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London Food Tour: Essentials of British Food Culture

Experience a mix of local favorites and legendary destinations for foodies
From US$603 privately
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Tour Details
3 hours
Product Type
  • Fortnum & Mason
  • Soho
Photos & Highlights
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Tour Description
This walk is a great way to see some of the most famous neighborhoods of London from a different perspective—your bellies! In the company of a food historian, chef, or expert in gastronomy, we generally start out near Green Park and the quintessential British food oasis: Fortnum & Mason. This is a great place to begin as English gastronomic tradition abounds inside Fortnum's hallowed walls. We will pay extra attention to the artistry of the cuisine and the aesthetics of the display while taking in the history of this institution and tasting some local delights.

On this 3-hour London Food Tour we will cover a wide swath of the city using our stomachs to guide us. From scotch eggs to exceptional ales and a whole host of global cuisines, London's culinary offerings are as diverse as its population. Along the way, we'll meet shop owners, taste artisanal products, and learn how London has become a culinary mecca that never fails to surprise.

From there, we may pay visits to a British cheese shop where we'll delight our palates with local products specifically selected for us, while a trained cheesemonger explains the history of British cheese and the variety of regional offerings. From here we may proceed to a historic chocolate shop selling a wide variety of truffles and bonbons, or discover the new generation of chocolatiers and their alchemic inventions.
We will then weave up to Soho and the lovely, family-run Lina Stores deli with beautifully displayed cured meats, cheeses, and fresh pastas on Brewer Street, before heading to Old Compton Street to pass by the aromatic Algerian Coffee Store, with an astounding variety of coffees and teas. 

In the 20th century, Soho was populated by newly settled immigrants and inexpensive ethnic restaurants that catered to a diverse Bohemian population, made up of artists and musicians, as well as notorious gangsters, prostitutes, and others. While the area is now one of the most fashionable in London, you still witness remnants of its past intermingled with the diversity of small restaurants from all over the world… some of which we will visit during our walk.

Dipping down into Chinatown, we discuss London's international cuisine, which is key to the city's culinary culture of today. We'll also learn about the origin of Chicken Tikka Masala, one of the most popular curries in the UK. We may brave Leicester Square and make our way into Covent Garden, where we will discuss the area's history as a fruit and vegetable market. Alternatively, we might pop in for some gelato at Gelupo on our way to the Seven Dials area of London, where we can find some hidden treasures like Monmouth Coffee, Homeslice, and Neal’s Yard Dairy, with an unexpected Bohemian-inspired courtyard.

Come with an appetite, as our tour promises a feast for all the senses!
  • Fortnum & Mason
  • Soho
  • 3 hours with a food writer or chef
  • Includes tastings
Whether you are a serious foodie or just like to eat, this walk will help you discover the secret corners of London and the coexistence of a centuries-old culinary tradition with an incredibly international food scene. Most importantly, it will help you debunk the myth that London is a culinary wasteland.

Thirsty? Try our beer and brewery tour, led by a food anthropologist with ample experience in the brewing industry.
Where do we meet? Where does it end?
The walk begins in the Piccadilly neighborhood and typically ends in Covent Garden. Your confirmation email will have the exact meeting point details along with a map.

Can I participate in your small group food walks if I have food allergies?
Yes. If you have any specific allergies/intolerances please indicate these in the Travel Notes section when you are booking and your guide will do his or her best to accommodate.

Do the tastings serve as a replacement for a meal?
Yes, this tour's tastings do cover a full meal.

Is this walk good for kids?
Yes, especially if your children love trying new food and enjoy learning about the city through food. If your kids are under 13, we strongly recommend booking the walk privately, so we can better adjust the walk to their taste and interests.

What if it’s raining?
Tours operate rain or shine, but in the case of inclement weather, your expert will modify the tour so more time is spent indoors. It never hurts to have an umbrella on hand.

Is this a walking intensive tour?
This walk covers about 1 mile overall.

Where You'll Start
158 Reviews (4.69)

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this was a great tour - some of the vendors weren't cooperative - but the tour guide was above and beyond. Fortnum and Mason is a very very loud place to lead a tour - but unparalleled food excellence. (one of the best scotch eggs I've ever tasted)
This was a fabulous tour. Tons of classic and unusual bites to try, all with a bit of history as well.
Great tour. Very engaging and fun. Doris is a warm and fascinating person.