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Many consider London's Borough Market to be the best market in Britain. While England may not be as famous for its produce as other countries, Borough Market is a wealth of fruits, veggies, and other English treats. During this 2.5-hour Borough Market Tour, led by a local chef or food writer, we'll dive into Borough to seek out some of the best local food.
Our Borough Market Tour will begin at Southwark Cathedral, where we will discuss the history of farming in the area and the significance of the Thames and London Bridge to the growth of trade. Following a look around the surroundings, we will dive into the market to talk about—and sample—the great number of foods on offer, from chocolate made by Italian monks to scallops dived off the Devon coast to exquisite truffle oils.
Looking for another gastronomic London experience? Try our London Food Tour.
We will also hear from experts at a few of the speciality shops and stalls, including Neal's Yard Dairy and Monmouth Coffee Company. Throughout our food tour, we will be able to discuss the renaissance of British food, the influence of international cultures on London's food scene, and much more. Depending on time and interest, we may end at a local pub for a drink to complete the experience.
Along the way, you will sample a range of British produce to experience the diversity and quality on the market. We will examine how all of these products fit into the British diet and other culinary traditions and philosophies. At the end of the walk, you will have gained a better understanding of food and trade in Britain throughout history, including modern issues such as local sourcing, and sustainability.
Please note any food allergies or intolerances in the Notes box when booking. For private tours we are able, on certain days, to also add a visit to Maltby Street Market or Brixton Market.
You can read more about what it's like to be on our London food tours by taking a look at Travel On the Brain's post about this tour.
Do we go inside the venues or just see them from the outside?
During this tour we visit the market and meet some of the vendors. As the market can get quite busy during the weekend, we prefer visiting during the week or early in the morning. It's important to remember this is a place of trade.
Can I participate in your small group food walks if I have food allergies?
Yes. If you have any specific allergies/intolerances please indicate these in the Travel Notes section when your booking and your docent will do his or her best to accommodate. If you are booking privately, we can customize a route that will avoid such items, something that we cannot fully do on our small group walks.
What if it’s raining?
Tours operate rain or shine, but the majority of the market is covered. It never hurts to have an umbrella on hand.
Is this tour good for kids?
Yes! We have some excellent family friendly docents who can appeal to the learning styles of children. Please book privately if you have children under 13. Feel free to provide us with information about your children such as favorite food and anything else you feel like it may be relevant to customize your experience.
Is this a walking intensive tour?
No, the market is quite compact and we generally stay in the general vicinity of it. In case you decide to visit Maltby Street or Brixton market, we can decide in advance on modes of transportation.
It's no surprise that Notting Hill is featured so prominently in the movies. The cobblestone streets and Victorian homes evoke a particular image that is distinctly London. Meanwhile, Notting Hill's Portobello Market is among London's best-known, yet it can be difficult to navigate—even for locals. This Notting Hill Tour will showcase some of the area's highlights, including cute cafes, well-stocked spice markets, bountiful produce, ample antiques, and some of the city's best pubs, while also revealing the history of the famed locale with a local social historian.
Getting an early start, we may fuel up with a delicious breakfast while learning the history of the market and area at The Lazy Daisy Café, or get started right away down Portobello Road. This area, originally known as Green's Lane or Turnpike Lane, was turned into a farm in 1740, being named after Puerto Bello in the Caribbean in memory of Admiral Vernon, who captured the town in 1739.
We will peruse some of the antique stalls on our way to the main food section of the market. Along the way, we will stop at some of the delightful delicatessens and highlight other specialty shops, including The Spice Shop and Books for Cooks, the ultimate cookbook haven. Winding back to Notting Hill Gate, we will make a brief stop at the Notting Hill Farmers' Market, which is often overlooked in favor of its more famous cousin despite its (arguably) superior culinary finds. Serving as one of the largest farmers' markets in London, you'll have your pick of some of the city's best produce.
From there, we will escape the frenzy in one of two ways: either in one of the quieter streets of Notting Hill, packed with beautiful flower-covered pubs (we like the The Churchill Arms), or by heading into Kensington Gardens, perfect for a cup of tea at The Orangery at Kensington Palace. Looking back on our tour, we'll come away with a rich history of this distinct neighborhood—and likely a few keepsakes, as well.
Where do we meet? Where does it end?
Generally speaking, the walk begins near Notting Hill Gate. Your confirmation email will have the exact meeting point details along with a map, and 24/7 phone number. The walk typically ends at The Churchill Arms, or Kensington Gardens.
What if it’s raining?
Tours operate rain or shine, but in the case of inclement weather, your docent will modify the tour so more time is spent indoors. It never hurts to have an umbrella on hand.
Is this tour good for kids?
Yes! We have some excellent family friendly docents who can appeal to the learning styles of children. Please book privately if you have children under 13. Feel free to provide us with information about your children such as favorite school subjects, and hobbies. This way we can match you with the best possible docent.
Is there time for shopping?
This is more of a neighborhood tour, than a shopping tour. Feel free to make a few purchases if something catches your eye, but if you’re interested in browsing, we suggest exploring Portobello Market on your own after the tour. The market is open 09:00 – 19:00 Friday and Saturday.
For centuries, London has been the center of the art market. Names like Christie's, Sotheby’s, and Bonhams are synonymous with luxury art trade today, but where does this tradition come from? On this walk we'll learn about the history of the auction houses, how art dealers function, and how the two interrelate.
Meet your guide near Mornington Crescent tube station in the afternoon, then head into Camden to start your tour. Along the way, gain insight into popular musicians and bands such as Amy Winehouse, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones, and The Sex Pistols, who elevated Camden Town to the world capital of rock’n’roll.
Explore bustling street markets where London traders sell everything from clothes and food to jewelry, music, souvenirs, and more. Browse stylish boutiques and busy cafes, and soak up the atmosphere in this vibrant part of north London.
Listen as talented street musicians bring some of the area’s best-loved songs to life, then finish your tour in central Camden.
Taste your way around Borough Market and it's surroundings, like a local.
Passionate producers, wine warehouses and cosmopolitan street food stalls, Borough Market is the place to discover London’s buzzing culinary scene. But with over 90 traders it’s hard to know where to start.
On our 3-hour tour, an expert foodie guide takes you on a carefully-planned and timed roaming 6-course meal that involves wine, chocolate, cheese, oysters, charcuterie, scotch eggs, Italian desserts and more. Hear talks delivered by local vendors, taste fine selections and discover this fascinating area’s secrets through it’s world-renowned food. We have to keep some things secret, so they’ll be a few edible and historical surprises on the way. We’ll also give you a blueprint of where to go and what to avoid in London when it comes to food, for the rest of your trip.
You’ll get to try many famous British foods, all guaranteed to get your taste buds tingling. Firstly, your local London guide will take you to the exciting Borough Market to soak up the atmosphere, see the 100 different stalls and eat some English fudges/chocolate. This eating paradise was not even on the tourist foodie radar a few years ago.Still in the market, you will try award winning Lincolnshire sausages followed by the best and most fresh fish and chips in town (and you will get to see the difference between ‘chips’ and ‘French fries’).
Next will see local chocolate and cheese shops and try freshly baked homemade bread from the famous Bread Ahead Bakery.
Your tour will continue to a historic pub where you can try the best of British cheeses, served with grapes, fig cakes and chutneys
Washed down with real London Beers, Ales, or delicious ciders (or non-alcoholic options).
You’ll also see the world famous London Bridge and Tower Bridge along the River Thames and also the Battleship HMS Belfast.
Finally, the tour ends with classic desserts, such as cheese cakes, chocolate brownies or treacle sponge pudding all washed down with a pot of refreshing tea. Oh, and of course there’s the delicious secret dish too!
London Bridge has a flourishing market and food scene, mixed with real London life, historic culture and charming ambiance. The area is packed with exciting little back streets, pubs and market stalls, all adding to its appeal as a unique London food destination.
You can’t go to London Bridge without going to Borough Market and seeing the River Thames. During your tour, your guide will entertain you with stories about the area, and by the end, you’ll have a great understanding of the city’s food, its history and culture along with some top tips about the best places to visit.
Meet your guide around 6am in central London’s Earls Court and begin the journey to the port to take either the Eurotunnel or a ferry to France. Travel onward through France to the UNESCO World Heritage–listed town of Brugge, in Belgium. Arrive in the heart of the city and enjoy free time to explore the medieval streets and visit the Christmas markets at your leisure.
Soak up the atmosphere among the pretty boutiques and shops — where tradespeople sell Christmas goodies such as chocolates, souvenirs, and beautiful hand-made decorations from their festive stalls. Admire landmarks like the Church of Our Lady or the Basilica of the Holy Blood, and perhaps sample some of the festive treats on offer — such as delicious gingerbread, Belgian chocolates, mulled wine, or Belgian Christmas beer. Perhaps take a spin on the open-air ice rink, or find a welcoming café for a Belgian beer or hot chocolate (own expense).
At approximately 5:30pm, begin your return journey to central London where your tour will come to an end.
Please note: times for the French and Belgian portions of the trip are in local time, which is one hour ahead of London.
The generic British word for dessert is "pudding."
In the 19th century, the "g" was sometimes pronounced as a harder "k." Sometimes, the "n" got dropped. Sometimes that was shortened by slicing off the "pud."
In other words, small, incremental changes resulted in pudding->puddink->puddik->dick.
It's not meant to be dirty; it's just a Victorian synonym for "dessert."
Pepper a cake with currants or raisins, and you get "spots" in your pudding, hence: spotted dick.