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A favourite place for foodies!

2008.03.31
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Camden Passage, Islington, where the Aquilino is no more (yellow shopfront now a coffee shop)
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Shampers, KinglyStreet.
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My son Nick.
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Guess who!
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Interior - menu reflected in mirror
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Interior again.
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Bit arty this !
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The temple of the God John Lewis! packed with worshippers on a Saturday afternoon!
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A selection of apples - fresh apple juice is the order of the day!
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Over the years I have eaten in some of the very best restaurants in London and, for a few years, I wrote a column for a magazine on eating out, so I had to keep abreast of what was happening and where to go.

But even in the days when I had to vary where I ate, some places stayed as firm favourites. Places where I knew there would be a warm welcome, good food and good wine.

This blog was prompted by thinking of where to have Saturday lunch with my son. For over 30 years the choice would have been automatic, off down to Camden Passage and straight to the Aquilino. I first went there before Nick was born – then he went in his carry-cot, then as a toddler and so on – he is now 34 and the restaurant only closed a year or so back. I really miss the good old fashioned Italian cooking that you used to get there – and it was great value too.

So not Camden Passage and no Aquilino. Islington (where Camden Passage is just to confuse tourists!) has become so trendy that all the chains are here – and its gone upmarket. I do have a favourite restaurant in Islington – Ottolenghi – magical Meditterenean food – but its expensive and difficult to get into at short notice.

Anyway it seemed sensible to aim for somewhere a bit more central and so we ended up in Shampers. I cant remember how long ago it is since I started going to Shampers – but its a long time – certainly over twenty years. Once upon a time I used to go so often it was commonly known as ‘headquarters’! But I’m a much less frequent visitor these days as my weight will testify.

Mind you, this was the second visit in 5 days! I was there only last Tuesday with my friend Robin – who will be furious I have posted this as its hard enough to get a table on weekdays anyway (we tried the week before and could not) and he thinks it should be kept secret! Especially from visitors!! LOL!

Shampers is a winebar/restaurant – it has a fantastic selection of wines, excellent food, nice staff and its all very reasonable. Very male/business types at lunch times Mon-Fri, younger crowd in the evenings and quite different and relaxed on Saturdays. And, maybe best of all, its just off Regent Street so its very very handy!

Then, fortified by some Cotes du Rhone and a ham and cheese pie, it was off to John lewis for a new jacket!

And finally for regular readers - some apples - a reminder that a new liver detox is taking place this week - a litre of apple juice a day keeps the gall-stones away LOL!


8 Comments
alexandreD I like the saying with the gallstones away!!! It should become a new pnemonic!
alexandreD · 2008-03-31: 05:54
domino I enjoyed this walk with you. It make me think of hollidays in different places. Walking, shopping, eating, photographing, and share with friends. Thanks Bob, your son and you look so nice!!!
domino · 2008-03-31: 06:33
Robertthebob You need to look at Stefan's blog about poppies in Athens and the caption "The temple in the background is the Erechtheion, dedicated to the ancient Greek god, Biagra..." to understand his remark above!
Robertthebob · 2008-03-31: 07:37
lexlevans it's great to have a city full of fantastic places to eat. Chicago has so many that i think you could go to a new one every night for years and years! i haven't even been close to going to as many as i'd like - plus they can get really pricey! but this looks like a fun outing for you and your son. i like #7 and it's arty feel :-)
lexlevans · 2008-03-31: 13:38
DancingDolphin Obviously you had a GREAT day... and now that you have told the entire photoblog world about Scampers, well... don't expect to get in there again! :-) Nice set!
DancingDolphin · 2008-03-31: 19:26
Mertxe nice idea, to write about your onw life is always interestin
nice pics too
Mertxe · 2008-04-01: 05:51
tomie nice place the wine cahors bar!
tomie · 2008-04-01: 12:54
ElanorDawn Sorry, mustn't look at your wonderful food pictures! ;) dieting... (tnx for that long ago given advice) ;)
ElanorDawn · 2008-04-20: 04:46
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Category: London
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