m yet to master it at home though! May just have to leave it for the professionals haha

  9. Wow beautiful photos… Loved the tips you also provided! Jamie Olivers food looks amazing (no surprise I guess!). This post is so full of my favourite things!!!

  10. I love everything about this post, and your blog! Darling! Your trip looked amazing and I’ve heard about London’s fickle weather, good to pack layers!

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