You could be forgiven for thinking that London's obsession with "street food" is a relatively new fad. We all have childhood memories of roadside burger vans serving greasy slabs of questionable meat parcelled between thick, doughy bread, washed down with scolding tea; and the late-night dirty hotdog vendor taking advantage of us post-partying in the wee hours of Saturday and Sunday morning. However, the idea of more sophisticated grub, dare I say 'gourmet' street food and foods of the world is seen as a new thing; a new thing that fills newspaper and magazine columns, has international weekly events and is a constant topic of conversation. And yet, London's association with street food is a long standing one with a rich and unknown history, which you can now discover! We start our tour early Saturday morning in Kensington where we are met by our tour guide: a London history buff with their finger firmly on the pulse of London's food scene. Wrap up warm and come armed with a coffee. Our first stop is Borough Market, the oldest in London which dates back to the 13th century, where pies, oysters and sea food the original London street food would have been in large abundance, feeding the masses who roamed the streets of South London Town. Nowadays it's a tad different. Though London's docking industry might not be quite what it used to be, you can still get your fill of Oysters and seafood from any of five fishmongers and Pie Minister will satisfy your cravings for the great London pie. The pastry is so good that unlike in days of old you won't be chucking your crust to the pigeons. So long as you have washed your hands that morning. From what started as an intrinsically British market is now a fully-fledged international fare. If you can decide which one is better between the chorizo sandwich from Brindisa or the richer than rich cheesy grilled sandwich from Kappacasein then you're a better person than me. And probably thinner as I sampled both. It's a bit too early to wet our whistles, but whatever your tipple is there's a stall for it here. Name the beer and Utobeer will have you covered. From local breweries to ones at the farthest reaches of the earth, they have them all. So stock up for later. And if you can't wait, they're partnered with The Rake pub, which is just around the corner. An ever changing selection of beers on tap and endless array of bottles will not fail to quench your thirst. Then it's from the old to the new; a short walk away, through some of the most historic streets of London with great architectural designs of the bygone but great docking Industry, to one of the newest markets in London. Maltby Street market was founded in 2010 and is going someway to steal trade from its older, grander south of the river neighbour. It's lunchtime and I'm in need of something sweet a flat white Monmouth and a pastry from St John quiet my sweet tooth.But if your appetite is still up to the job then a Reuben from Monty's will fix you good. And while Utobeer might stock some fine beers, Maltby is the home of the Kernel microbrewery, which has been raising the bar of London's beers since forming in 2009. For fans of street food and the history of London this is an absolute must; a tour around the bustling markets, an exclusive insight into the traders who sell their cuisines and an immersive journey into the rich, street food heritage of the city. A better way to spend a chilly winter's morn' in the capital I cannot think of. The only difficulty comes with staving off the inevitable food coma perhaps avoid making plans for the proceeding evening. London's Secret History of Street Food Tours are held on Saturday mornings and cost £28pp for a minimum group of two. The price included one hot drink and some nibbles. For more information, visit http://www.presidentialapartmentslondon.com/
Frustratingly argumentative writer, eater, reader and fanatical about film ‘n’ food and all things fundamentally flawed. I have been a member of the WhatCulture family since it was known as Obsessed with Film way back in the bygone year of 2010. I review films, festivals, launch events, award ceremonies and conduct interviews with members of the ‘biz’. Follow me @FilmnFoodFan
In 2011 I launched the restaurant and food criticism section. I now review restaurants alongside film and the greatest rarity – the food ‘n’ film crossover. Let your imaginations run wild as you mull on what that might look like!