Skip the tourist traps, a foodie tour with Viator is where it’s at.
It’s easy to step into a new city and get swallowed up by all the typical touristy stuff. Especially in London. This happened to us on our first visit to London in 2015, and we were left with pretty average memories of a city we’ve now come to fall head over heels for. We spent way too much time darting past tourists just to get a selfie with Big Ben and not nearly enough time exploring the more alternative areas of London.
If you’re an avid traveller, chances are you’ve heard of or have used Viator.com. This site collates a whole load of cool things to do in cities around the world, and in some of the more uncovered areas, too. In terms of London, tours range from the usual suspects such as Stonehenge day trips and Thames cruises, to totally new and unearthed experiences. For example, a Jack the Ripper Happy Hour Tasting Tour. How niche is that?
A couple of weeks ago, we were invited to try a tour with Viator. We jumped at the chance to get our foodie fix; we’d heard so many good things about London’s food tours. And with so many great picks, it was pretty hard to narrow the choices down. Afternoon tea on a double decker bus, food and wine touring in Notting Hill, lunch in the Cotswolds, Royal High Tea at Kensington Palace… there were countless experiences we hadn’t even heard of before. Settling on London East End Food Tour, we made our way over to London’s acclaimed east for a day of feasting like kings.
London East End Food Tour
What better way to start the tour than with the best bacon sandwich in London? To be found at St John Bread and Wine on Commercial Street, the sandwich offered the perfect bread to bacon ratio. It was squishy, succulent and all kinds of mouth watering. Our lovely tour guide Dinah accompanied the tasting with a get-to-know-each-other session, then off we went to our next destination.
Aptly named ‘The English Restaurant’, well you don’t get more straight to the point than that. This pub was quaint, cosy and classic in it’s design; it was everything you’d imagine when you think ‘English pub’. Here, we tried bread and butter pudding. Traditionally a dish for the poor, the pudding has become an English cuisine staple. It is made layering slices of buttered bread with a creamy egg custard mixture. Unpretentious yet delectable all the same, this was our fave dessert of the day.
We moved on to Bedales to sample some British cheese. A semi-soft and crumbly Blue Stilton did just the trick before heading over to Poppie’s to taste some of the best fish ‘n’ chips around. One of London’s best known and most loved dishes, fish ‘n’ chips naturally had to find its place on the itinerary. Poppie’s paired it with mushy peas and salt and vinegar dressing.
From here, we continued to explore Brick Lane and some amazing Bangladeshi cuisine famous to the area, stopping at notable restaurant Aladin. Along the way, Dinah taught us so much about the Jewish history of the east. We learnt how the area shifted from being London’s slums to a trendy hipster haven, all the while chowing down on a classic salt beef bagel. This Jewish dish was a crowd favourite. Think thick, juicy meat salted to perfection and crunchy, potent pickles. The tour ended with a salted caramel chocolate tart from Pizza East, some bubbly and food babies all ’round.
You can locate the exact tour we took here for the very decent amount of £80.00 per ticket. Seriously, for what you get, it’s worth every penny. And as aforementioned, there are so many other foodie experiences to choose from, so head over to the London food and wine section of Viator here for a browse. Happy tour hunting everyone!