Food24 has gone a tad international of late.
What with moi popping over to London for the enormously inspiring Taste of London (see the gorgeous gallery).
It sounds awfully glam doesn't it? I loved every delicious second of it, and the most inspiring part for me is to be able to share it with you all. I mean, what's the point really if you can't tell someone about it, eh?
I've already made mention of my fabulous mode of transport and my gloriously sophisticated residence. I can't help myself here, but I simply have to share with you that Kate (yes, the Kate) stayed there prior to the wedding (yes, the Royal wedding). *squeal*
I also visited so many wonderful restaurants and walked the streets of London for new and exciting things to share with you - indulge in my picture story of it all.
And now let's get to it, here is my round-up of the foodie trends in London.
1. Service: This is a biggie - From the shop assistants to the waiters and sommeliers, the service is impeccable. We are in the dark ages comparably.
It's all about the customer and how well you are treated. I know we have some great offerings here and I'm a steadfast patriot, but the level of knowledge, politeness and flair was astonishing. It made a huge impression on me.
2. Street food: This is the new big thing with young people and there is a move away from the stuffy fine dining model.
3. Cosmopolitan food: The only place it seems that you can get good British fare is a pub, the rest is a mine of Japanese, Indian, Indonesian, Lebanese, French, Pacific Rim, Vietnamese, Ethiopian and pretty much anything you can think of.
4. High standards:
- The smallest of shops have stunning fresh produce and I could see the level of effort and pride that had gone into all aspects, from the labels to the way it was arranged on the shelf.
- On-the-go sandwiches includes super-healthy options like quinoa. Freshness is tantamount with lovely additions like freshly made mayonnaise.
- Restaurants have hosts and hostesses that treat you like gold when you arrive at the door and you're seated and watered quickly and efficiently.
- Sommeliers are literally fountains of knowledge and really know their stuff. They are very sensitive to the food pairing and making your experience a good one, taking ownership of it.
- The quality of everything from bread and meat to clothes and shoes is extremely high.
5. Artisanal products: I really noticed the lack of large supermarkets and saw that people like to shop at smaller shops and enjoy the experience of buying, for example, bread at a beautiful bakery, meat at an organic butcher and fresh vegetables at a little French shop on the corner.
I spent hours just ogling the day-to-day places where people go to shop.
6. Burgers: A top trend, chefs are going bonkers for them and one of the most highly regarded dishes at Taste of London was 'The 5-star burger'. A delicious collaboration by Giorgio Locatelli, Valentine Warner, Thomasina Miers, Fergus Henderson and Raymond Blanc.
6. Offal: I noticed nobody balking over foie gras, truffles, sweetbreads or pigs ear and trotters. It's all happy, yummy indulgence where that is concerned. *High fives all round*.
7. Sweet delights: Patisseries are everywhere, pretty little treasuries of sweetness, with sugary chocolates, cakes and pastries lining the windows. Every single morsel a teeny little artwork.
8. No jay-walking: Odd I realise, but a valid point. You can't cross the road other than where you're supposed to. If you do, people will eyeball you like you've just done the naked dash.
So there you have it, a couple of tasty London bits to chew on.
Have you been somewhere recently? Tell me all about it, I'd love to hear from you.