This weekend I was lucky enough to be whisked away to “The Big Smoke” and as an experienced visitor to London I was reminded of a conversation that I had with a lady from Wales last week who claimed, yes claimed she has never been to London!! I know I know but surely there are more people like this who might actually be living among us. So I thought that I would give something back to the community and write a simple guide to anyone who has never been to London before. There is one condition to using this guide! They must love food.
Preparation is the name of the game
Before setting out on your treacherous long journey (ok so it takes 100 minutes from Bristol) you have to put aside some time to prepare for where you will eventually dine. The danger of failing to put sufficient manpower into this key stage could result in you walking into “Aberdeen Angus Steakhouse” or even worse McDonald’s or any other food outlet you walk past everyday on the way to work. So heed my warning. London can be very intimidating but if you want to be introduced smoothly then head towards SOHO, no not that part (although what happens in SOHO stays there right??). Take a right and you will come across some great quirky food outlets, some mainstream but not yet national such as http://www.burgerandlobster.com
Decide what type of food you want
Well this sounds obvious but you will need to try to close your eyes and imagine what type of cuisine you crave. Trust me there is everything and more in this great capital of ours but you will not just stumble across them. Once you have decided, then do your research into where the best places under that genre are. Sites such as “TripAdvisor” are great for this. However just simply tap, for example, “best afternoon tea in London” and then feast your eyes on all the amazing and best places to visit.You might have to do some walking, so make sure rely on your best friend when walking around London, “google maps”.
Choose an Experience
For those who are a bit more bold go for something a bit more adventurous. I was lucky enough to visit http://www.sketch.london for afternoon tea. I could spend the rest of this blog talking about how amazing this place is, and if you follow me on Instagram @bristolfoodluvver you will see the evidence. Unfortunately for you this will not help you live the same experience, so if you don’t do anything else in London book here for afternoon tea and then you can thank me later. Another great example is http://www.thewolseley.com an ex car showroom from the 1920’s which then eventually became a bank until 1999. I highly recommend that you book whether it’s for brunch, lunch or dinner. The atmosphere will leave you spellbound and wanting more. This is what I mean about experience. You can get an average afternoon tea anywhere but life is about these episodes that we will always remember.
Must do’s (I have kept this to three as it could go on)
Ok so there are definitely some “must do’s” when it comes to London and food. The first is take a trip along the South Bank to http://www.boroughmarket.org.uk A vibrant open food market where not only can you buy food to take home but where you can also sample and eat right on the spot. The only issue is where to actually eat, top tip “don’t peek to early”. Walk around and look at every stall. Another outstanding place which you have to visit is http://www.fortnumandmason.com Explore the food halls where you can get everything from tea to jam and caviar to chocolate. Or why not indulge in the ice cream parlour or something a bit stronger in the wine bar. Finally my last suggestion is book a www.freetoursbyfoot.com Not only will you get to eat some amazing food you also get to learn about the local area in which you are walking ( see it’s not always about my tummy )
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