Beyond the Plate: Travel


It’s always a pleasure to hop on a plane and travel to a destination, especially when it requires a passport (I like to pronounce passport in Italian)!  I recently spent time in London, England which is truly one of my favorite cities in the world.  The history and culture lure me in each time I visit, making it so incredibly hard to leave when my holiday is over, be it for work or pleasure.

I normally stay in Kensington (Central London), as it’s easy to catch the tube, walk to many of London’s tourist traps and has a fantastic concentration of museums (Natural History Museum, Victoria & Albert Museum).  This time however, I had the pleasure of staying in Knightsbridge at the Cadogan Hotel, and as their website details, “perfectly located on Sloane Street amongst famed designer boutiques such as Chanel, Gucci, Prada and Hermes and a short stroll to Harvey Nichols and Harrods.”


It’s true – the Cadogan is the perfect place to stay in London.  Quintessentially British in decor and service, the Cadogan offers it’s guest a boutique hotel feel, exemplary service, a menu that keeps on giving (breakfast, lunch & dinner), and did I mention keys to a private garden?  With it’s location just a short walk to either the Knightsbridge or Sloane Square, both provide for exquisite shopping opportunities.

Last time I was in London, it was such a short trip as I was heading to Istanbul (Turkey), leaving me with little time to spend in my favorite city.  So on this trip I had a few things to check off my bucket list:

  • Visit the London Eye
  • Visit a local neighborhood garden (Check, thanks to the Cadogan)
  • Research on the local food scene


A required annual pilgrimage to Harrod’s and Fortnum & Mason (A must for anyone going to London for the 1st time!)  Fair warning – “Gird you loins” as Stanley Tucci says in the movie “The Devil Wears Prada” – it is a feast for ones senses in every way, taking you beyond the plate and can be overwhelming, but sensational with every step. I was given a list of items to pick up for friends back in the States and, of course, brought home some extra goodies for myself!

I also had the pleasure of getting outside of Central London to visit Richmond, and found the most amazing little coffee shop – Beirut Street Kitchen.   Serving artisan, slow roasted coffee and the most amazing pistachio pastries.  Add this one to your list and you can thank me later!

Beirut Street Kitchen
Best coffee I’ve ever had – seriously ever!

Life is short, take the time to travel even if it doesn’t require a passport.  It’s good for the soul!  And p.s. yes there are more food photos. You didn’t think I’d forget to share those, now did you?  You can see more of this trip over at and over on Instagram.  Next month I will be heading to New York for the James Beard Foundation Food Conference. I’m excited to come back and share that experience here at Delysia Chocolatier!


Nicole Patel

Nicole Patel is the proprietor of and chocolatier for Delysia Chocolatier. In 2006 while pregnant with her first son, Nicole made a batch of chocolate truffles as holiday gifts. To the delight of friends and family, she continued to create chocolates as a way to relieve stress from her corporate engineering job. In 2008, a chance trip to Becker Vineyards led to Nicole being the first in Texas to make truffles using local wines. Within five years, what started as a hobby turned Delysia into one of the Top Ten Chocolatiers in the Americas, as selected by the International Chocolate Salon.