Chanu­c­ahshop­pingspree

The Jewish Chronicle - - JC SPECIAL - “Brekkie to gogo” is an en­er­gis­ing whizzed-up muesli

Clock­wise from top: food op­tions abound at Brent Cross; Youme­sushi for light bites; Three of­fers waiter ser­vice at Fen­wick; creamy dreamy Patis­serie Va­lerie; thirstquench­ing ShakeTas­tic keep young shop­pers from a full-scale melt­down. For those shop­ping af­ter work or at chil­dren’s bed­time, the res­tau­rants in the food court stay open an hour af­ter clos­ing time — so you can cel­e­brate your spoils with a proper sit­down meal.

If you’ve ex­hausted north-west Lon­don’s bou­tiques and eater­ies and have moved on to West­field Lon­don at Shep­herd’s Bush, you will en­counter a few out­lets where you may not have snacked be­fore.

Aus­tralian ex­port Boost Juice bar of­fers a healthy start in the form of “brekkie to gogo”. The su­per-smoothie of whizzed up muesli, ba­nana, honey, skimmed milk and vanilla yo­ghurt should be enough to jet-pro­pel you round the stores, es­pe­cially once they’ve added an “en­er­giser” of min­er­als and herbs in­clud­ing gin­seng, chlorella and wheat­grass.

For some­thing slightly more he­do­nis­tic, try Le Pain Quo­ti­dien’s filled croissants, or­ganic por­ridge, breads and break­fast pas­tries. The healthysound­ing quinoa and spelt scone was less right­eous than ex­pected — shar­ing a plate, as it did, with mini pots of cream ( sssh) and jam. It was ad­mit­tedly very good.

Bal­ans Soho So­ci­ety is an edgy op­tion for a range of break­fasts, from smoked salmon, scram­bled eggs, av­o­cado and sour­dough toast to kedgeree or a Swiss Cheese omelette or French toast with warm maple but­ter.

There are var­i­ous street­food-style coun­ters on the Bal­cony at the cen­tre. Try saintly sal­ads from Tossed, where you can pick and mix your leaves and lentils with more ex­cit­ing op­tions like grilled haloumi. Or for a Mid­dle East­ern snack, Comp­toir Li­bonais (Le­banese Can­teen) of­fers wraps and sal­ads plus plat­ters of hum­mus, falafel and other mezze dishes.There is also Chip and Fish (no prizes for guess­ing what this one of­fers); Pho, the Viet­namese noo­dle bar; Indigo for In­dian street food; and Square Pie, of­fer­ing pie and mash, mushy peas and other trad English nosh; plus Ja­panese, Mex­i­can and Chi­nese op­tions and a tapas bar. All are self-ser­vice; you may need sharp el­bows to snag a ta­ble but the food is tasty.

Lighter lunch­ers may pre­fer a stylish sand­wich at New Zealand-styled cof­fee bar Sa­cred, which serves up fab cof­fee and gor­geous cakes and filled breads on the ground floor. For a calmer ex­pe­ri­ence, head for the South­ern Ter­race, where all res­tau­rants have in­door and out­door ta­bles fac­ing the grassy planted wall — which will be all sparkly for the fes­tive sea­son. There will also be an ice rink, which could en­ter­tain the hus­band and kids while you get on with some se­ri­ous shop­ping.

Chil­dren will also be wowed by the brightly coloured sit-on scoot­ers at ice cream and milk­shake bar Joe Delucci’s. It’s ad­ja­cent to a small play area — but be warned, all the stores in that area will have them writ­ing Chanu­cah lists on the spot.

Good luck out there. How­ever you get on with the gift-hunt­ing, you won’t go hun­gry.

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