With the London Olympics just a few weeks away, I decided to write about a different London foodie experience for visitors planning to make the trip.
Author, food writer and TV Chef Celia Brooks-Brown
will be hosting Gastro tours in Covent Garden, Portobello Road and Borough Market, each one loaded with generous food and drink tastings and led by
Celia Brooks, a passionate and knowledgeable foodie.
Of course London has many wonderful restaurants and historic sites you're probably planning to visit, but for a real foodie experience to help explore London's buzzing food scene, Celia's tours are not to be missed.
Celia says, "All of my Gastro tours are a unique opportunity to join me personally for an insider's view of London's vibrant culinary hotspots. I've specially designed each day to be bursting at the seams with exclusive food and wine tastings and encounters with passionate foodies and producers: a chance to discover new tastes, rediscover old ones, and to acquire knowledge about food and drink through all your senses. My aim is to offer an unforgettable gourmet experience, as we sample a multitude of culinary treasures over three hours, in this truly cosmopolitan food-lover's paradise."
Dates during The Olympics are listed, and can be bought here: www.celiabrooksbrown.com
Private groups (up to 12) and Personal Tours (1 or 2 guests) can also be arranged through Celia.
PORTOBELLO ROAD GASTROTOUR (July 24, July 24, August 7) £60pp
Portobello Road is known as one of the funkiest street markets in London, but few are aware of the inspiring culinary secrets peppered throughout this famous neighbourhood. As a former Notting Hill resident, Celia is armed with all the local foodie knowledge and lets you in on the scene of fabulous food shops and restaurants, introducing you to some trendy as well as eclectic destinations. You'll taste your way around the area, with tapas, fine hams, cheeses and olives, and samples from artisan market stalls. You'll be unearthing culinary treasures including spices, Moroccan pastries and a cheese and wine-matching experience at the best local vintner. The day concludes with a special tasting and demonstration in the kitchen of a unique chocolate boutique.
COVENT GARDEN GASTROTOUR (July 26, August 2, August 9) £60pp
Celia will greet you with a sumptuous Ladurée macaroon to kick off a morning of sipping and supping the delights of the Covent Garden area. Celia will escort you through the tourist mayhem to uncover the neighbourhood's true foodie gems, where you'll be treated to coffee and morning goodies, British artisan cheeses, a unique Italian wine tasting, wild-foraged "cicchette" (Italian for tapas), and more. Bombay Beach-style snacks and a quirky ice cream experience complete this varied and colourful foodie day out, all peppered with stories of Covent Garden's rich history.
A TASTE OF BOROUGH MARKET (July 20, August 3, August 10) £70pp
Join Celia to discover the secrets and delights of London's most renowned food market. Explore the huge range of exceptional British and international produce available and learn all the fascinating facts about the Market's rich history. As a passionate food expert, Celia will show you the best that Borough has to offer and lavish you with bespoke tastings of the unique foods and wines on offer here. You will taste an array of treats, including rare breed meats, charcuterie, fine cheeses from Britain and beyond, French creamery delicacies, gourmet salts and spices, homemade Turkish meze and baklava, plus many more, whilst hearing the stories behind the creation of these fabulous artisan foods. A tutored wine tasting is also included, as well as a sampling session at the luxurious Roast Restaurant.