Walk Eat Talk Eat…sounds right up our street! So tell us, what was the reason behind creating your food tour company?
In my old job I got to travel a lot. And each time I went to a new city, I’d do a food tour to get my bearings, learn a bit about the city and get a taste of the food.
Being abroad I also got to hear a lot about what people thought of the food back in the UK. And it wasn’t good. I thought that was unfair. The food in the UK is excellent. We have so many different cuisines done really well. It’s not all about soggy fish and chips.
I wanted to do something to change people’s minds about the food here, and I remembered how much I’d enjoyed going on food tours abroad. So I thought I’d give it a go here in London.
What are some of the key differences between the East End food scene and Central London?
I think the East End is less touristy. It attracts people who want to get off the tourist trail and see something different. I wanted to show people some of the more tucked-away places. Places that locals love. The East End has loads of great food markets too, and all in quite a small area.
We love our Friday burger lunches at KweekWeek…where can you find the best burger joint in the city?
That’s a tough one, but I discovered a new favourite place just recently by Borough Market. It’s sort of hidden away between the market and the grounds of Southwark Cathedral. It’s called Whiskey Ginger. The burgers were great and they’ve got a really well-stocked bar with lots of unusual whiskeys. And they make great cocktails. Plus, you can sort of take a step back from the hustle and bustle of Borough Market, but still see it all in action. A great spot for people watching!
A friend from abroad is staying at your house for the weekend and has never been to London before. Where would you go for breakfast, brunch/lunch, dinner and cocktails on the Saturday?
I think I’d start off by whisking them off to Shoreditch and we’d either go to Albion Caff for a bacon sandwich, or we’d pop across the road to Dishoom for a bacon naan (clearly bacon would feature!).
Then we’d head just south of the river to Maltby Street Market. It’s my favourite market in London. There we’d have a Bloody Mary at Little Bird Gin, or a drink at Jensen’s Gin. A bit of a mooch around the antiques. Then pick from all the brilliant stalls and restaurants. I love Waffle On and Tonzino.
For dinner and cocktails…I’ll let you in on a secret. Right by London Bridge station, next to an All Bar One, there’s an unappealing office block. But, buzz the buzzer for Rooftop Café and you end up in this really tucked-away restaurant. It has lovely views over London, and if it’s a nice day, the terrace is brilliant. You get a really unusual view of The Shard. And most importantly, the food is excellent. The cocktails too.
Other than standard dinner & drinks, what else do you suggest for a fun date?
Either head to one of the night-time street food markets, or pack up a nice picnic and a bit of fizz and smuggle it aboard one of the Thames Clipper boats. Head down to Greenwich, it’s a lovely way to see the city. Then take a walk around Greenwich and perhaps have a final drink in The Gypsy Moth.
Favourite food market in London?
Definitely Maltby Street Market – it’s quite hard to find, and it’s full of locals. It’s got a great atmosphere and so many wonderful food stalls. But since I’ve mentioned that, I’ll be naughty and suggest another, which would probably be Broadway Market. If you’ve got a bike, I’d suggest getting yourself to Broadway Market for lunch, then take a ride over to Victoria Park and head all the way east to Counter Café for a (little) beer by the canal.
What surprises have you got in store for us over the Summer?
I’m working on a secret SE1 bar tour. There are so many cool places, that you wouldn’t necessarily know were there. Like a cocktail bar where you sit in the old coal chutes of the pub above and a little gin bar where you can do tastings. Plus, there’s a place by the river that does really unusual drinks, like one that comes with a bacon and chilli lollipop. Also, I’m thinking of revamping the East End tour later in the year to cover a bigger area. That whole area is always changing, so we’re spoilt for choice on where to take people.
What do you love about KweekWeek?
I was getting the newsletters before the tours were listed, and I’ve always liked the fact that there’s something new on there. KweekWeek is great for getting inspiration for doing something different in London.
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