FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

London: Gourmet Gallivant

Jul 1, 2010
2010 / July 2010

CulinaryLondon is one of my favorite cities. Having spent several months living there, I feel an intimacy with the city. During a recent visit, I acquainted myself with a new side of the British capital — culinary London.

Long plagued by a reputation for less-than-stellar cuisine, London now boasts an impressive roster of Michelin-starred restaurants. In January 2010, Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester became the fourth London restaurant to receive a third Michelin star.

My visit coincided with the city’s first-ever Restaurant Festival, during which I embarked on a culinary journey through London. Here are a few of my favorite detours.

First stop: Covent Garden’s Real Food Market, open every Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Arriving early, I watched the traders assemble their stalls and lovingly arrange their tasty wares — everything from cupcakes to olives to breads. Covent Garden is an eclectic place to visit, a bustling maze of quaint shops, street performers and buskers.

No British food tour would be complete without afternoon tea. I chose Harvey Nichols, where afternoon tea is served daily from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the Second Floor Restaurant. As “taking tea” is an institution in the country, there is no shortage of venues offering a range of different services. Other favorites include The Ritz, The Berkeley, Fortnum & Mason and The Lanesborough.

I found true foodie heaven in London’s Southwark section. Borough Market, open Thursdays (11 a.m.–5 p.m.), Fridays (noon–6 p.m.) and Saturdays (8 a.m.–5 p.m.), features stalls upon stalls of delicious delicacies. Chefs, restaurateurs and home cooks flock to the market for the freshest British and international ingredients.

For some truly tasty travels, schedule your next visit around the upcoming London Restaurant Festival, scheduled for Oct. 4–18.

Browsing Borough Market

Get these good eats at the wall-to-wall stalls:

• Coffee or cappuccino from Monmouth Coffee Co., where the line is always out the door
• Wine from Bedales, enjoyed on site accompanied by small tasting platters
• Specialty Spanish ham at Brindisa — you may balk at the price but not at the melt-in-your-mouth flavor
• Parmesan at the Parmesan Cheese Stall, brought directly from Italy every two months
• Raclette at Kappacasein, made with new potatoes, baby gherkins, pickled onions and melted Ogleshield

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FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

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