jamie's italian & london sightseeing

One of our days in London we went to Jamie Oliver's restaurant Jamie's Italian for lunch.  It's in the Covent Garden area, surrounded by lots of great shopping (a good way to walk off lunch).

The restaurant is fairly large inside, and also had a nice patio area outside.  The look was slightly industrial, but Italian-industrial (if there is such a thing) with touches of marble, copper, tile, metal and wood throughout.  I loved all the shelves filled with Italian products, like polenta or amareti cookies, all around the space that the restaurant actually uses and the bins of fresh produce behind the counter where the antipasti were prepared.  Oh, and you could buy Jamie Oliver cookbooks there...

There was a lot to choose from on the menu - and a lot of it was tempting...We started with the caprese salad - one of my favourites.  Jamie's Italian put a little spin on the salad by stacking it with 'music bread' (pretty much a very thin cracker).  It was so delicious, and strangely satisfying to smash through the pretty layers and then, of course, finish every morsel off the plate.

The waitress sold me on the day's special: homemade linguini with a marscapone-lemon sauce, sauteed leeks & spring peas, all topped with smoked fish.  It was really good - I even enjoyed the smoked fish when I'm not usually a fan.  My only tiny critique was a lack of lemon flavour - I felt like the sauce was a bit lacking in the brightness that lemon promised.  Overall though, I liked the lightness & freshness of the dish.

Trev picked the 'black angel spaghetti': squid ink pasta with scallops, anchovies, a sprinkle of capers and a garlic-chili-wine sauce.  It kind-of sounds like a weird combo, right?  But, it was just one of those mixes that work - it tasted great.  (Actually, I kind of wish I had ordered it, that's how good it was).

Overall, lunch at Jamie's Italian was really good.  Everything that we tried was great and everything else that was on the menu (that we didn't get to try) also sounded super-tasty.  If you're in the Covent Garden area, it's definitely a good choice.  

We spent a few hours exploring St. Paul's Cathedral, and it was amazing.  The cathedral itself was beautiful, and their audioguide was really good.  Actually, it was the first place that we've had an itouch as an audioguide and it was super-useful.  It made it so easy to pick what we wanted to listen to.  At St. Paul's you can climb first to the Whispering Gallery, then continue climbing up from there to the top of the dome.  528 steps up to the top, but sooo worth the amazing view out over London.  

Here are a few other pictures from our wanderings around London:

with the lions of Trafalgar Square

with the lions of Trafalgar Square

looking up the stairs in the tube

looking up the stairs in the tube

We found Sherlock Holmes on Baker Street

We found Sherlock Holmes on Baker Street

Piccadilly Circus

Piccadilly Circus