“You will go very far, considering your enthusiasm and energy Elena!” Nicole’s words still ring in my ears when I think back of my recent #foodlover exploration of East London thanks to Eating London Tours. Enthusiasm, energy and an appetite for life are definitely what drive me these days, as I am travelling round the world researching creative culinary travel tips in far-flung destinations such as Iceland, Brazil or even Easter Island & New Zealand. 🙂
And Nicole, my Eating London tour guide, does not rank behind my very own enthusiasm either! Her passion for food explorations in the East London district of Spitalfields Market & Brick Lane means she literally “goes out of her way” to show us the hidden gems and less obvious #foodlover sites in this part of London. Follow us, therefore, as we reveal a kaleidoscope of colours, scents & people on our way to food heaven in London! (Oh yes. The British DO know a thing or two about great food. As with everything, you just have to know where to go!).
The East End London Food Tour #1: St. John Bread & Wine.
It actually sounds quite Catholic don’t you think! Its famous bacon sandwich to greet #foodlover travellers on their first bite into “Eating London” is definitely a sin to go for though: Be sure not to have breakfast ahead of the tour. You will eat lots here on what is a total number of eight tasting stops, each highlighting the very best in terms of food & drinks that are available in the area.
The East End London Food Tour #2: The English Restaurant.
As a writer looking for soulful places that have a story to tell, entering the “English Restaurant” just around the corner from the Old Spitalfields Market is a dream come true. Everything in this typical English pub restaurant is alive with detail and stories. Make sure you stop to look around and take in the atmosphere in full, from the old tables, to the cake displays or wooden beams at the ceiling – each one of them merit your attention. That is, until the charming waitress places a Bread & Butter Pudding in front of you and draws you back into the here and now: An English classic that simply tastes delightful.! As for counting calories throughout the day, my advice is this: Don’t even go there. Just. Don’t. 😉
The East End London Food Tour #3: The House of Androuet.
Little did I know about the delights of English cheese before I came to charming Leo & Alex, who are both cheese maturing experts and have turned their love for cheese into this cute little shop & tasting location at Old Spitalfields Market. On the way there, we listen to Nicole filling us in on many historical facts & figures concerning London’s East End. Still processing all the information and images conjured up in my mind, I am met with the smell of literally dozens of types of cheese – and once again drawn back into the present in the most pleasant way possible, that is with a fine “cheese lover” tasting coming our way!
The East End London Food Tour #4: Poppies Fish & Chips.
“I have once had some really good fish’n’chips on New Zealand’s Stewart Island, too, in the very south of the South Island.” – “Ah, that might be, but certainly not in London. We are the best all over town!” A satisfied smile spreads across 72-year-old Pat Newland’s face, the owner of the Poppies Fish & Chips in East London. He gives me a wink, then gladly has his picture taken together with his colourfully dressed-up staff. Entering Poppies, therefore, is an experience in its own right – and one not to be missed, as eating excellent fish’n’chips is always a great idea given the quality of the fish here.
The East End London Food Tour #5: Pride of Spitalfields.
And “proud” is what they can be: Hardly ever have I entered an English pub that almost immediately has me say: “I want to stay here. This feels like home. What a great place to relax and come to!”
The East End London Food Tour #6 & #7: Aladin & Beigel Bake on Brick Lane.
“Aladin”, the name of our sixth tasting location during this Eating London Food Tour with Nicole, has me travel East immediately. Having arrived on famous Brick Lane, now home to some of the city’s best Indian restaurants, we get a glimpse behind the scenes of what makes a typical Indian curry on London’s “Curry Mile”. Luckily, there are several of us tasting still … By now, my stomach is already full with the beautiful food tastings we’ve had! And there is more to come. Salt beef with hot English mustard, gherkins & a secretly soft bagel is great street food I can truly recommend any time you are visiting Brick Lane. Check this out.
The East End London Food Tour #8: Pizza East!
Last but not least, we wind up this tasty London Food Tour at a place called “Pizza East”. Contrary to what you might think, we are not having pizza here now but end our #foodlover’s day with another hint of heaven: Salted Caramel Tart really is for the heavenly inclined only. It is a wonderful dessert, and one I have never tried before but now tempted to do so, many more times …
Disclaimer: I have been invited Eating London on this culinary exploration of East London. All opinions are my own.