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London called, and we answered. Our visit was short and left us wanting more. We got a sampling of London’s food scene, and we got a taste of London in just 44 hours.
London does not have a long history of culinary excellence. The late comedian Bill Hicks referred to London as the land of fairies and elves and as a place where you can eat boiled pizza. Our goal was to find out if things had changed.
Day One in London
On day one, we strolled down Portobello Road in Notting Hill where we ate Ginger Pig meat pies at the cocktail bar Portobello Star. Not surprisingly, the pies went down quite easily with some beer and cider.
We walked a lot, as we always do, and saw Piccadilly Circus and Big Ben.
We ended the day by meeting friends Russell and Mandy for some vegetarian curry before we crashed due to jet lag.
Day Two in London
Day two started late due to jet lag but was full nonetheless. We started by grazing our way through the Borough Market, a world-class emporium right at the London Bridge tube station.
One of the best food markets in London, Brogough Market is over 1,000 years old but has come into its own during the past ten years. Cheeses, meats, vegetables and all kind of treats now abound in a wonderfully overwhelming way.
We also visited Neal’s Yard Dairyright near the Borough Market to check out some of the finest cheese produced in Great Britain and the world. We were pleasantly surprised to bump into DiBruno’s cheesemonger, Matt Shankle. Since DiBruno’s is just blocks from our house in Philadelphia, it truly is a small world.
The Tate Modern didn’t charge admission (except for the special exhibit) at the time of our visit. This museum is one of the best free attractions in London along with museums like the British Museum and the National Gallery.
A short, drizzly walk over the Millennium Bridge took us to Fleet Street’s Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, a pub that was rebuilt in 1666 and was frequented by Charles Dickens, for a couple of pre-dinner pints of Samuel Smith beers from the tap.
We met up with friends and awesome hosts Gregg and Sylva at a neighborhood spot called the Mitre. We ended our too-brief visit with fish & chips, braised lamb shoulder and sticky toffee pudding.
There are two things we know for sure. London’s food scene is happening and we’ll be back soon.
Plan Your London Stay
About the Authors
Daryl & Mindi Hirsch
Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.