I’m always on the lookout for cool indoor al fresco lunch spots (when it’s cold outside, I’m super cold, and when it’s hot… you get the idea haha), but I’m especially on the lookout for those cool indoor al fresco lunch spots during exam season! I know- I’m not doing myself any favours (summer body? Ehh…) but sometimes the search for lunch spots with great lighting, a friendly atmosphere and good food leads me to places I visit again long after all my exams are done!
My friend Renee and I both study at UCL and every year we revise together at cafes/restaurants around Marylebone; not only is it close to uni, but it has some incredible spots for eating and a little bit for studying too..;) We’ve studied at Chiltern Firehouse (too much eating) and La Fromagerie (too much cheese-eating) in the past, but this year we thought to try something a little different.
Blanford Comptoir came to our rescue- I’d found them online and after checking out their menu (which looked really good), we decided to check it out! I’m not being completely misdirecting with the ‘indoor al fresco’ lunch part- they do have amazing outdoor seating! But it was like 27 degrees outside and so I needed the coolness of the indoors but the natural lighting you get from dining outside. A rare combination, I know, but luckily, this is one of those few places in London where you can have both!
It was super hot the day we arrived (so unlike London right!) but inside, the cool air ushered us further, and we were warmly seated at a cool spot at the back.
As soon as the waiter arrived, we knew exactly what we were going to order- drawn to the refreshingly light Beef Carpaccio…- I’m just kidding by the way- it’s the truffle dressing that came with it that won us over 😉 Blandford also serve cheese from La Fromagerie, one of my favourite cheesemongers in the city, but from past experiences of eating too much cheese while revising, we decided to settle with the shaved parmesan this time around. The courgette with basil and pine nuts seemed appealing and light, so we picked it too as a side, never really expecting the two to go so well together (but oh how they did!!)
It didn’t take long for our meals to arrive…
Nor for me to start eating everything (haha)
I’d tried the beef at Novikov and that was the best I’d ever tried in London, so I was curious about this one. It’s hard to compare because the flavours are so different, but if you like truffle dressing I think you’ll love this :)) Especially on a hot day in London when you want to nibble on something, but not feel stuffed afterwards, this place has a great selection of things. Plus the lighting is wonderful- even our messy notes looked pretty!
When we’d finished eating, we decided to order some drinks after. Is it just me or does green tea make you feel so much better before and after food too? I’m lately so obsessed with it!
Shop mini Louis Vuitton:
It was wonderful dining at Blandford (we really appreciated the staff being kind to let us revise for several hours there) and I’m sure I’ll be back sometime because this really is one of the best indoor al fresco lunch spots I’ve been to in London… but next time for the cheese 😉 (because old habits die hard, after all)