London is a city with a rich culinary history, and there are endless opportunities to eat your way through the city.
A city that has something to offer everyone, whether you’re interested in history, or culture, or simply want to enjoy some of the best food in the world. In this blog post, I’ll share my experience of spending 24 hours in London, with a focus on food.
We took the 08.46 am train, which was perfect for arriving in London before lunch. Upon arriving in London at 11 am, we went directly to our hotel, The Holiday Inn on Commercial Road (Whitechapel). If you’re looking to stay away from the tourist crowds and explore London’s foodie scene, The Holiday Inn is located in the perfect spot
After checking into the hotel, we headed directly to Spitalfields Market. This vibrant market is home to a wide variety of stalls selling everything from fresh produce to handmade crafts. We spent a few hours wandering around, browsing the stalls and sampling some of the delicious food on offer.
Stumbling across Mammas Goodies, a small coffee truck situated in the market, and a crosstown doughnuts stall directly opposite, we’d found our perfect hunger relief. Awesome Coffee, Incredible Doughnuts, the perfect combination.
Saturday was all about Acme Fire Cult, only a short bus ride from Spitalfields Market, Acme Fire Cult is located in Dalston, The restaurant specialises in live fire cooking, something totally different from the usual ‘dude food’ BBQ.
Here the vegetables take centre stage, with rare & native breed meat from regenerative farms, and day-boat fish taking a supporting role. Their inspiration is pulled from around the globe, evident in their grilling and fermentation techniques as well as their heavy use of chilli and spices.
To some extent, their concept strongly reminds me of one of my favorite restaurants on the planet, Riley’s Fish Shack in Tynemouth. Both establishments create an incredibly relaxed atmosphere and permeate the outdoor air with the enticing aromas of charcoal, fire, and exquisite food.
What we eat
Selecting 3 small plates, to begin with, and 2 large plates for the main we enjoyed
Aged Beef Kofta. Pasilla Oil. Red Sauerkraut (Small Plate) – Don’t be put off by the reference to Sauerkraut, it’s just pickled red cabbage, this dish was always going to have a seat at our table, we’re from the North, and South Asian food is in our DNA.
“Char Siu” Beetroot. Mojo Verde. Citrus (Small Plate) – Not a dish I would ordinarily be drawn to, albeit I do go weak at the knees for Char Siu, it was the waitress that talked us into the one and gosh am I glad she did, epic.
Mutton Merguez. Hibiscus Onion. Labneh. Wild Garlic Verde (Small Plate) – I’ve fallen in love with Merguez Sausage since I reviewed Swaledale Butchers, given the menu also includes a Swaledale Lamb Leg dish it would not surprise me if these sausages were the ones I’ve fallen for, an epic dish in which the Labneh (Yoghurt) and Wild Garlic Verde partner the slight heat of the sausage perfectly.
John Dory. Cafe De Paris Butter (Large Plate Special) – Sounds fab, doesn’t it? I’ve really been inspired by Thomas Straker recently, I’m fascinated by his Instagram series on butter and therefore it was incredibly timely that I spot a menu item that includes Cafe De Paris Butter, thank you for the inspiration Thomas, I picked this dish and it tastes epic!
Hake Wrapped In Hispi. Brown Shrimps. Sambal (Large Plate) – That good, that I had to ask the chef how he had cooked this. The Hispi (cabbage) allows the fish to steam on the live fire, wonderful.
How do I rate Acme Fire Cult? Simply 10/10. I can not fault a thing, the food, the service, the ambience, everything is just epic.
An evening to remember
Freshening up back at the hotel our next adventure is to the 02, tickets for Peter Kay secured we head to the Amex Lounge (private lounge for Amex cardholders) for pre-show drinks before enjoying two and half hours of observational northern humour, whilst not in his prime, he still makes me laugh.
Dodging the queue we make the journey from the O2 back to Commercial Road just in time to pick up a bite to eat from one of my all-time favourite Turkish restaurants, the mixed kebab wraps at Rüyam are simply stunning.
The next day, I woke up early and had breakfast at Amber Restaurant an all-day dining restaurant located a short walk from both the Aldgate tube stations, their eastern Mediterranean roots are what makes the menu at Amber special, I had the Shakshuka, which was incredible and remarkably the first time I’d ever had the dish, it won’t be the last
The rest of the day was dedicated to walking, Lucky enough to be in London on the day of the Marathon we soaked up the atmosphere before walking the south bank to London Bridge, taking the tube back to Kings Cross for some gentle shop browsing before taking the train back north, arriving in Leeds at 4.30 pm
I had an amazing time in London, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who loves food. There are so many amazing restaurants to choose from, and you’re sure to find something to your taste. We love the vibrant atmosphere of the city, but rarely do we venture to the main tourist spots, instead exploring the lesser-known parts of London, we can’t wait to come back again soon.
Where to eat in Shoreditch (alternatives):
- Pizza Pilgrims
- The Barbary
- Clove Club
- The Palomar
- St. John Bread & Wine
- The Ledbury
- Kitchen Table