London’s cuisine has a pretty tough reputation, though if you actually do a little research and a little digging into the main dishes and the world-class restaurants that call this city their home, you’d soon see how wrong that perception is.
London is a mecca for comfort food to get you through the entire day. Of course, it’s also a great place to have a sophisticated meal or dining experience, with afternoon tea first becoming popular with the highest of society, and a whopping 69 Michelin starred restaurants located in the capital.
If you’re planning a trip to London and want to have some great eating and drinking experiences, we’re here to help.
Here are eight of the best, with something for everyone.
Experience a relaxing Sunday roast
Speaking of comfort food, it doesn’t get much more wholesome than this.
A Sunday roast is a true English institution, with families and friends getting together each Sunday to enjoy this meal behemoth. It consists of roasted meat, roast potato, and accompaniments such as a Yorkshire pudding, stuffing, vegetables and lashings of gravy. Other vegetables such as cauliflower, roast parsnips, Brussel’s sprouts (typically termed Brussel sprouts), peas, carrots, runner beans and broccoli, can also be part of the dish if you wish.
You can find a Sunday roast in most traditional pubs and restaurants, with some more modern eateries adding a bit of a twist on the classic.
2. Keep calm and have afternoon tea
For the more refined amongst us, a traditional and elegant afternoon tea is an absolute must experience in London. You can enjoy afternoon tea from dedicated tea rooms, restaurants, and even top hotels such as the Paddington Hotel, which has an excellent bar too.
Afternoon tea is a light meal typically eaten between 3:30 PM and 5 PM, which consists of thinly cut sandwiches, small cakes, pastries and scones. Observance of the custom originated amongst the wealthy social classes in England in the 1840s, but soon became a firm favourite with wider society across the UK.
After a lavish afternoon tea, why not treat yourself to a relaxing Massage Paddington London, for an extra slice of the good life?
3. Enjoy drinks with a view
Brits certainly like a drink, and if you’re looking for a way to indulge in this rite of passage in a slightly more refined way, you may want to opt for a cocktail or glass of something sparkling in one of the city’s more elegant bars.
There are lots of incredible bars with fantastic views of the city, so you can experience London in all its glory from above whilst you sip away. Some of the most famous buildings with great views that can be enjoyed from their high-level bars are The Shard, the Walkie Talkie and the Oxo Tower.
4. You can’t beat an old fashioned British pub
Though if you really want to experience London as the locals do, you can’t leave without having a pint in a typical English pub. London has a staggering 3500 pubs in the capital, so you’ll be spoilt for choice as for where to go! There is a pub at every corner of London – whether you are looking for a centuries-old haven or a modern gastropub with Michelin stars.
5. Indulge in a full English breakfast with the works the morning after
After a long evening exploring London’s drinking scene, it’s back to eating and the foolproof way Londoners swear by to get through a big night is with a full English breakfast with the works. Again, you can get a great breakfast in some of London’s top hotels, with London Hotels Special Offers all around the city.
The traditional full English breakfast includes bacon, fried, poached or scrambled eggs, fried or grilled tomatoes, fried mushrooms, fried bread or buttered toast, and sausages. Black pudding, baked beans, and bubble and squeak are also often included. Say goodbye to your hangover with a trip to a Boutique Spa following your breakfast, too!
6. Grab fish and chips and stroll along the river
Another traditional dish you won’t want to miss out on is good old fish and chips. This time, wander away from the pubs and restaurants, and head to the little fish and chip shops, or ‘chippys’ and grab a packet to take away.
You can’t get much more English than strolling along the Thames with fish and chips in hand, taking in the sights. Just watch out for the pesky seagulls.
7. Snack yourselves silly at a food market
As well as top restaurants, bars, pubs and hotels, there’s another popular way to eat and drink in London, and that’s at one of the city’s many diverse and interesting food markets. From Broadway Market to Borough Market, there’s something for every taste bud and budget.
Borough Market is one of the most popular in London, and for worthy reasons. There are lots of food shops and stalls in the market, providing to both locals and tourists. You have your choice of about a dozen street food stalls where you can grab a mouth-watering pork sandwich or some of the finest Caribbean food you’ll find in the capital. Or you can head to one of the other dozen or so restaurants that line the market just outside, too.
8. Try a tipple at a top brewery or distillery
London is also famous for producing some of the best names in the alcohol world, and as of late, there are loads of smaller names popping up and cementing themselves a top reputation in the industry.
One of the top distilleries to tour is the East London Liquor Company – a distillery producing and importing a range of quality spirits including gin, vodka, rum and whisky in the heart of the east end.
Or, if wine is more your thing, down a small alley, just one block from the Bethnal Green Underground station, you’ll find London’s original urban winery, Renegade, and next door, Old Street Brewery – one for the beer lovers.