Eat London 2 is mostly a foodie travel guide to London with some exceptional recipes as a bonus. There are also great itineraries dotted throughout the book with advice on how to plan a day out in London around food. The introduction is clear about the objectives and also the bias from the co-authors. Prescott and Conran are presenting a personal opinion of the best that London has to offer rather than a comprehensive list (speaking as an ex-Londoner, this would be impossible anyway).
The pictures are lovely but not all of them are captioned which is a shame. The images are well chosen of the shops, eateries and food itself, they help to draw the guide book and recipe parts together well. Some of the content can get quite repetitive with an abundance of superlatives, although most of the writing is excellent. Overall the book is useful as a guide but also an entertaining read in itself.
There are no price listings with the restaurants which would be a bonus as most people will not be able to afford to eat at all of the places included. Also it is nice to see reasonably priced eateries recommended so we can separate out those to visit. Few people will be lucky enough to do their weekly shopping at the specialist food sellers in Eat London 2 but for a treat, a key ingredient or something special it is a wonderful resource of great shops around the Capital. It would have been nice to have seen a little more focus on East London as there is so much talk in the book about the Olympics this year.
The recipes come from a wide variety of restaurants and cafés giving a huge choice from a relatively small number of meals. A few of the recipes are too restaurant-based for the average cook but even these are interesting to read and see the process. Out of the recipes in Eat London 2 my favourites were the Parmesan Custard and Anchovy Toast from Le Café Anglais, the Caramelized Chicory with Roquefort Gratin from Bistrotheque and the Chaga, Turkish Eggs from Providores.
This is a wonderful idea, and speaks volumes about how much Prescott and Conran both know and also love London and her food scene. If you are a foodie in London or visiting then I highly recommend reading this book. It would be perfect to plan a trip around all of the places you want to eat - which is a great way to explore any city!
Disclaimer: I received a copy of 'Eat London 2' from Octopus Publishing
Follow V.C. Linde on Twitter: www.twitter.com/vclinde