We’re just back from a weekend jaunt to London, and though it was a very brief visit (made even shorter by the Eurostar problems), I still managed to squeeze in a visit to my favorite bookstore in the world, Books for Cooks.
As you might guess from the name, this tiny shop is devoted to cookbooks!(!!!) What’s more, the small cafe in the back of the shop serves lunch from the test kitchen. They test recipes from different cookbooks daily, and two courses are only £7. They also serve the most scrumptious home-baked cakes.
Charming as it is, this is a teensy-tiny space. As a result, there are only a few, small tables. Dining here means being flexible: they only make one or two things a day, so there is no choice on the menu. Be sure to arrive early (around 12pm), before they run out of food. Come with just your best friend who loves cookbooks — there isn’t room for large parties. (It’s curmudgeonly of me, but I like to go alone — that way, after lunch, I can browse in peace.)
After making your purchases, stop by the Spice Shop across the street, an aromatic shop bursting with exotic ingredients. Also across the street is the Travel Bookshop, where Hugh Grant romanced Julia Roberts in the film Notting Hill.
Books for Cooks
4 Blenheim Crescent
London W11 1NN
Tel: 0207 221 1992
Open: Tues-Sat, 10h-18h