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Rocky Mountain Food Tours

Our Tour Manager, Jason, recently went over the pond and took a food tour in East London!

Read about his experience as he ate his way through six different destinations in this historic and culturally rich international city.

Jason and Big Ben 2
Tour Manager Jason with Rocky Mountain Food Tours | London, England

 

Written by Jason

There were many reasons why I was excited to visit London, but the biggest reason was the chance to take a food tour! London has more than 15,000 eateries, so in order to experience the best the city has to offer, I knew I needed a guide. This led me to taking the “Eating London: Brick Lane, Shoreditch, & Spitalfields Tour” with the tour company Eating Europe!  

The east side of London is filled with tons of history ranging from the Roman burial ground to bars that the infamous Jack the Ripper visited. Many distinct groups of people have lived here, leaving their mark and culture even still today. With a tainted reputation, this portion of East London was actually left off London maps for 150 years! This section of the city has evolved greatly over hundreds of years and is now one of the most popular areas in London.

 

London Food Tour: Getting Started

We kicked off our culinary and historical adventure in the Spitalfields Market of London where we were greeted by our lovely guide, Lauren! Lauren was personable and filled with so much knowledge. She truly made this entire experience worth every penny! Even though Lauren is originally from Essex, her grandparents are from the east side, so she has deep roots in London.

 

 

Stop 1: Potter & Reid 

Potter and Reid | London Food Tour
Potter and Reid | London Food Tour | Photo by Jason of Rocky Mountain Food Tours

We started off with a breakfast bite at Potter & Reid, a coffee shop on Toynbee. Here we were served a delicious classic called “Bacon Bap.” A Bacon Bap, otherwise known as a Bacon Butty, is a bacon sandwich made with a white bread roll covered in salted English butter. The white roll came from a local bakery, and the bacon came from Swaledale in Yorkshire. The sandwich was also filled with a savory brown sauce that contained hints of apple. An extremely delicious classic to start off our tour!

An interesting fact you may not know is that American bacon is typically from the back of the pig, but the bacon served to us actually came from the belly of the pig. This made our bacon not as crispy as typical American bacon, but still very delicious!

 

 

Stop 2: Humble Crumble 

Humble Crumble | London Food Tour
Humble Crumble | London Food Tour | Photo by Jason of Rocky Mountain Food Tours

Our tour guide then took us back into Spitalfields Market where we enjoyed a serving of apple crumble from the viral Humble Crumble. Priding themselves as being the “world’s first crumble bakery,” Humble Crumble brings a modern twist to one of England’s most nostalgic desserts.

Their apple crumble has a crunchy shortbread apple topping (aka “crumble”) and is surrounded by vanilla custard and topped with a toasted marshmallow. We enjoyed our crumbles while sitting on a bench listening to Lauren tell us how the market was originally a hospital field that evolved into one of London’s first whole fruit and vegetable markets until 1992 when it became the full market that it is today.

 

 

Stop 3: Poppies Fish & Chips

Poppies Fish and Chips | London Food Tour
Poppies Fish and Chips | London Food Tour | Photo by Jason of Rocky Mountain Food Tours

Here we got to try one of Britain’s most popular dishes: Fish and Chips! Lauren told us that fish and chips are most commonly eaten on Fridays, a tradition her grandparents kept for most of their lives. Although we weren’t there on a Friday, Poppies served us fresh fish and chips with vinegar and mushy peas.

Fish and Chips were originally served in newspapers until someone discovered that the toxic ink from the paper was leaking onto the food. Poppies wanted to maintain this tradition so they came up with  their own “edible” paper and ink! Even though the paper is safe to consume, they don’t recommend eating it!

During this stop we also learned about Cockney slang, which originated in the East End. Lauren taught us how your final word would rhyme with the real word you were attempting to say. For example, if you were referring to a boat, you could call it a “nanny goat.”

After taking turns guessing Cockney slang and enjoying our chips and mushy peas, we started making our way to the Brick Market for our next stop. 

 

 

Stop 4: Curry at Aladin’s Indian Restaurant

Aladin | London Food Tour
Aladin’s | London Food Tour | Photo by Jason of Rocky Mountain Food Tours

The Brick Lane of London is filled with many historical buildings and beautiful artwork. We walked down Brick Lane named after the area where bricks were manufactured due to the ground being filled with clay. The name, we learned, caught on following the rise of brick manufacturing following the Great Fire of London in 1666. It made for a great walk to our next stop: Aladin’s Indian Restaurant, which claims to bring a British twist to traditional Bengali food.  

Here we were served three different types of curries: Vegetable Bengali curry (made with 12 different spices), Garden Chicken Chili Tikka Masala, and Lamb Bhuna curry (made with Aladin’s mix of 18 spices). The curries were served with Aladin’s rainbow colored rice.

This delicious spread of food was paired with a Mango Lassi – an Indian mango drink made of mangos, yogurt, and cardamom. 

The Chicken Tikka Masala has actually been dubbed the national dish of London since 2007! Although curry did not originate in Britain, the Chicken Tikka Masala was created in London and is commonly referred to as “English curry!” 

This food was filled with so many delicious flavors, it made me an even bigger fan of curry!  

 

 

Stop 5: Biegel Bake

Beigel Bakery | London Food Tour
Beigel Bakery | London Food Tour | Photo by Jason of Rocky Mountain Food Tours

Our next destination took us on a path where we were able to admire countless murals, shops, and even quirky broccoli art! The path took us to the famous Biegel Bakery. Established in 1974, this 24-hour bakery has been voted the best bagels in London. We were greeted with a long line, or “queue” as the British would say, out the door. Luckily Lauren had made prior arrangements, and our fresh beigels were out within minutes!

Another fun fact: Although bagels and beigels are very similar, beigels is the Jewish spelling and are a bit more chewy and don’t have the prominent hole like American bagels.

Our beigel sandwich was served with salt beef and Coleman’s English hot mustard. Simple, but incredibly tasty and well-deserving of the “queues” always out the door.

 

 

Stop 6: Bread & Butter

Bread and Butter | London Food Tour
Bread and Butter | London Food Tour | Photo by Jason of Rocky Mountain Food Tours

Once we had finished our beigels, we made our way towards the Shoreditch neighborhood.  Shoreditch is an extremely popular area filled with many vintage clothing shops and a plethora of street art including an original Banksy! 

After taking in all the sights, we ended our tour with dessert at Bread & Butter.  This unique café is located on the second story of  a vintage clothing shop. 

Here we were served a piece of “millionaire lotus biscoff cake” accompanied with a cup of traditional English tea. A very classic dessert and a satisfying end to our tour! 

 

This tour was filled with rich history and food to match! Thank you Lauren and Eating Europe London for being the highlight of my vacation to London!

Cheers, Jason at Rocky Mountain Food Tours

(So, what’s a food tour, anyway…?)

 

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