A day in the Life of a London Food Guide

What does it mean to be a London Food Guide? It’s definitely not the most common term. The idea of “Food Tourism” is still relatively new in London, unlike traditionally famous “foodie” cities such as Rome, Paris or Barcelona. Despite its outdated reputation for boring food, London has gone above and beyond to become one of the world’s leaders in culinary innovation and limitless selections of unique cuisines. Even most of the locals have a hard time keeping up with all of the new restaurants, markets, pop-ups and food stands that are opening at an ever-increasing speed. Food seems to be one of London’s biggest past-times, and if you don’t have the time or energy to research what’s out there, having a Food Guide in London, might be one of the best choices you could make!

The “art” of knowing where to go and what to eat is not something that one can easily master. It takes a lot of active involvement and constant research (i.e. EATING) to find London’s best-kept secrets. As a London Food Guide, I can say with confidence that it isn’t just about knowing which places are the most popular or the most famous. Not to say that it isn’t helpful to check out Food Blogs and interesting articles put together by other foodies, but the best research I’ve done has been with my mouth.  Some of the best food I’ve eaten in London I found by exploring and trying it out.  Not everyone has the time or luxury to eat their way around London, so Food Guides can be a real asset for those wanting to know more about what London has to offer.

There aren’t as many certified “Food Guides” in London as you would find in Italy, France or Spain, however as London’s food popularity grows, so will the number of culinary experts. I moved here from Rome, where there is a highly saturated number of “Food Guides”. When I do London food tours with people, one of their number one questions they as me is WHY I moved from Rome to London to do Food Tours. My answer is easy – the food scene in London is about to hit its peak and it is still very un-discovered territory. For a Food Guide, it’s amazing to be one of the first people to design and create interesting tours that teach people more about the foods they are tasting, the cultures behind those foods, and how they’ve influenced what we currently define “British Food”.

One of the most amazing things I’ve found in London is the prime interest in cooking, foods, and an openness to trying unique tastes that you would have never imagined putting together. From Heston Blumenthal to Jaime Oliver to Gordan Ramsey, English chefs are taking the culinary world by storm – if that isn’t proof of where the UK’s food culture is headed, I don’t know what is!  As a London Food Guide, it’s exciting to see how this has reflected in a growing interest in London’s food scene and I’m excited to show what we have to offer. Get ready world, London is on its way to becoming one of the most famous foodie cities in the world!

 

The Revolution of FOOD TOURS

Welcome to a new world of tourism… the Food Tour. Starting only less than a decade ago, Food Tours are taking the world by storm, popping up in cities all over the globe. Considering everything they offer, it’s not hard to understand why people are falling in love with culinary adventures!

Food tours combine the elements of a typical city tour, where visitors learn the history and local culture, and take it to the next level by adding the important role that food has played – both historically and with the current local culture.

Since the concept of Food Tours started over a decade ago, the amount of food tours around the world has grown at an incredible rate. That’s great news for people who are avid travellers and want to eat their way around the world… however the downside is that there are a lot of companies jumping on the Food Tour bandwagon – which  means that not all of the Food Tours out there are worth taking.

Of course, we are slightly impartial because we run authentic food tours, however our advice to people looking for Food Tours are the following:

 

  1. Make sure that the places you are going to on the food tour are not in the top 10 of TripAdvisor. I know it might seem strange, but remember that the majority of people writing reviews for TripAdvisor are VISITORS and not LOCALS…so if you want a truly LOCAL experience, don’t rely on TripAdvisor results
  2. Research the Food Tour Company. Make sure that they actually LIVE in the city where they operate the food tour. You’d be surprised how many companies just open tours in any city they want to – without having actually lived there. That might not seem very important, but trust me – you can only get a local experience from people that actually live in the city they do their food tour.
  3. Be careful not to overpay. Unfortunately, there are quite a few tour companies out there that actually charge you money for places where you could sample food for free. If you can, try to find out where you are going on the tour to make sure that you aren’t paying to visit places that you could visit by yourself – without the expensive add-on fees of a tour.

 

Despite running our own food tours which focus on local places, amazing foods and interesting stories, we know that there are a number of great companies that run their businesses with the authenticity that we do. They might not be on the first page of Google… but again, you have to ask yourself – how much money did that company spend to be on the first page of Google? For us, being a small business that is run with a heart, we fully support other small businesses like us – that didn’t earn a top rating in Google or TripAdvisor by paying people – we earned it by doing what we love… Food Tours.