United Kingdom - Culinary Travel Overview
Over the years, even the most ardent anglophiles were forced to admit their beloved England did not top the list of culinary destinations. It’s a new day. A sea change, in part, based on its vibrant, growing restaurant scene and the influence of super-star-chefs who have focused both on perfecting traditional British dishes, and in innovating them. Culinary travel to London, and England's countryside and coastline will surely delight food-focused vacationers.
As many traveling foodies now know, London is widely considered Europe’s culinary capital. It’s at the forefront of fine dining with Michelin star chefs like Heston Blumenthal and nose-to-tail champion Fergus Henderson leading the way. Rock stars Gordon Ramsey and Jamie Oliver have created empires and a group called the Young Turks is delighting the city with exciting pop-ups restaurants. Multi-cultural, London is chock-full of notable ethnic eateries and has long been the Western Hemisphere’s epicenter of Indian Cuisine.
Pubs are a UK institution with a distinct culture that has evolved since Roman times. Styles range from elegant Victorian edifices to “proper East End boozers” unchanged since the mid-century. Gastro Pubs have joined the genre and offer riffs on traditional British dishes.
London's Edible Experiences:
Expertly guided tasting tours of bustling and colorful markets: historic Borough Market, London’s oldest (13th century) its stalls are filled with organic fruit & veg, artisan breads and international delicacies, It's home to Neal’s Dairy Yard, renowned for its cheeses; hipster-approved Brixton Market, where one can sign on for a 7 course street-food tasting menu and the edgy and eclectic Camden Market.
Traditional High Tea – in one of London’s grand dame hotels or iconic departments stores like Fortnum & Mason planned with time to explore their extravagant food halls.
A fascinating insight into urban bee-keeping on the rooftop of an elegant London hotel – and a tasting of the honeys.
A fit-for-foodies walking tour of London’s most-famous neighborhoods including Soho, Piccadilly Circus, Chinatown and Covent Garden.
An Indian chef-led tour of Southhall – “Little India” followed by dinner and Q & A on Indian food and spices.
The English Countryside & Coast
Farmers markets have proliferated across Britain and the charming historic market towns offer the opportunity to taste regional produce, like the cheeses for which England is famous, and mingle with locals. The Stroud and Cheltenham Farmers Markets in Gloucestershire and the Winchester Farmer’s Market in Hampshire are just a few that are acclaimed. The quintessentially British Cotswolds are home to organic farms most notably Daylesford Farm, one of UK’s most sustainable, and a wonderful stop for a tour and a farm-to-fork lunch or a cooking lesson. Other unique opportunities in the UK for cooking lessons include the renowned School of Artisan Food located on the Welbeck Estate in the heart of Sherwood Forest and celebrity chef Rich Stein’s Seafood School on Cornwall’s dramatic coast.
Scotland’s capital Edinburgh is also its historical and cultural heart and soul. It’s a compact walkable city of cobbled alleys, elegant streetscapes and handsome squares. A culinary walking tour combining Old Town and New Town is a delicious history lesson and a literary pub tour is a fun trek that encompasses 300 years of great writing. Culinary travelers can sample – and address the haggis, Scotland’s national dish, which is an intriguing mix of oats and entrails. And it is justly famous for its seafood and lamb. Scotch lovers will have much to sample and savor and whiskey tours from 1-4 days can be customized to incorporate spectacular sightseeing and vistas.
Forks on the Road was pleased to work with the Food and Culinary Professionals of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in the design and operation of their 2014 annual educational tour Discovering the Culinary Treasures of England.
Epicurean Anglophiles interested in culinary travel to the United Kingdom Contact us
" Forks on the Road created an extraordinary culinary-themed educational itinerary in England for our Food and Culinary Practice Group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Our travels included London and culinary must-dos like High Tea and Borough Market, a kitchen garden tour, a farm-to-fork lunch in the Cotswolds, a trip to Little India, PLUS other cultural must dos such as the British Museum as well as time to explore on our own. Connie Walsh did a fantastic job with accommodating special dietary needs as well as customer service. " - Amy, St. Louis, MO