No matter where you come from, when London is mentioned you’ll have your own picture in your head of what it is like. As a city with such a broad global importance, it is naturally filled with influences from all over the world. Its history is long and storied, and there is as a result plenty to see and do.
As is natural for a city with London‘s profile, people are attracted from all over the world. It’s been the centre of European commerce and banking for some time, and this among other things has made it a cultural melting pot. So influences from all corners of the globe have made their mark on London’s music, fashion, and art. Not least of all, they have also had an impact on its food.
Greasy Spoon Cafes
If you travel to London, it would be a travesty not to experience the classic greasy spoon. Fried food is not a novelty for most travellers; it might not be the healthiest of choices, but sometimes it’s just what you need.
Greasy spoons are a London staple, so you don’t need to travel far to find one. You can go from the upmarket option to the cheap and cheerful corner cafe, depending on your preference for who you share your breakfast with. Not that it matters if it’s morning or not – most greasy spoons will serve breakfast all day.
It could be argued that all pubs are gastro pubs providing they serve food, but some have made it art. Characterised by cosy surroundings – expect a roaring fireplace in winter – and a menu of comfort foods, it’s the perfect way to while away a quiet afternoon.
There’s many to choose from depending on your location. Staples such as The Driver and similarly established venues are the best bet if you want something reliable. Don’t expect cheap “pub grub” food either – the whole point of a gastro pub is to marry together the pub atmosphere with good food. Perfect if you’re a foodie but not much one for the complications that come with fine dining.
Fine Dining and Afternoon Tea
Well – it had to be done!
London is world-renowned for its restaurants, and it’s tough to walk down a major street without stumbling across an establishment with a Michelin star or three. The other day I found a gorgeous restaurant which was in an old courtroom (review coming soon) – there is so much option in terms of places to go and cuisines to devour. While your evening meal can be covered by a multitude of options the most quintessential British option is afternoon tea.
It’s not just about the tea – though I have no doubt that it’s one if not the most important part of it. Afternoon tea is a meal all in itself, especially if you have a sweet tooth. You will usually find a spread with sandwiches, cakes and all manner of yummy goodness that is best enjoyed at your own leisurely pace. You may even find champagne is on the menu, but the whatever your choice of venue and tea enjoy sipping from a china cup. Your little pinky should be sticking out, of course.