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Historical food tours – why you should include one in your London itinerary

London is famous for many things, not least for its diverse range of culinary treats, whether that is in the form of super swanky restaurants offering 15 different courses, or cheap and cheerful street food that’s full of flavour and exotic ingredients. Whatever your dining style, the city has something to suit every budget, taste and palette.

Whilst chic and trendy places like Lobster London in the Millbank Tower is a great place to celebrate a special occasion, the vendors found at Brick Lane market in the east side of London can cook up curries that would even rival those found in Delhi. Even better is that the vendors found in London’s markets will usually operate on a ‘try before you buy’ basis, so you can be sure that whatever dish you opt for, you’ll enjoy every last mouthful. After all, there’s nothing worse than regretting what you bought for lunch, especially when you’re super hungry from walking around.

If you’re in London for a few days, then consider trying out a few different dining options so that you can explore different tastes and textures. If your budget will allow for it, then a trip to one of the city’s renowned restaurants serving up Michelin starred cuisine will blow you away, leaving you with fantastic memories of a whole new level of dining out. Servers at these kinds of establishments are usually quite knowledgeable and will be able to assist you in choosing different wines to complement each course that you order.

However, for something completely different, think about joining one of London’s historical walking food tours. These tours are guided by Londoners who are passionate about both history and local food, and the two are united perfectly on these tours that any food lover would relish the chance to be part of. Historically, London’s food has evolved vastly, however one thing has remained constantly popular, and that’s the gin craze that hit London during the 19th century. This British tipple is usually enjoyed with tonic water, though some prefer to drink it ‘on the rocks’ (neat over ice) or even with lemonade. Gin often features in cocktails too because of its perfume like scent and flowery taste. It would be amiss to have a food tour of London without mentioning about something to wash all that lovely food down with, and this is where the gin element of the tour fits in splendidly.

The is one of the best walking tours London has to offer as it will take you through the streets of the city to inform you about hidden pubs that only the locals know about, fantastic recipes that originated in the city, and even the chance to eat out to enjoy these wonderful flavours after the tour is complete. Following the tour, there is also a quiz you can partake in to test your foodie knowledge and see just how much you learnt from the guide during the tour. It’s an afternoon activity that the whole family will enjoy, and as well as being something a little different from mainstream tourist attractions, it’s also an educational trip that is almost guaranteed to teach you something that you didn’t know before about England’s capital.

The tour is also a great idea for a unique hen or stag party, especially since you’ll get to sample some of London’s finest gin! There’s nothing quite like finding a great pub that serves incredible food in a relaxed atmosphere, and that’s just what this tour will assist you with. What better way is there to start a big night out than with a big plate of good old ‘pub grub’? You’ll need to line your stomach for a big night out on the town and a hearty pub lunch will certainly do the job.

If you are planning to continue touring the town’s watering holes then there are a few ways to help prevent a hangover from rearing its head the following morning. Namely, you should always try to alternate between alcoholic drinks and soft drinks to keep yourself hydrated. Doing this will also make a big night out easy on the purse strings as if you opt for iced water between gin and tonics, it shouldn’t cost you anything, whereas drinking fizzy drinks instead will probably set you back more than if you bought a pint of lager! London is notoriously known for being an expensive night out, so doing this will ensure you stick within your budget, and as a bonus, you should wake up feeling as fresh as a daisy too! Another way to try to dodge a blinding hangover is to ensure you eat a carbohydrate loaded meal before drinking alcohol- but unfortunately a greasy kebab on the way home won’t cut it!

Don’t worry if you do get a little carried away whilst your out in the city partying with your friends, as tube stations can be found almost everywhere. This is handy if you’ve over-indulged and are in need of sleeping it off, as it means that you can be back at the hotel in no time at all. The indulgent beds at the The Piccadilly London West End are perfect for nursing a hangover, as not only are they large enough to sprawl out on, but the pillows are super soft too so will be easy on that pounding head of yours. Although before booking your accommodation, be sure to look online for great London hotel offers, after all, the more money you save on hotels, the more you can spend enjoying yourself once you arrive!

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