Sunday, 4 December 2016

#London Walk of the Week: Foodies' London The West End

Every Sunday we’ll pluck just one walk from the vast London Walks repertoire and put it centre stage.

You can check out the full schedule at

But if you only take one walking tour this week, why not make it…

Foodies' London - The West End

Saturday 10th December 2016

Green Park Tube, Green Park exit (meet by the fountain)

Guided by Ann

What did Oscar Wilde have for lunch? Who bought their beef tea at Fortnums? Which king took a roast chicken to bed for a night time snack (and that's after 11 courses at dinner). For the answer to these and many other foodie questions – and for a visit to a street market and a foodie look at Chinatown, join Ann's walk looking at how Londoners dined downtown in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries.

Meet Ann just outside the Green Park exit of Green Park Tube. (Within snapping-our-fingers-distance-at-the-Head-Waiter of the Ritz Hotel, of course. And what gourmet dish was invented at the Ritz? Well, come and find out.)

Foodies' London - The West End Saturday 10th December 2016 meet at Green Park Tube, Green Park exit (meet by the fountain)

Here's a video of Ann in London Walks action…

DC Editor Adam adds… 

With the news this week that sprouts may be in short supply this Christmas thanks to a summer blight, I was reminded of Ann's earlier post on that much loved/much loathed seasonal veg. Here it is…

What is it about sprouts? The butt of many a joke, they enjoy a love-hate relationship with Christmas dinner. Yet most diners don’t actually want to eat them. I think the trouble lies with the way they are cooked. If you boil or steam them whole, the outside has turned an unappetising yellowish colour before the interior has cooked. 

Heston’s recent advice for Christmas dinner suggests peeling off each individual sprout leaf, then frying briefly in butter. While  they may taste delicious, the reaction of most cooks to sprout unfurling while they tackle turkey, stuffing, bread sauce, roast potatoes, gravy etc, would be unprintable.

Sprouts have been around in English gardens since the late C18 – and Thomas Jefferson planted them in 1812. Recently they’ve made some attempts to gain celebrity status. You may not want to send a Christmas card with a photo of sprouts on it, or buy a sprout wreath to hang on your front door.

But you can buy a kind of  sprout tree – the whole stalk, with the sprouts still clinging to it. And you can sometimes buy sprout tops, which have that inimitable sprout flavour, but can be cooked more simply, in whatever way you like your cabbage.

By the way I’ve never found that cutting a cross in the bottom of each sprout  avoids the uneven cooking problem. But just cutting each sprout in half before cooking seems to work very well.

About Your Guide


Ann – quondam BBC journalist and current star Blue Badge Guide (let alone the Helen Mirren of London Walks) – knows everything there is to know about food: its history, where to buy it, how to cook it, how to enjoy it and, into the bargain, how to keep your figure! Of which she's an exemplar!!

A London Walk costs £10 – £8 concession. To join a London Walk, simply meet your guide at the designated tube station at the appointed time. Details of all London Walks can be found at

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