I need to clarify to begin with that I didn’t in fact eat three courses for £7, I ate two courses for £5. But I needed you to know that you COULD eat three courses for £7. This is such a deal!
My friend Lolita let me in on this hidden gem back in May. Books for Cooks is a fantastic bookshop entirely dedicated to cookbooks and so it’s my idea of heaven. And! Even better they have a daily test kitchen where they sample recipes from their cookbooks and serve them to the public at a meagre cost. I was shown photographic evidence of the food Lolita had eaten and I knew I had to go as soon as possible.
My visit wasn’t entirely straight-forward. I was accompanied by my friend Vic and her toddler Bella, both Vic and I accepting the challenge of entertaining a toddler during quite a fancy meal. We could do this surely! Well Bella was certainly as enthusiastic as me about the cookbooks. She merrily pulled as many as she could off the shelves to have a good old look. As the delicious starter (chilled minted pea soup) arrived, it became apparent we would need to eat in shifts. One to walk Bella outside, one to eat and repeat!
Chilled minted pea soup then? Little did I know how much I would like a cold soup – it sounds a bit weird. But it was thick, refreshing, sweet and delicious – it was a winner.
Next up was beef bourginon with crushed new potatoes. What’s not to love about a beef bourginon? It was admittedly a small portion, but with pudding in mind and it only being midday, this did make sense. And it really was a rich, tender bourginon and those great buttery crushed potatoes on top were a lovely touch.
Unfortunately despite having plenty of room for a pud, Bella had reached her saturation point. I jealously surveyed the three varieties of cake being doled out (guinness cake, apricot sponge and carrot and walnut cake). I just about managed to be a grown up about it, promising myself that I would return one day and have the full three courses.
I heartily recommend you visit the test kitchen at Books for Cooks whether you are interested in the cookbooks or not, you will be very interested in the delicious and bargain priced meal. The staff were lively and welcoming and clearly loved having their bookshop crammed with greedy customers. I will most definitely be back to browse the colourful bookshelves and eat more food.
Find out more about Books for Cooks here: https://www.booksforcooks.com/