I was visiting my brother in London a couple of weeks back and discovered this gem of a place. I read some reviews about how amazing the pastas and pizzas are, and I knew that I had to try it before I flew back home.
It’s really convenient to get to. I took the Heathrow Express from London Heathrow Airport all the way to Paddington station and walked to Il Blandford’s. It’s also near Marylebone station and Marble Arch station so you could come from there as well.
The shop was a lot smaller than I expected, and a lot more nondescript. I would say that it can only seat at most 20-30 patrons at once, including the seats outside.
We ordered a pizza to share, yes a full-sized pizza, and a pasta main dish each.
I went for a cannelloni dish. Cannellonis are cylindrical pasta shapes that are filled with different kinds of fillings and baked in a sauce with cheese. It’s kind of like lasagna, but reformatted. I forget the actual name, but it was filled with spinach and ricotta, as well as finely minced chicken. It was delicious. The cream sauce was not too heavy, and the filling was generous. There were 3 cannellonis in this dish, all drenched in a rich cream sauce and baked in a layer of glorious cheese. It’s no surprise that cannellonis are one of my favourite types of pasta!
The brother had a Salmon Cream Pasta dish. He chose penne for his type of pasta. I don’t remember the exact name too, but it was just alright. We both preferred my choice 😀 What can I say? Trust a foodie. The pasta was al dente, but the cream sauce overpowered the salmon flakes/chunks, so it wasn’t a spectacular dish to say the least. I recommend my cannelloni over his pasta haha.
We also shared a pizza. It had mushrooms and truffle oil on it, so I’m just going to call it a truffle mushroom pizza. This was delicious. The crust was thin, and somehow both crispy and slightly chewy at the same time. The toppings were generous and the proportions of everything was perfect. Not like the commercial pizza where it’s loaded with cheese and the thick flavourless dough. If I’m not wrong, they bake their pizza in a wood-fired oven, which is how they can get such a good texture.
Just writing this post makes me wish I could fly back there to eat this again! Prices are affordable, between 10-20 pounds for a main pasta/pizza dish. With the Brexit happening recently… it’s a good time to go and have some food! You’ll get more bang for your buck 😀
Special feature: Patisserie Valerie
In the short 5 hours that we had together, we also visited two Patisserie Valerie outlets. All this was after we had the amazing lunch at Il Blandford’s and a pretty decent soft serve ice cream from a road-side vendor. And people wonder why we are this size. Haha.
We tried a triple scoop ice cream from one outlet. We ordered strawberry, chocolate and pistachio… all of which were very very average. The pistachio was weird. I think strawberry was the best of the three, but really, you can just give this a miss.
At the second outlet, we had a Mille Feuille (background) and a Raspberry Tart (foreground). Both were good! Way better than their ice cream. A mille feuille has layers of puff pastry holding a custard cream filling. It’s sort of like apple strudel without the apple filling, and a ton more cream. Because there’s more cream, the pastry becomes soggy easily… and it’s hard to cut through as a result. It was messy to eat, but still a good dessert. It’s sweet though, so pair it with a cuppa hot tea. The raspberry tart was good too. The crust was still crisp, and there was a good amount of custard cream to go with the raspberries. Now that I think about it, it reminds me of the fruit tarts at Delifrance… just slightly larger.
But let’s say you only have a couple of hours to spare during a layover in London, you should definitely catch a train out to Paddington to try Il Blandford’s! You can walk off the food coma at the nearby shopping area at Marble Arch and walk along Hyde Park before you head back to the airport. Trust me it’s good stuff, just look at our delighted faces! 😀
65 Chiltern St, London W1U 6NH, United Kingdom
+44 20 7486 4117