Books for Cooks

Restaurants, Contemporary European Westbourne
4 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
(7user reviews)
Books for Cooks (© Jael Marschner)
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© Jael Marschner
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© Jael Marschner
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© Jael Marschner
Books for Cooks (© Jael Marschner)
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© Jael Marschner
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© Jael Marschner
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© Jael Marschner
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© Jael Marschner
Books for Cooks (© Jael Marschner)
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© Jael Marschner

The best recipes from the books at this vivacious shop are brought to life in its kitchen.

Books for Cooks runs on a simple but very successful formula. From the small open kitchen, co-owner Eric Treuillé puts recipes (one starter, one main) from the cookbook(s) of the day to the test. There’s no choice – until it comes to pudding, when there’s an array of must-try cakes (lemon victoria sponge, raspberry and pear cake, or chocolate and orange cake, say) – but the standard of cooking is high. Pea and ricotta salad with focaccia followed by merguez, roast lamb and rice made a lovely summer lunch. Coffee is also good. White wine lovers must go elsewhere: only red wine from Eric’s own biodynamic vineyard is served (it’s also available to take away, along with his olive oil). So popular is the bargain lunch in the tiny café at the back of this specialist cookbook shop that regulars start lurking from 11.45am to secure a table (no bookings are taken).

 

Posted:

Venue name: Books for Cooks
Contact:
Address: 4 Blenheim Crescent
London
W11 1NN
Opening hours: Open 10am-6pm Tue, Wed, Fri, Sat; 10am-5.30pm Thur. Lunch served noon-2pm Tue-Fri; 11.30am-2pm Sat
Transport: Tube: Ladbroke Grove tube
Price: Set lunch £5 2 courses, £7 3 courses
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Average User Rating

4.1 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:4
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:1
LiveReviews|7
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1 of 1 found helpful

In the Autumn of the year I moved to London from the US, I travelled with my friend to the exotic wilds of the Portobello Rd Market, we wandered padt the antiques and bricabrac into the vegetables and cheap watches stalls, and noticed down a cross road the sign for Books for Cooks.  Neither of us could resist a quirky bookstore, so in we went.  The perfectly formed, store is crammed with floor to ceiling shelves filled with every cookbook imaginable.  Then we spotted the tiny kitchen and seating area at the back.  Magnitised by the generous display of cakes and desserts we went upntonthe counter and stared.  The young woman chef asked if we wanted something.  We told her we couldn't decide, they all looked so good. " Well, I can give you a sampler plate with one of each".  That was over 20 years ago, and it is one of my favourite places in London.  If people visit who like to cook, I always take them.  It's a hike from NE London, but ALWAYS worth the journey.  Long live Books for Cooks! 

Tastemaker

Books for Cooks is a beautiful cookbook shop just off of Portobello Road, which also has a kitchen and dining area for about 25 people in the back. Each day, between Tuesday and Saturday they pick a book off the shelf and make a three course lunch from that book, charging only £7.50 for the three courses. It’s got to be the best value I’ve come across in London! I went on a Tuesday when they cook a vegetarian meal, but I was told that Wednesday and Thursday are random menus, Friday is fish and Saturday is mac and cheese. The menu is set, and apart from dessert, there’s no choice - which isn’t a problem as the food is all expertly prepared fresh that day. Make sure to get there by about 11:30 as the place was full by the time they started serving at 12:00.


I went on my own and was welcomed in by the owner who was happily catching up with both the french and english speaking regulars. I was sat at a table for six with five other regular lunchers who welcomed me right into their conversations. The food was phenomenal - french onion tart to start, baked aubergine and mozzarella as a main and a choice of three desserts, of which I went for a generous helping of pavlova. You could also have wine or coffee for a small extra fee. The whole experience was wonderful -  I don’t think I’ve ever been anywhere is London that was so friendly!

Amazing selection of books on pretty much everything you could ever need on food.


Fabulous freshly cooked healthy food and 3 exciting surprise cakes every day, similar to dining at a favourite friend's house who happens to be a first class cook.

Tastemaker

If you're an amateur cook, Book For Cooks is your place! You can find cooks books as well as enjoying a nice meal at the back of the shop. The place is very small but they offer delicious daily dishes made of fresh and organic products. 

Definitely a must go in Nothing Hill area. 

0 of 1 found helpful

I wish I could give ZERO stars since I didn't even get to try their food but their service at the door was horrifying. We were a party of three looking for a table at noon but were quickly shutdown with a "NO". Excuse me? An explaination to why you said no would be nice since that's what you do for good service. Of course we were just left standing around and to make matters worse, a table of TWO after us got a table right away when the guy offered to pull up a table from the basement. And when we confronted him as to why he couldn't have done that for us since we were before them, he replied in a rude appalling tone and escorted us out (probably because he had no answer for us since we were in the right, and by the way, even the customers were trying to make room for us) Now if that's not the worst service ever, I have no idea what is.