East End Foodie Tour

What a great day this was!!  The east end http://wikitravel.org/en/London/East_End is an up and coming neighbourhood….in the  transitional stages….a mix of old and new, trendy and trashy, traditional British food markets and an ethnic mix from the Middle East, North Africa and even the Caribbean!!

We started at Spitalfields market…..one of the oldest in London.  Tons of “stuff”….new and used (sourvenirs and flea market combo), household goods,  fresh veggies, flowers, meat shops, cheese shops and take out food stands galore……the food all smelled delicious and looked amazing and incredibly appetizing.  We had a coffee and croissant while waiting for our guide….Harry.

He was a young guy (25) kind of a hippy and right into food, which made him a great guide.

We tasted everything from bread pudding to beer and cider.

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First stop for a “Bacon Buddy” and a glass of wine!!  Apparently the best bacon buddies in London….definitely good.

Next stop….one of the oldest pubs in London for bread pudding with that decadent white sauce that Brits put on everything!!

Cheese! A transplanted Frenchman that knew his cheese!

Poppies fish and chips….supposedly the best in London.  Very good.

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That’s Poppy in the background in the striped shirt….he’s had the business since the 50’s.  Now ran by his sons but he still goes everyday to sit and visit with customers.

Another “oldest”…..tasted a couple different beer/ales and ciders, which is apparently what everyone is drinking these days.

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Harry in the white shirt telling us all about the pub, which was packed at 1PM!

Signs…..old and new buildings and Truman, the original brewery in the area.  Has been brought back to life by someone that seen the potential during the transition of the east end.

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A big gin sign on Bacon street!  Two of my favorite things 🙂

 

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Still a soup kitchen today…..this one is relatively new.  This area has always been a “foodie” place going back a few hundred years when it was outside of London city proper…..there was always food for the working poor.

Our last stop of the day was for Pakistani food…..I was so excited I forgot to take any pictures!  We basically had a whole meal….I think there were six different dishes and breads, all were delicious and beautifully presented.

We also visited one of the first and oldest bagel joints in London……no pic 😦

The tour was not cheap at 69GBP ($110CDN) but well worth it.  We were absolutely stuffed by the time we finished and had learned so much about this relatively unknown, to us, area of London.  It lasted 4+ hours and I can’t even begin to think how much ground we covered.

We finished in Shoreditch (not sure where they came up with these names….all meant something in their day I’m sure!).  Another trendy area where they’re using old containers for shops and old buildings and businesses are being converted into trendy and modern new restaurants and bars, all while keeping the original facades which is really great.

The whole area is amazing and part of London that up until recently most people didn’t explore…..but like everywhere, things change and in this case I think for the good.

This was our last day in London.  Off to Italy bright and early the next morning……

L.

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