Whether you’re new to London or a seasoned pro, London Bridge Secret Food Tours is an amazing way to explore an incredibly historic area while eating your way through some great British cuisine. One stereotypically grey and rainy Saturday morning, we met up with Mat Bland and a group of other bloggers and journalists to begin our journey into what London has to offer our stomachs.
Heading into Borough Market, we were swept away by the hustle and bustle of London’s oldest food market. Daring back to 1014, it’s a place steeped in history with beautiful architecture to match. Though we were here to try local British food, you can literally find everything at Borough Market, from sangria to seafood, burgers to beer.
The first stop for food on our tour was thankfully not jellied eels (as we’d been teased about from some friends earlier) but a piping hot egg and bacon bap from Whisky Ginger, washed down with an espresso martini. After the breakfast of champions, we then wandered around the markets for about 20-minutes, exploring some of the stalls. Our favourite place would be, hands down, Drunk Cheese. Recommended by Mat and such a creative concept, the stall creates cheeses that have been infused with alcohol, like buffalo milk cheese with prosecco or blue cheese with gin. They look as good as they taste too, with some of the rinds being pressed with the corresponding grape varietals.
Heading to one of the most popular spots in the markets, FishKitchen, we chowed down on their famous haddock and chips. FishKitchen get multiple deliveries of fresh fish throughout the day, so even if you come at 3pm you know you’re going to be getting an incredibly delicious dish, and you can honestly taste the difference. The fish was really light and flaky, and the batter wasn’t too thick or heavy. Triple cooked chips are always going to be a crunchy winner in our book, easily chowed down with a little salt and vinegar.
Next up was one of the main foodie attractions of Borough Market, the sausage roll from Ginger Pig. This iconic pastry is a favourite of celebs and locals alike and has been voted the best sausage roll in London. Washed down with some Westcountry Mead from Cartwright Brothers, it was a delicious pairing.
After wandering around the market, it was time to settle down in a traditional English pub. Many years ago the site of The Mughouse was a horse stable, and you can still see markings on the floor and numbers on the wall from its former four-legged occupants. Now it’s a cosy pub full of character, with pewter tankards hanging from the ceiling and a century’s worth of paraphernalia decorating the bar. Here we cosied up with a cold glass of Aspalls cider, paired with a cheese board consisting of Somerset brie, stilton, cheddar and goats cheese.
It wouldn’t be a London food experience without stopping off for some afternoon tea, and Viva Bacchus was the perfect stop-off for that. Accompanying the English Breakfast tea was a decadent sticky toffee pudding, drowning in a pool of delicious sauce and accompanied by clotted cream.
After all this we were so stuffed we could barely roll down the road, but there was still one last food to try. The secret delicacy that Mat had been hinting about all afternoon and none of us could quite guess ended up being none other than the vanilla custard donut from Bread’a’head. This award-winning donut is filled with beautifully light vanilla custard, speckled with black vanilla bean, and encased in a soft and sugary dough that you’ll be wolfing down in seconds. Nibbling on these by the bank of the Thames and overlooking Tower Bridge, it was the perfect way to end a perfect afternoon.
As well as London Bridge, Secret Food Tours also organise tours around Shoreditch, as well as in Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe, North America and South America. If you’re keen to dive deep into local cuisine anywhere in the world, make sure you give them a go.