London – The Capital of the UK…and now the Capital of Food!
Not a weekend goes by without a food festival, the most recent opening from one of the world’s leading chefs or a super-cool blogger eulogising about the taste-tastic toast from the latest breakfast pop-up. For years, London was nothing more than a bit-part player on the world’s food stage, a decent supporting act but not a patch on New York, Tokyo or Barcelona. Now, we are playing in the Premier League, and doing very well may we add…
June is London Food Month, and this week Taste of London in Regent’s Park opens its doors to thousands of curious foodies all looking for the latest ingredients, recipes, books, gadgets and inspiration and Kensington Night Market features 50 of the most diverse and exciting food stalls from London’s favourite chefs, restaurants and street food stars.
Food, Glorious Food
A quick scoot through the Rathbone website and you’ll find the best Michelin-starred restaurants, the best local burgers and the best breakfasts in town but why has London grown into one of the most exciting and creative culinary capitals in the world?
The first thing to say is that there’s no such thing as a food scene. A ‘scene’ in this sense infers some sort of similarity, and while there are trends (BBQ and burgers being the most obvious), there’s really nothing that unifies what’s on offer, aside from everyone trying to be inventive, innovative, creative and niche, and for the most part it’s working brilliantly.
A decade ago we turned our collective noses up at street food. If you saw someone eating in the street, it was usually a post-midnight kebab after a few too many ‘cervezas’ or on an enlightening post-uni trip to Thailand but now, it seems like every town in the city has a street food or farmer’s market, and the locals are loving it!
It’s not just the locals either. ‘Restaurant Tourism’ is now an actual thing and thankfully we can finally put the fish ‘n’ chips, pie ‘n’ mash stereotype firmly to bed, once and for all.
Now we know what farm and even what field our food comes from, we’re more discerning and we’ve started to care. Taking photos of lunch and dinner and posting them to Instagram, Twitter and Facebook is now de rigueur, as is getting restaurant recommendations from internet-savvy gorgers on YouTube. The Chicken Connoisseur is a 20-something fried chicken fan with 600,000 subscribers who trawls the high street on the hunt for ‘the pengest munch’ – we think this means ‘the nicest food….’
It’s fair to say that more restaurants doesn’t necessarily equate to more good restaurants but as a society we are becoming less tolerant of ‘that’ll do’. To our endless benefit, a new and exciting breed of restaurateurs are creating innovative, unusual, diverse, energetic – and above all, delicious – food we absolutely want to eat, whether it’s a Cambodian wrap for £4 under a railway arch in Bermondsey or intricate molecular gastronomy for £200 in Mayfair.
So if you’re coming to London this summer, make sure you book your stay at The Rathbone now and our concierge will point you towards your food heaven, wherever that may be!