This week I was kindly invited by Ina Rock to join the Chakula team. I must say this is my first time writing in a blog, so don’t judge me yet please.
A bit about me… I am a chilean designer, worked for nearly 4 years at an advertising firm and in January 2014 I quit my job and moved to London, went back to school and I am currently attending some post graduate courses.
I assumed that the most obvious thing was to use this first post for UK’s best friend: Pret a Manger. For everyone who has been here will know that there is one in every corner… kind like Starbucks in the US, or Paul in France. You can love it or hate it, but it will definitely be a partner through your journey if you are visiting or living here.
It was founded 30 years ago by two college friends who wanted to make proper sandwiches with natural and fresh ingredients. Started as a small local business which went very well and the rest is history. Now they have nearly 300 shops in Great Britain.
You can find reasonable prices for London, the quality is quite good and they also have healthy and veggie options. Salads are served in a variety of ways, different vegetables mixed with lobster, chicken, ham, bacon… You can obviously find sandwiches, wraps, soups and different kinds of snacks, like vegetables chips. I am not a big fan of chocolate croissants (love chocolate, love croissants… and lets keep them separated) but people here queue to buy them, it is a big hit!
I usually come here for quick lunch. My favorites are the prosciutto / tomato / basil sandwich; the tomato soup; mango and lime fruit salad (one of the best things I’ve discovered here, easy to do at home, just chop the mango and squeeze a lime on top – exquisite!); the chocolate brownie (must try it, it’s soft and has a delicate consistency).
They use the slogan “made today, gone today”… I don’t know if this statement is completely true but it makes me feel I’m eating something a bit better that what the other cafes have. What they don’t sale during the day is given at night to charity and homeless people.
Another good thing about this place is that they have free wifi for all their costumers.
One thing that I must warned you and that happened to me when I first arrived here is that when you order your hot drinks they ask you: “…do you want it white or black?” The first time I ordered a tea, and when they asked me that I answered “white please…” – big mistake. I thought it would be a cool great new type of tea I’ve never tasted before – white tea! Wrong! White here is for milk, so they gave me a brownish liquid – tea with milk. Not good at all if you are not fan of milk or not expecting it to be in your hot pot.
I would not recommend it though as a working spot. There is something about the light or the temperature, too much air conditioning; last week summer was definitely over and autumn has well and truly set in, so not looking for a cold spot to hang for too long.