Tag Archives: Cafe

Recipease – A Lovely Haven For Foodies, Cooks and Jamie Oliver Fans

By Lakshmi:

Jamie Oliver and I have been playing hide and seek – I have been so close to experiencing his food and yet the opportunities have been evasive.

I first caught sight of Jamie on one of my trips – there he was on television extolling the virtues of the lunches served in Italian schools and how what was served in US schools could not compare at any level.  I was hooked to the man’s enthusiasm and simplicity.  On the same trip, I learnt that he had a restaurant down the street from our hotel in Amsterdam.  Fifteen not only had great food, it supported a social cause – underprivileged youth were handpicked and trained to work as chefs there!  But, getting in proved to be impossible.  So when we encountered Barbecoa across from St. Paul’s in London, we thought there could be a tasting opportunity.  Unfortunately, for us vegetarians, the sight of the butchery was a turn off.  So, it was a double delight when on an exploratory stroll around Notting Hill, we chanced upon Recipease.

The goodies on display at Recipease
Part of the “cooking school” area at Recipease

The display of food and food related items is what drew us in.  From olive oils and spices to pots and pans, from gadgets to sauces and jams, the store was a cook’s play pen.  It is only upon exploring the store further that we realized that it was a Jamie Oliver creation.  A store that housed a cafe and cooking school as well.  Sathya and I joyfully ascended up the stairs and within minutes we were comfortably seated at a table overlooking the swarm of people milling around Notting Hill.  We got the freshest bowl of chips and guacamole, the crispness of the chips playing the perfect companion to the creamy, spicy guacamole.  Add a glass of prosecco and I was in a lovely state of nirvana.  The nirvana was induced by what surrounded us.  In addition to the cafe tables, there was a central “cooking school” area, with prep work on in full swing for the zillions of classes they offer.  Due to poor timing, we were unable to participate in a class, but it is a must do on a future trip to London.   Post snacking, we spent time milling around the “school area” looking at the apparatus, displays and of course the many cookbooks that were available for purchase.

Our yummy chips and guacamole
Our yummy chips and guacamole
Juice and prosecco, the perfect accompaniments to the snack
Juice and prosecco, the perfect accompaniments to the chips

It was a lovely little fuel break and introduction to Jamie’s cooking/philosophy and left us pumped up to tackle our next important project of the day – exploring the shops of Portobello Road.

You can learn more about Recipease, their locations and classes at


Gelato, Artists, Architecture and History Make a Perfect Roman Piazza

These pictures were taken during a summer holiday in Rome.  You can read more about our love story with Piazza Navona at http://pauperswithouttravel.com/2012/06/14/piazza-navona-a-lovely-microcosm-of-rome/

Let’s start with our favorite gelato
Add a healthy dose of art and artists
Mix in some good music
Don’t forget the historical monuments
Some magnificent buildings and architecture
A mix of quirky characters
Did we say headless as well?
Egyptian mummies too!
Some intense Italian brooding
And finally some playful birds to complete this picture

Amy’s Bread- Redefining Simple Eating

Amy’s Bread, New York City

By Siddhi: 

How good can vegetarian chili get? In my eighteen years of existence, nothing ever beat the gratifying wholesomeness of homemade soup with the freshest ingredients from the local farmer’s market and prepared with mom’s love.

Sorry mom…but I think someone has finally come pretty darn close. Don’t yell at me! Go to Amy’s Bread and see for yourself. It’s divine to say the least.

Located in three culturally vibrant areas in New York City- Hell’s Kitchen, Chelsea Market, and the one I frequent on a cozy street in the West Village- Amy’s Bread boasts the most incredible selection of hand-made breads, desserts, sandwiches, and delicious coffees, juices, and breakfast foods.

Eating at the Bleecker Street location in the Village which is just a couple blocks away from the Hudson feels like you’re living the greatest of downtown city dreams. A small and homey European café feel married to slick modern lighting and diverse wall art simulates one of the most comfortable eating experiences I’ve had to date in the city.

The first time I went to Amy’s, I was coming down with a terrible cold and wanted nothing more than a simple bowl of hot soup. When I ordered the vegetarian chili (which came in several different combinations…I’ve never seen so many options for a simple chili on any menu!), I thought I would get either the typical plain roll breadstick or “rustic roll” included with the order. Instead, I was presented with a mouth-watering array of at least ten different types of hand-made breads and was able to choose between the heartiest of flavors including black olive twist, tangy sourdough, and semolina with golden raisins and fennel. If my taste buds were functioning and I wasn’t so sick, I would’ve broke the bank right there and taken full loaves home. I felt like I was back at the Piazza Navona in Rome. I haven’t ever felt that café intrigue replicated in the States till I walked into Amy’s.

And the orange juice, oh the orange juice…the freshly squeezed citrus goodness transported me back to the beaches of Oahu. Chili, bread, and juice- what should be the most straightforward of meals was among the most heavenly I’ve ever had. To find that kind of pleasure in something so simple speaks volumes about the quality and devotion of Amy’s Bread to the greatest of dining experiences.

So, if you find yourself at any of the three aforementioned NYC locations, treat yourself to Amy’s Bread. It’s beyond worth it.

To check out their menu, click here: