Books for Cooks

By Michael McHugh

MiNDFOOD editor-in-chief Michael McHugh discovers a London book store dedicated to cookbooks.

I have wanted to go to Books for Cooks in Notting Hill for a long time. When I called in during a recent trip to London it was too early for lunch, a shame because they are serving lentil and spinach soup, and squash and goats cheese gratin. Instead I opted for cake – to celebrate. I don’t think chocolate cake with cream cheese and peanut butter icing is too much for breakfast.

Books for Cooks is everything I imagined. Walls of cookbooks from everywhere around the world. I could have bought many but lugging them home was going to be an issue and so I showed great restraint and only bought three: Books for Cooks’ very own small book of favourite recipes, Simon Hopkins Roast Chicken and Other Stories, (I had read about this book and now, finally, I have my own copy), and my new favourite Diana Henry’s Food from Plenty, a beautiful, well conceived book with reader-friendly copy. It’s the sort of cookbook that makes you want to cook.

With a small kitchen and café at the back of the shop and cooking classes throughout the year on the floor above, the experience is definitely worth the trip on a number seven double-decker bus from Oxford Street and a short stroll through Notting Hill.

It was a fun couple of hours of indulgence in London with friendly staff, making the visit well worth while.


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