London Food Tour: Borough Market and more!
Thank you to Secret Food Tours for this complimentary tour!
Being surrounded by many types of delicious food is a dream for some people. if you’re one of those people, then let me tell you about the London Bridge Food Tour! Secret Food Tours have tours around the world and they will vary quite a lot per region–because the food and culture vary! I went on their Paris tour which was less traditional and more of an educational experience while the London Bridge tour was a more traditional and definitely more my speed. I’ve learned never to assume how a tour will go since they are all unique. We’ve done food tours all over Europe, including Stockholm, Barcelona, Lisbon, and many more! They are always so different – and that’s why I try not to compare them.
We met at an easy-to-find spot near the Borough Market and meandered our way down in front of the Southwark Cathedral as the first historical stop. It’s 900 years old and free to enter if you like. But, the bridge was the fascinating point for me. We all have different things that tickle our fancy and knowing that where London Bridge now stands has stood the only bridge to connect the two sides of the Thames since 55 A.D. seems crazy! Can you imagine what the traffic used to be like?! It’s still pretty busy but obviously much better than it was.
I always enjoy the little tidbits that each tour guide brings to the table. Our guide for the day was Mat, a Brit who loves his British food and is happy to poke fun at very British things. I don’t think it’s even possible to get the same exact tour twice because guide personality is such a big part of it…and so is the tour group.
The Borough Market
Full of energy. Fun vibe. Tasty samples. Friendly workers. Great variety.
Walking in, I felt like a kid in a candy store. To be fair, there was fudge. So….it’s like an adult in a candy store 🙂
There is just so much to take in during a tour of the Borough Market. So after a quick introduction, you’re given some time to wander on your own. Be careful not to indulge too much because you may regret it later — you get plenty of food on the tour, for sure. But if you find something interesting, definitely buy it and take it with you for that evening or the next day. I bought chocolates, sausage, and cheese and they were all delicious!
The first tasty treat you get to try is something I never understood–a Bacon sandwich (or Bacon bap). Why would you put only bacon on a sandwich? I get that bacon is delicious. But a bacon bap? Why wouldn’t you throw on some egg and cheese to make it worth eating?
Then I tried the Whiskey ginger bacon that’s been cooking for 4 days piled on some tasty bread. I can definitely say it was a delicious treat. Would I eat it often? Nah. But as a treat every once in awhile when I’m in London? Maybe.
We moved along to another part of the market and were given more time to explore which is when I discovered goat milk ice cream! Have you ever heard of goat milk ice cream? Me neither, but it makes sense. It tasted just like “regular” ice cream and was a nice treat after the bacon. Creamy cold and chocolatey goodness.
Take advantage of this free time to interact with the vendors. Ask them questions and get samples! You take food tours to try new things, so try them all! OK…maybe not enough time for that, but I had such great chats with the people at the chocolate stand, cheese stand, sausage stand, and ice cream stand. Go. Eat. Chat.
What is a London food tour without fish and chips? Hmm, actually, it would be interesting, but it’s a stop you’d probably expect and have your tummy grumbling for. But we did not get this well-known dish where I expected. Nope. We didn’t go to Poppies, we went to the stall that won best fish and chips 2017! It was mighty good, too.
Time to sit down
As we headed out of the market, we stopped under a covered walkway since Mother Nature decided it was time for a little rain and Mat decided it was time for another taste.
You know me…I don’t want to give EVERYTHING away here. But I will tell you, if you like meat, you’ll probably enjoy it.
Their secret food is part of the mystery, so I will keep it a secret too. Sort of 😉 I will say that it was light, fluffy, and delicious. But I would share one if given the choice!
The next part was super exciting for me. Going into a pub under a London archway is like stepping into history. How many different kinds of establishments was this before a pub? You can ask! Because Mat has the answer. I could just listen for hours about stories full of history there.
Sitting down we were able to try two ciders, both very different from the other. some lovely cheese options accompanied the cider. This pub definitely had a great atmosphere and I’d go hang out there any night. It was also a nice break just to chat with the others and rest a bit.
The walk to the next spot was so enjoyable. No more rain, amazing sights and we all just kept taking photos of the iconic Tower Bridge (this is not the London Bridge!). Our group really had fun together and really made such a great tour!
We ended up at a restaurant with a phenomenal view to enjoy arguably the best dish of the tour. Gotta end on a sweet note! I’m so happy we shared this sticky toffee pudding between two people. I mean…mostly happy because I was full. But, really, I still wanted to eat it all.
The opportunity to experience the Borough Market with a guide is really nice. I loved hearing about the history while smelling the fresh produce and being tempted by chocolates and cheeses. While you do get a good amount of time to explore on your own, I totally suggest going back after the tour (even if another day) and explore some more and talk to more vendors.
While many vendors may take cards, definitely grab some cash before you arrive just in case there are big lines at the ATMs nearby. You know you’ll want to buy something to take back with you!
For the tour, bring a water bottle and make sure it’s filled before you arrive. It’s not totally common to get a bottle of water on food tours, so just be prepared! Because it’s London, an umbrella is always a good idea too. (This paragraph contains affiliate links)
Have you been on a food tour in London? Or anywhere? What was your favorite thing about it?
Wishing you love and travels!