By now, you may have gathered that I’m something of a fan of food; if I’m not eating, I’m usually writing about times when I have been eating. When it comes to reasons why I think London is the greatest city in the world, therefore, you may not be surprised to hear that food comes up high on the list.
Or maybe you will be surprised. After all, British food used to have a poor reputation and yes, you can still order a heart attack on a plate at any number of greasy spoons strew around the capital.
However, over the years, I have visited hundreds (maybe over thousand) eateries around the city and around the world, and have found nowhere that compares to London for sheer quality and diversity of food.
In part, this is due to the massive cultural diversity within our city. Londoners are not merely attempting to replicate global cooking styles; we have people from hundreds of other nations right here, cooking their food for us!
Take a fifteen-minute stroll and you’ll discover everything from searing Australian grills, all-you-can-eat American diners and late night Turkish kebab houses, to delicate French cuisine, Indian extravaganzas and our very own British gastro pub experience.
On a single street, you’ll find vegan falafel and wheatgrass on one side, and chicken hearts on a skewer on the other. This is no word of a lie – head to Putney.
When it comes to national cooking, however, we’re also spoiled for choice. Nothing fills you up after a day of exploring the city like proper British pub grub, our curries are to die for (literally, if you have a severe reaction to chilli) and, frankly, you haven’t experienced a proper morning repast until you have slogged your way through a true Full English.
Our seasonal street food is something else, too. One of the best bacon sandwiches I’ve ever had was off a moving trolley by the Thames and the sheer variety of sausage on offer rivals Berlin (if you’ll pardon the expression).
In short, it is an ignorant and uncultured person indeed who would still maintain that British food is unimaginative, unhealthy and bland. If you come across such a person, take them to London – they cannot possibly leave with the same opinion. Not if they have a tongue, a stomach and a brain!