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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$551 privately
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Tour Details
3 hours
Product Type
  • Fortnum & Mason
  • Soho
Photos & Highlights
Tour Description
From scotch eggs to exceptional ales and a whole host of global cuisines, London's culinary offerings are as diverse as its population. On this 3-hour London Food Tour, led by a local chef or food writer, we will cover a wide swath of the city using our stomachs to guide us. 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.
  • Fortnum & Mason
  • Soho
  • 3 hours with a food writer or chef
  • Includes tastings
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, like scotch eggs and violet creams.
From there, we may pay visits to a quintessentially British cheese shop. Here we'll delight our palates with local cheeses specifically selected for us, while a trained cheesemonger explains the history of British cheese and the variety of regional cheeses. 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.
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?
Generally, the tastings on this tour don't replace a 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
142 Reviews (4.65)

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Camellia was a delight to guide me around London--- amazing delivery of historical perspective, including how food, has played an integral component.
The food tour was so much fun and a great break from a "regular" sightseeing tour. My kids ages (18; 15 & 11) loved it too! Alice was so friendly, completely open to anything we wanted to try (but we loved what she had planned for us). We got to go to many off the beaten path places with her that we never would have known about. Excellent tour!
Doris was great and took us to several places we would have never known about without her expertise. We appreciated her personal touch.