We had a few hours left in London before catching a flight to Barcelona, just enough time to take a brisk walk through Notting Hill. Some would think that we were in search of the famous travel book store that was featured in the movie Notting Hill or the extensive vintage clothing section at Portobello Market, but that was not the case. Instead we were on a hunt for Books for Cooks.
Books for Cooks is the tiniest shop in the heart of Notting Hill that specializes in…you guessed it, books especially for all types of cooks.
This last-minute quest seemed logical since Peter and I are both restaurateurs, chefs and self-proclaimed food snobs.
Our search started with a walk through the eclectic Portobello market.
Portobello Market features distinct sections; Antique, Fruit & Veg, New Goods, Fashion Market and Second Hand Goods.
Though the market is most famous for its antiques, there was a substantial vintage clothing section fit for any game of dress up. Could their possibly be an old Julia Childs frock in the bunch?
One fruit stand was colorful, stocked with the usual perishable culprits. But, nothing out of the ordinary that would be appropriate for my adventurous bucket list consumption.
Though not a part of the market, I was taken by this genius idea of Vespa pizza delivery. That’s a job I could do well, scooting through the streets of Notting Hill. Yet, customers may be missing a slice, or two, upon arrival.
Even though this was not the reason we came, we did peek our heads in the independent travel book store that Hugh Grant owned in in the film, Notting Hill.
I already have a severe case of wanderlust, It was not necessary to fill my head with any more travel ideas.
Down a short side street we found what we were looking for, the charming Books for Cooks.
The shop is floor to ceiling shelves crammed with every tasty title imaginable. Peter immediately started exploring, hoping to add to the 100+ cookbooks that we already have.
Though, I knew there was no room in our suitcases, so this was just going to be a case of ‘window shopping’. Poor Peter.
They sardine packed hundreds of food related books into this store, from the common to unique. It would take years to recreate the recipes that were in these cases. I haven’t even come close to finishing cooking what was in the books I already own. I would be very plump if I had.
A petite kitchen sets at the back of the store, where recipes are tested everyday for the cookbooks crammed on the shelves. They then compile cookbooks featuring their favorites.
That’s the book I should have bought, the abridged version of everything else.
It was hard not to contemplate how small bookstores survive when there is huge conglomerates like Amazon.com that will download directly to my Kindle.
I’m sure happy that this one did.
For me, there is something about having a physical cookbook in my hands, spotted with ingredients from my labor of love.
What types of books do you like to physically have in hand? Do you have a favorite cookbook?
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