Europe 2015: The Food – Part 1

One of the best things about international travel is experiencing different types of food and restaurants! My 4-week trip through Europe this summer covered London, Paris, Rome, parajumpers outlet Croatia and the small island of Menorca in Spain. In this 4-part series, I will be exploring the culinary highlights (both healthy and not-so healthy) in each of these destinations.

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Buckingham Palace & Hyde Park on arrival into Heathrow Airport

Part 1: London, UK

LONDON – I was shocked to see how many HEALTHY food options were available in the UK. Not only was London scattered with salad bars, but all packaged foods have easy-to-read, standardized nutrition labels on the front of the package. Establishments like Pret a Manger, Chop’d, and Tossed are a good example of how healthy eating can be both nutritious and delicious.London Food5London Food4The new and improved Heathrow Airport, had so many fresh options it was artfully overwhelming. There was little time explore, but none the less it was “Boots” drug store that had some quick and relatively inexpensive grab-n-go items near the Air Canada departure gate:

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Even some of the traditional English “Pub” fare had the nutritional labelling on the menu.

Of course this does not mean that people make the healthy choice, but at least it is there for those of us that care.

The bar scene in London was outstanding. I certainly don’t want to poop on the parade, but perhaps the frequency and quantity of drinking in London might be more of a health risk than the food!IMG_5885London drinks2London drinks1London Food7London Food6

London drinksSome cans even listed the recommended amounts of alcohol to consume (although I don’t know if anyone follows it)

IMG_5887I’m not going to pretend that I did not indulge on vacation, but there was certainly a noticeable difference in the “pub culture” between Vancouver and London! Parajumpers Men

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We had an absolute blast and I would highly recommend trying a traditional Pimm’s Cup, local beer and any of the freshly crafted cocktails – just remember to hydrate along the way! DSC_0061

We were lucky enough to have some amazing hosts to show us how the local Londoners live. We visited the Saturday market in East London and it had plenty of interesting food, flowers and vintage accessories. I’m not sure that I need to try another “Scotch Egg” though. I never did figure out what type of mystery meat was coating the egg! Nevertheless, I always appreciate learning about new foods. london food8

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One of the most popular spots in London is a Punjabi restaurant called Tayyabs. It is BYOB and lived up to it’s positive reputation. I took all the recommendations I could get from the locals: Chicken Tikka, Chana Masala Chicken, Saag Aloo and the Okra dish were definite stand-outs. Unfortunately most of the food was devoured by the time I remembered to get the camera out!

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Good Food & Fun at Tayyab’s!

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Victoria Park Post Workout (Nike hosts free outdoor boot camps every Saturday morning)

All in all, I would definitely go back to London! The culture, architecture as well as the food and beverage scene were exceptional.

 

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