About me

Hello and welcome to London Eats! Here’s a little bit about me in case you are interested…

So who are you?

I’m Russell, a thirty-something Scot living in South London (via many places various points in my life). I’m vegetarian and have been for many, many years, and don’t really remember why. I love to travel, love to try the local snack and the local beer, but I’ll draw the line at meat, fish and insects.

Why do I blog?

LondonEats was started as a little project to coincide with a significant change in my life. Basically, I always like to cook and liked the idea of keeping some sort of record of what I get up to…but I never did anything. I was too busy, and not really through choice. Too much work and not enough fun.

So, in late 2009, I decided to find a new job, and darn well start that new blog that I had been planning for so long. So in December 2009, I quit with some drama, and in January 2010, London Eats was born.

I’d love to say that I burst into the boss’s office and yelled something, but it was all much calmer and more reasonable than that. We’re all still friends, but it turned out to be absolutely the right decision.

(Update – I did get a new job, and my life is indeed much, much more balanced)

Why are you called London Eats? Are you a Londoner?

I’ve certainly been around. I’m originally from Scotland, but I’ve spent time in Germany, Sweden and Belgium, and have traveled a lot in Europe (I’ve been to 23 of the 27 countries in the European Union and then some) before eventually landing up in the great city of London. I spent four years in the People’s Republic of Stoke Newington in North London at the time I started this blog, and more recently I’ve moved to Clapham in South London (but near enough to the madness of Brixton to keep things interesting). I certainly don’t see myself leaving this town any time soon.

The name comes from the fact that most of what I post is about living in London – stuff I make in my little kitchen, things I buy in stores and at markets, places that I go to eat. But of course, while we all love London, we also love to escape London from time to time, so you’ll find posts about traveling too. Holidays, visits to friends, weekends away. I also use these as ways to discover new ingredients and new recipes, so don’t be surprised to see a series of posts inspired by time spent somewhere new. I find it gives an interesting lens to look at a different place, and there is always something different to discover. I’ve also got quite an eclectic circle of friends, so there is often some sort of national holiday that can be commemorated by some sort of food or drink.

I’m visiting London – can you tell me where to go?

As an adopted local, I can certainly tell you the quickest way across London that involves the easiest tube changes, but I’m probably not the best to share tourist tips beyond the obvious. For ideas, Time Out London is pretty good.

However, if you’re looking for places to eat and drink, I’ve got a little list of places called On Location, with a map you can take a look at. Some of those bars, in particular, are worth keeping in mind if you’re tired, thirsty and need to regain your strength from all that pavement pounding.

What foodie things should I buy in London?

How long is a piece of string? You’ll find pretty much anything, but tea, marmalade and jam all go down well. For granny or Great Aunt Harriet, you can try Harrods, Fortnum & Mason or Harvey Nichols. For you terribly cool sister or hipster brother, head over to East London to buy artisinal products from specialist and organic shops – try Broadway Market in Hackney. My On Location section also has a few shopping choices (currently rather lean, but that will change over time).

Anything you say? So where can I buy yuzu oranges?

An excellent question – this is the one ingredient that I have not been able to find in London. Yet.

I’ve got questions about a recipe

I hope that my recipes are clear, but if something is unclear or seems plain wrong, then let me know. Perhaps I’ve used an ingredient and you can’t work out what it is. Or maybe I’ve forgotten to include the flour in a bread recipe. If that happens, just leave a comment on the page or drop me an email at london.eats.blog[at]gmail.com.

How often do you update?

The honest answer is “as often as I can” but of course that means it can vary a lot. I’ve gone through periods of posting every day or so, but equally there have been weeks at a time with radio silence (typically because I’ve been on holiday with no access to wifi even if the local poultry does). I try to do a new post every 3-4 days, as this feels about right in terms of striking a balance between keeping things interesting for you and keeping things manageable for me (I do have a whole life – and non-food job – outside of blogging!).

The pictures – what’s the deal?

I take all the pictures myself. For recipes, I take photos at home using a Panasonic DSRL (which is just about the most amazing things I’ve ever bought!) and I always use natural light. I like the results and so far I have not been able to take good pictures under artificial lighting. I’m working on it though.

For my “On Location” posts, I use an iPhone 4S and apply filters using Instagram – I like the look that this gives to them, and I feel it is more respectful to fellow diners to be discreet rather than whipping out a large camera, mounting the table and making a terrible fuss when others are trying to enjoy a meal. And I would never, ever dream of tapping someone on the shoulder and then taking a picture of their food.

If you love my pictures and want to use them, take a look at “The Legal Stuff” at the bottom  of this page.

And what’s with the “On Location” posts?

There is no science to these – I just feature places that I’ve been to and try to give a little flavour of what the food and ambiance are like. These are almost all place that I like or love. If I don’t like somewhere, I just don’t include it. With time, this should built into a nice little resource, and hopefully there will be no more of those “Oh, there was that cute little place in Brussels, but I forget the name” moments.

Will you feature my product?

I am Scottish and therefore love a bargain – and if it’s free, so much the better! However…if I mention ingredients on this site, it’s because I like them – either I’ve bought them myself or friends have given them to me as gifts. I’ve made the choice not to feature products in return for payment, but if you do have something that you think I might like, feel free to recommend it to me (send an email to london.eats.blog@gmail.com) – and if I like it, chances are I’ll end up buying it and using it.

Cups or grams?

I’ve spent so much time in Germany, Sweden and Belgium that I cook using grams and litres, and weigh ingredients, which I realise is not great is you are used to cups and pints. For conversions, I recommend this site.

“The Legal Stuff”

All the pictures and the writing on this site are mine unless it says otherwise – it’s my stuff, so please respect that.

If you want to use them on a non-professional blog (i.e. like me, you’re doing it for a bit of fun, as a hobby, as a creative outlet or similar), then I’m happy for you to use content if you give me credit for the photo and link back to the original post.

However, if you want to use content for other purposes (professional sites, writers, reality TV propositions or such like), I promise to be very flattered and get excited, and I’ll probably say yes, but please be sure to ask first. It’s only polite. So a quick line to london.eats.blog [at ] gmail.com is the way to go.

Should I leave a comment?

I love comments and try to respond to all of them. So if you like what you see, leave a comment! If you want to share a story, leave a comment! If you make the same thing but have a different recipe or technique, leave a comment! Even if you don’t like the dish, you can leave a comment!

However, if a comment is just a complaint, moaning or generally disrespectful, your comment probably won’t get approved.

Do you really respond to comments?

I try.

I have questions!

Fantastic! Contact me at london.eats.blog@gmail.com or on Twitter @london_eats.

You never answered my email!

Sorry – an oversight on my part (see above about “normal job”). Email me again – it’s nothing personal.

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