Imagine my delight then when I was invited to join a food tour of the East End of London organised by Eating London Tours who offer ten mouth watering tastings ( substantial enough to make a full meal!) and a guided walking tour of some of the most interesting spots in E1.
I went with three of my fellow #mummymix presenters from Radio Dacorum - every day from 10-12 you can hear one or more of us chatting about our life and experiences as mums on internet-based Radio Dacorum. The 5th presenter Vicky was unable to join us and oh boy did she miss out on a treat! (sorry Vicky!)
Miss ML (who blogs at My Model Mummy), Lia, Charlotte and myself planned a train journey which would land us at Liverpoool Street in time for the 10am meet-up - this meant an early start coming in from Herts and no time for breakfast. We were starving! Luckily we got quite swiftly to our first port of call St John Bread and Wine where a bacon sandwich was first on our tasting menu. And not just any bacon sandwich - homemade bread, homemade ketchup and Gloucester Old Spot bacon.....Yum!
|Bread and Butter pud|
Now I consider this desert to be my signature dish but this one beat mine into a cocked hat! Now to work out a copycat recipe.....
I didn't try any cheese myself but was so impressed by the reactions of the cheese-lovers amongst the 11-strong "tourists" that I went back and bought a couple of packets of cheese for my husband. It seemed only fair after I had left him all day with the children while I went gadding around in the Capital!
The staff were really knowledgeable and helpful - it's right inside Spitalfields Market so go say hello if you like cheese. They will definitely help you build a good cheeseboard for a dinner party!
|Fish N Chips!|
|All Hail the Ale|
After chips we headed through the streets of E1 while Emily our guide showed us some of the cool street art and made our way to Brick Lane and The Pride of Spitalfields pub. The foreign tourists especially loved their trip to the "local" and tried real ale and cider with more enthusiasm than me! Not a fan I'm afraid - more of an alco-pops kinda girl!
Then as is the tradition in the UK after the pub we headed for an Indian restaurant where I was pleasantly surprised to find I really enjoyed all three of the curry's we were offered - I normally play it very safe with dry tikka dishes.
The taster dishes at Aladin were flavoursome and spicy but not red-hot "burn your face off" spicy and the naan bread was to die for! We even got given some chocolates to finish off our mini-meal!
There are over 50 Indian restaurants in Brick Lane so it was nice to be able to be taken to a "tried and tested" one - apparently even Prince Charles has eaten there!
I have always wanted to try this classic dish and have to say was disappointed that I personally didn't really like it. But the finger licking and MMMs of delight from most of the group told me I was in a minority - and it is well recorded that I am a fussy cow!
The finale of the tour was a salted caramel tart at Pizza East. Bone-achingly trendy and deservedly so with an amazing interior (no photos allowed I'm afraid) I was not expecting a pizza joint to excel at a pud BUT I was blown away by this desert! Yes that is actually salt on the top of it and unlike some more timid salted caramel dishes this one hit every taste bud with buttery, creamy, salty tanginess. I loved it so much I persuaded a struggling Miss ML to give me most of hers after she had tried it.
|Salt, caramel, cream-heaven!|
So do I recommend it? Yes, absolutely even though I didn't like a couple of the dishes I still ate more than enough! I was kept informed and entertained by Emily whose historic commentary was never dry and plan to go back to the area around Spitalfields market as soon as possible to sample some full-sized portions from some of my favourites from the day!
Disclaimer: I was offered a free Eating London Tours experience (normally £59 per person) in return for this review. Opinions as always remain honest and my own.