The London Diaries: Market Wanderings, Nitrogen Ice-Cream & A Duck Confit Burger

One of the things I love most about London is it’s markets. Be it foodie heaven (ahem, Borough), street food munching, vintage hunting, or even just the farmer’s market across the road from my flat, there’s always something going on.

 photo 2014-10-11160243_zps52409faf.jpgPortobello Market is somewhere I need to visit properly before I leave London next month. I walked through a few weeks back, on the way to unsuccessfully queuing for a Dave Gorman recording (the queue was cut right in front of us – more than annoying as the couple in front had been space-saving for others!). It may have been cold and rainy that day, I may have been rather ill, but it was an area of London I instantly fell in love with. The amount of dresses I could have bought on the spot was insane, so maybe it’s best if I don’t pop back…

 photo cba40020-601a-418f-81a5-39ecce17bfe3_zps0d519448.jpg photo 9503e468-b958-4156-800a-7d70491997bf_zpsa81b1024.jpg photo 9832aaa7-8f08-4458-a291-8667736625c4_zps03f73642.jpgBorough Market is my idea of heaven. Amazingly fresh produce to buy and cook at home (I’m desperate to spy the ‘grow your own mushroom’ pots they did a few years back), street food, baked goods and a buzzy atmosphere, I adore it. I could spend hours here.

 photo Camden Market13_zpsjx7wlg8y.jpg photo Camden Market12_zpsoofwqjk8.jpgNow, Camden. This is a bit of a controversial one, and it often surprises people that know me well – but I LOVE it. Growing up I was one of the more ’emo’ types (I HATE those kind of groupings), I may have shopped in Punky Fish, and me and my friend used to beg her parents to bring us to Camden each school holiday. We danced around Cyberdog being filmed by a Spanish TV company, ate far too much free fried chicken, bought outrageously studded belts. Camden was the first place where I bought my own clothes (a surprisingly feminine beaded dress I actually still own and wear seven years on). Recently I’ve introduced my sister to Camden, she loved it to so I’m hoping to drag her down over my Christmas holidays for another day out.

 photo Camden Market1_zpskh8n5bl0.jpg photo Camden Market11_zpssod5vz1h.jpgWithin Camden there also happens to be one of the best ice-cream shops I’ve ever been to. I thought it would be a bit naff to be honest, all show and no flavour, but I was wrong. I’ve blogged about Chin Chin before a while ago – I’ve been back several times since. This time I went for the standard Chocolate ice-cream topped with Cinnamon Toast. My sis went for Vanilla topped with Heather Honeycomb, and my mum had Melon with Almond Crumb, the dairy free option.

 photo Camden Market4_zpspun4t75y.jpg photo Camden Market8_zpsmbanoizh.jpg photo Camden Market10_zpsad6covaj.jpgAll were delicious. The chocolate flavour is not for the faint-hearted as it is shockingly rich (I struggled to finish it), intensely chocolatey and quite bitter. The vanilla is perfectly flavoured. The dairy-free is a revelation. I’ve had their dairy-free options before and can voucher for how smooth they are – and my dairy-intolerant mum says it’s the best ice-cream she’s had in a while. Whilst all our toppings were yummy, I have to say I have a massive soft spot for the grilled white chocolate. It’s a must-try!

From sweet to savoury (and only two days later…), me and W came out of the Decision Exhibition starving and ready to eat. We had mixed feelings about the exhibition, there’s probably not quite enough there to warrant the ticket price but the concept is brilliant – and the queues were so long we spent over an hour longer than expected. Our plans for a cheap sandwich grab gone, we headed over to the Southbank Street Food Market. A quick wander round and allergy check, there was one clear winner – Duck Confit Burgers from Frenchies. I’ve seen these doing the rounds on blogs so was definitely eager to try! The burger is essentially a decent portion of duck confit, some duck crackling, melted cheese, onion relish, mustard and rocket, all served in a brioche bun. Our cheese of choice was the Smoked Cheddar, and W chose to hold the mustard (weirdo).

 photo Frenchies Duck Confit Burger - 5_zps2huhzszp.jpg photo Frenchies Duck Confit Burger - 2_zpsw9qmlem4.jpg photo Frenchies Duck Confit Burger - 1_zpsrotodxht.jpg photo Frenchies Duck Confit Burger - 3_zpsuhvipopx.jpg photo Frenchies Duck Confit Burger - 4_zpsj0kadoyk.jpgThey were delicious. Hands down the best street food I’ve tried so far (I’m taking recommendations for other places to try!). Rich, salty, tangy from the cheese and mustard, a sweetness from the chutney, crunch from the crackling and a soft bun. And obviously meltingly tender and flavourful duck. Just wonderful. I can’t recommend this enough.

You might be able to tell, I’m absolutely loving London life. I’ve been able to make loads of blogging events and meet up with some lovely ladies. I’ve eaten far too much food, done a little too much shopping and generally just had fun. I don’t want to leave in a few weeks!

What’s your favourite part of London? Any street food recommendations for me?