Fewer places in the world are as historically significant and recognizable as London, yet the city was often the butt of most food jokes. In short, British cuisine was famous for not being very interesting... After traveling to London and much of the British Empire for more than three decades, we can assure you that its reputation is dead wrong. Come to London and discover just how rich, varied, and delicious the London food scene has become! Join us for a walk through the backdrop of British nobility, industrial triumph, and the influence of foreign trade on the city’s culinary history. We’ll explore the flavor melting pot of London and its surrounding countryside. Through this adventure, we’ll learn from and team up with our friends at Neal’s Yard Dairy for an afternoon of traditional British cheese, explore the local markets, take part in a British baking class, and uncover the English wine scene, so new it feels like a secret. During our nine-day adventure, we’ll come to understand the evolution of British cuisine and why London has become one of the world’s most amazing food cities.
This trip is designed for novice or experienced travelers with a passion for great food and drink. We encourage those who are curious to learn about the rich culinary culture and history of a destination. Our guests have open minds, adventurous spirits, and a deep passion for traditional foods and its modern-day evolutions. They are adults of all ages who enjoy long walks and exploring. We keep the group small, 12 – 14 guests maximum. This tour will have two Zingerman’s hosts as your guides and a few local guides to help along the way.
Amazing food – all breakfasts, most lunches, and several dinners. We will enjoy traditional regional specialties made with fresh ingredients.
Behind-the-scenes visits with artisanal producers, local farmers, hands-on baking and cooking experiences.
Visits to some of London’s most traditional and exciting food establishments–old and new–along with a day trip to the English countryside to visit a sparkling wine producer, walk around their vineyards, and learn of the emerging wine scene.
Two Zingerman’s tour hosts and our guides will be at your disposal at all times.
Hotel accommodations for 8 nights.
What’s Not Included?
Alcoholic beverages that are not specifically included in the itinerary.
A few lunches and dinners where you will get to explore on your own (suggestions provided!)
Personal spending money
What about accommodations?
You will be staying in a clean, conveniently located hotel with private bathrooms in the charming neighborhood of Pimlico. There is a lovely hotel bar and restaurant with great outdoor seating should you find yourself a free moment to relax.
The hotels of London are full of charm and amazing service but please note there is no lift and a possible three flight walk-up. The hotel staff will help with all the luggage.
We will meet at the hotel on the first day in the early afternoon for introductions. Our group will take up every room in our boutique hotel, turning it into our own private residence for the length of our stay. We’ll kick off our time together that evening with an enticing small plate dinner and educational wine tasting at one of our favorite wine bars in the burgeoning food scene of Bermondsey. The atmosphere and energy will give us all the chance to settle into London life as well as connect with our fellow travelers on the tour. Nothing helps build camaraderie like food and wine!
**Please note - this is a 3 floor walk up hotel with no lift; the staff with help with luggage.**
After our private breakfast at our hotel, our day will start in earnest with a guided morning walking tour of London’s famous, historical places of interest like Buckingham Palace, Parliament, Big Ben, Trafalgar Square, to gain an overall sense of what London was like at the height of the Empire. Our walking tour will end at a classic British pub famous for ales and pies for a well-deserved lunch. The afternoon will be free to explore the shopping, sights, and sounds London has to offer. We’ll dine at an Ottolenghi restaurant, enjoying the action, food, and wine from our perch at our private chef’s table.
We’ll enjoy breakfast at our hotel as we collectively shake of any travel rust and adjust to London’s pace of life. Get your competitive juices flowing as we gear up and enjoy a “British Bake-Off” afternoon with a lesson from our own local teacher. We’ll learn three classic British recipes and then engage in a little friendly competition (with your tour guides acting as judges)! The night will be free for our travelers to make their own dinner decisions. We have a list of suggestions and are happy to help make reservations at any restaurant you prefer.
Get your trainers on ‘cause we’re gonna cover some ground today! After a delicious breakfast at our hotel, we’ll explore and enjoy London’s famous Borough Market, led by a personal guide and vendor, Dominic Coyte. We’ll find our own lunch among the throngs of vendors at the market who feature everything from sausage rolls to paella. The afternoon is free for exploring London; check out the Tate Modern, shop the West End, or stroll the Thames to uncover its banks’ hidden gems. In the evening we’ll attend Ham School at Brindisa in Borough Market. We’ll learn how to slice, serve, and enjoy the famous Iberico hams of Spain. A Spanish and ham-themed dinner will follow, complete with wine.
After a long day of walking and shopping, we’ll fuel up with breakfast. Well-sated, we’ll board a private bus and head to the country for a visit with one of England’s premier sparkling wine makers. We’ll tour the vineyards, learn how the wine is made, enjoy numerous tasting comparisons, and nosh on a ploughman’s style lunch of cheese, charcuterie, and more. Heads swooning with romance, beauty, and bubbles, we’ll explore the surrounding area before heading back to the city that night.
Saturday in London! We’ll fill up on our exceptional breakfast at the hotel before engaging with the hip, happening food scene at the Rope Walk on Maltby Street. Every weekend the street explodes with people, fun and food and we’re going to join in. Self-guided exploration is encouraged and we’ll eat, drink and play our way through this funky market. Next, get ready for a lot of fun, learning, and flavor at Neal’s Yard Dairy that evening. NYD is not only the premier exporter and seller of British cheeses in the world, they’re kissing cousins with Zingerman’s, having worked together for more than 30 years. Wine, note-taking, and eating lots of cheese will be the focus of the evening and one meal you’ll remember for years to come.
After our traditional breakfast at the hotel, we’ll put on our walking shoes and head out with our new friends from London Tailored Tours to experience the ethnic street food of London. From curry to Pakistani chicken to traditional sausage carts, we’ll nibble, drink, and chat while we uncover the culinary delights the locals love. Our bellies full, we’ll return to the hotel for some free time before putting on our duds for an edible journey through the British history of gin and cuisine at The Distillery. This dinner and drink experience will leave us full, educated, and free from scurvy!
Breakfast at the hotel? Check. Explore London’s counter-culture? How about heading to Camden Market to do just that! The market in Camden town is famous for fashion, curiosity, and cuisine. The cafés buzz with activity and the London Zoo is right next door. After our last free afternoon of exploration, we’ll gather on a boat in the canals for a private dinner replete with wine and seafood. We’ll be joined by the guides and teachers we got to know and love during the week for our last dinner together. It will be magical and a London experience we’ll remember forever.
The saddest day of all: the day we all depart. After our final, delicious breakfast at the hotel, we’ll start to break away and make our own way. Some of us will head to the airport, some may begin their own personal tours of London and beyond. Regardless of where we go, we’ll have that strange, beautiful feeling that comes with the last day of summer camp: strangers became friends and now our circles are larger.
**One thing to note: this itinerary is the current plan, and things may change. We will make every effort to provide the tours and experiences that are described. However, the nature of an ever changing city means that plans may change at the last minute. Also, you always have the option of skipping a particular excursion, but please note that we will be unable to make refunds for any missed meals or other events.