Forgive my absence over the last two weeks. Don’t fret, I’m back now – it’s not like I ever gave up writing and taking pictures of my food and everyone else’s. I’m not insane. I’m actually pretty excited about sharing with you what I’ve been up to lately!
I visited UK last week to see my sister who lives further north, so it was kind of a mini vacation where we could also fit some sightseeing.
London isn’t exactly the ideal vacation spot if you’re a fan of the sun, the beach, and your (previously smooth) skin. I really don’t like cold weather, which is the main reason why I came back to Lebanon after my big move to London in an attempt to “start my life”.
If you’re a foodie like me, when traveling to new places, you’ll want to eat all the food a culture has to offer. Fortunately, there’s a way to try and taste a whole lot of traditional British food without having to binge and splurge on multiple breakfasts, brunches (my personal favourite), lunches, dinners, and the many snacks in between every day!
I (along with my stomach) was in great hands with the official Secret Food Tours in London last week.
My Foodie Experience with Secret Food Tours in London
We were an intimate group of 6 – so our charming food tour guide, Ed, had our complete attention throughout the entire tour. By the way, the food tour isn’t just food! We walked by and learned about the most famous attractions (including Tower Bridge, HMS Belfast, Borough Market, the Golden Hind, and the Shard) around the London Bridge area.
Our tour began at the start of Borough Market, one of the biggest food markets in London, to have traditional Scotch eggs. I’ve tried a Scotch egg once, but it was nothing compared to this one we had on the Secret Food Tour in London.
Check out that creamy orange yolk protected by a crunchy fried ground herby sausage and breadcrumb layer. I’m seriously craving one right now.
Borough Market has been on my “list” for about 3 years (I know, shame on me I only found out about this foodie hot spot 3 years ago). I also had a particular food stall in mind too, so I was pretty excited when Ed told us we had about 10-15 minutes to browse and sample the many goodies in the market. I was even more excited when I found out said stall will be the stall from which he would get us something tasty later on.
The bustling Borough Market is just so vibrant and full of life – the food stalls beckon all 5 of your senses! I actually bought a few snacks for later 😉
Ed then took us to one of the best fish and chips shops in London (on the outskirts of Borough Market) and taught us the difference between “chips” and “French fries”. The moist cod fish is surrounded by a crunchy beer batter layer and the chips here are “triple cooked”, which makes them much fluffier and retain less oil. Much yum.
The food doesn’t stop here. We then tried a scrumptious award-winning Cumberland sausage roll with a sweet honey wine from the market. My taste buds did tingle, and I came back for this the following week.
Let’s take a break from food…
Up next was a small free tour of the gothic Southwark Cathedral, which is one of London’s oldest cathedrals dating back to the 6th century.
A replica of Sir Francis Drake’s Golden Hind also sits in the area and actually does work as a boat. I won’t go into details about the history of this legendary pirate/knight.
Back to the Food Tour!
We then wandered into a historic pub under a spooky bridge to have some British cheese, served with grapes, crackers and chutneys. We also tried some cider, which (at least to me) tasted a lot like fizzy apple juice. I quite enjoyed it actually.
You remember that food stall in Borough Market I was talking about earlier. It’s Bread Ahead Bakery. And you know what Ed got us? One of London’s best doughnuts from… yep, you guessed it, Bread Ahead Bakery: sugar coated, creamy custard filled. Words cannot describe the taste of this donut. They probably can, but it would probably be best if you try it yourself and come up with your own description. They’re just perfect.
We relished our donuts as Ed gave us a cool presentation on all the iconic buildings around us.
Our last stop was a restaurant near Tower Bridge for a classic British dessert and some tea to wash it down. I was hoping for a Sticky Toffee Pudding, which happens to be my favourite dessert of all time, but this one was another British classic: Apple and Blackberry Crumble served with luscious thick custard.
And that (unfortunately) concludes our tour for the day.
I think the best way to discover and experience a new city is through food. Maybe that’s just the foodie in me speaking, but you have to give a food tour a go if you haven’t yet.
All of our stops with Secret Food Tours in London were packed with locals, not tourists; it really felt like an insider’s private tour of the city. We learnt more about the history and stories in the area that we probably wouldn’t have discovered on our own.
Secret Food Tours in London was my first ever food tour and definitely not my last!
The 3-hour guided food tour is reasonably priced at £59 and I’d recommend it to any food lovers visiting London (and residents too!). If you’re interested in booking the Secret Food Tours in London, check out the Secret Food Tours website for more information! They also have food tours in Paris, Barcelona, Madrid, Rome and Berlin – I sense a trip to Paris is in order 😉
STAY TUNED FOR MORE UK ADVENTURES!
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I was a guest on the Secret Food Tours in London. As always, all opinions are my own.