I was very excited to hear that I would be going on a food tour, and I was very much looking forward to it. It was amazing: my dad and I got to taste a wide variety of delicious foods that the East End of London has to offer.
Firstly, my dad and I took the Underground to Old Street station, and walked to the vibrant Old Spitalfields Market, where there were lots of stalls selling clothing and food from around the world. We met our tour guide, Hannah, there, and walked across the road to St. John’s Bread and Wine, where we, along with the other people on the tour, had scrumptious bacon sandwiches. The bread was freshly made and toasted, and the bacon had such a wonderfully smoked, cured flavour. That was only one out of eight stops, though.
Our next stop was a restaurant called The English Restaurant, where we had some delectably sweet bread pudding. It had bread, eggs, raisins, milk and many other fresh ingredients. The building was built in the late 17th Century, and had been used by many other businesses, including a company that roasted nuts.
Afterwards, our tour guide led us back to Old Spitalfields Market, through the site where Jack the Ripper murdered someone, and what was a shooting range (there were street names such as Gun Street and Artillery Passage). At the market, we all tried some cheese from a cheese shop called Androuet. I quite liked it, even though I do not normally like cheese, and I was brave enough to try Stilton!
The next few stops all held a part of different groups of people that settled in the East End. We learned about the cultures from which fish and chips originated, after having some from Poppies. Next, we stopped at a pub called The Pride of Spitalfields, where my dad and most of the others on the tour tried some beer and cider, but the tour guide was kind enough to get an alternative for me: a fizzy orange and lemon juice. There was also a handsome cat called Lennie!
One of my favourite stops came next: Bangladeshi curry! We walked up Brick Lane, and settled down at a curry house called Aladdin, which gave us samples of three curries: vegetable, lamb, and the spiciest: chicken. Luckily, there was naan bread to soothe our mouths, which were on fire.
Our penultimate stop was for a food that came from the Jewish culture, and if you guessed bagels, then you’re right. After walking further up Brick Lane, my dad and I had bagels with salt beef, pickles and mustard on them. We then followed our tour guide up to Shoreditch, a neighbourhood full of hipsters and young people, and into Pizza East, our final stop, where we had dessert: a piece of salted caramel and chocolate ganache cake.
I had such a good time, not just trying different foods from curry to bagels to fish and chips, but also learning about the East End’s history, that I will remember this amazing tour for the rest of my life! If you would like to go on this tour, then visit Eating London’s website for more info and to book your place.