A day trip to the Middle East..

IMG_7006…well, almost…

In Shepherds Bush, West London there is about half a mile of road that is packed full of Middle Eastern shops, restaurants and businesses; it serves a local Middle Eastern community as well as providing a fab place to visit and shop for those of us with a love of everything Middle Eastern, which is what Selma and I did yesterday πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

IMG_7001I arrived before Selma and had a good walk around and quickly realised that I was in my version of paradise – I just love Middle Eastern designs, styles, aromas, flavours, the language, everything. By the time Selma arrived I was literally bouncing up the street, grinning from ear to ear – and pulling along my new and very necessary shopping trolley!!! I filled this thing by the end of the day with a whole heap of tasty goodies – and all at extremely good prices – I was very pleased to see that just because it is central London that the prices aren’t loaded up πŸ™‚

IMG_7032We visited a couple of supermarkets as well as the fabulous ‘Nut Case’ and had lunch at a Lebanese restaurant, and I can tell you in all honesty, that when I was in each of these establishments I could very easily have been in Abu Dhabi. The layouts, the staff, the products are all the same as I would find when visiting my Mum..

IMG_7026This, and the photo at the top, is in ‘Nut Case’, a shop full of fresh coffee, fresh nuts, fresh mahmoul (biscuits with dates and nuts) & baklava, an array of sweets and chocolates, as well as a whole range of shisha pipes. I can tell you absolutely that this shop is virtually exactly the same as a shop in the Hamdan Centre in Abu Dhabi, down to the same wrapped sweets! I was literally there!!

IMG_6982I managed to buy just a few things…it would have been rude not to, of course!

IMG_7027In the supermarket, Al Dimashqi, Selma and I oohed and aahed our way round, getting in everyone’s way as we marvelled at the products and choices. I fell in love with an entire shelf of tahini and grabbed the chance to try cooked chickpeas in jars, which I’ve been told are better than using tinned.

IMG_7029I stocked up with arabic bread and various ingredients which you will no doubt see featured on here as time goes on. One tip we were given, was to add a few rose petals to a bowl of natural yoghurt and nuts – I’ll be trying that soon.

IMG_7028In the restaurant we indulged in our favourite dishes of homous, mutabal, tabouleh, foul medames and patatas harras. OMG! the flavours of heaven!!

How fabulous does my lunch companion look??

IMG_6996

IMG_6987
I was in heaven, again!!

IMG_6988

IMG_6989When you eat in a Lebanese restaurant they bring you a little plate of baklava with your bill..

IMG_6986I am almost heartbroken that my tastes have changed so much that I could only manage a tiny piece 😦

We had such a great day, it was lovely to see Selma, we are in touch constantly, but nothing beats face to face. As we ate our lunch, we discussed all of our lovely blog friends that we wished were at the table with us…you were with us in spirit, my lovelies xx

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58 thoughts on “A day trip to the Middle East..

  1. platedujour

    I was actually busy with something else and then I saw this post on my mobile! I had to come and see it :-d Elaine you look so happy on these pictures haha seriously just a pure joy and happiness- it made me smile you know. In France they would say that you looked like a little girl in a candy shop πŸ™‚ You made my day my dear Elaine. Hugs xx

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  2. Loretta

    I am in awe every time I see pictures of restaurants and stores in London from you and Selma. Just so many ethnic restaurants and shops to choose from. I used to love traipsing around when I lived there and it brings back such vivid memories. Lovely to see Selma and you taking these wonderful opportunities and showing them to us. πŸ™‚

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      1. Loretta

        In the early 70’s Elaine, in fact my mum and sisters still live in England, so I visit often. In fact, Selma and I had made plans to meet up in Winchester when I was visiting one of my sisters in Southampton, but unfortunately I was not able to keep the date in the end. Maybe, I can hook up with you guys and explore ethnic stores and restaurants in London :))

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  3. Fae's Twist & Tango

    I am so~~ envious! I wish I could hop on the plane to join your next adventure with Selma. 12 miles from my home is a market which covers Persian/Middle-Eastern/Mediterranean products. Even if I don’t need anything, I will spend so much time there and end up coming out with at least two bags. To say, ‘incorporating a Lebanese meal as part of your adventure was a bonus’ is an understatement. What a FUN day you and Selma had. ❀

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  4. fergie51

    OMG!!! I’ve been trying to justify why I don’t see the need to go to London and you’ve just blown that out of the water. Forget Buckingham Palace, I want to see these places. Thanks πŸ™‚

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  5. Ginger

    You two seem to know their way around London much better than I! And you’re looking like you had a great time, too! Now, if you ever fancy visiting Southall for some Indian or Pakistani food give me a call as it’s my ‘hood, so to speak πŸ˜‰
    I love Middle Eastern food so I really should get off the tube next time I travel through Shepherds Bush…

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  6. Sophie33

    A lovely fun post! I looovvveee going to Middle eastern supermarkets & cool places! They have an abundance of great different foods that I need to learn & use! x
    Your lunches looked very inviting & you look cool in that super sweater! x

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