Eat your way around the world without leaving London

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

Sean Fulton – founder of the blog Around the world in 196 tables  – suggests how you can eat your way around the world, without leaving the M25

Sean Fulton

Sean Fulton

During the build-up to the London 2012 Olympics the PR spin proudly told us how every athlete from every nation would be represented by a ‘locally-based’ fan from their country of origin and no other city in the world could offer this. So, as I watched on with jealous eyes from deepest darkest East Anglia, I started to formulate an idea that not only would put this claim to the test, but play to my love of good food and travel… could you, in fact, eat a meal from every country in the world without leaving the confines of the M25?

So when I moved back to London and kept on commenting about how awesome it was to be back in a place where you could get Eritrean food at 4am, I was challenged by a friend to back up my words and begin this challenge I had long spoken of.  After about two seconds of deliberation I accepted and set off on my round the world mission without ever leaving the M25.

However, no-one is interested in just another food blog, so this became more about the people, the places and experiences that make up this city. With this in mind, my travels began with a ‘trip’ to Eastern Europe and one of the most politically interesting restaurants in the city, The Gay Hussar. Serving wonderfully authentic food, this enclave of Hungary has been a regular haunt to many of the great and not so great on the left of the British political spectrum. Indeed, it is there where Tony Blair was convinced to one day run for leader of the Labour party.

The Gay Hussar

The Gay Hussar

I’m now just under 20 stops in and have become a magnet for the latest pop-up –  and a quest to see if anything will beat my ‘visit’ to Finland where I met leading food specialist, Antto Melasniemi, and learnt about the legend of Tenu. Of course, not all places in London have such decorated stories, but that doesn’t make them any less interesting or unique… indeed sometimes the food just tells its own story as, via a Vietnamese in Surbiton to a Hawaiian burger in Goodge Street (that ranks as my number 1 patty in the capital), via simply stunning jerk chicken in Brixton, this challenge has given me a fresh look at London and a new appreciation of the city.

So while of course nothing will beat hopping on a plane and experiencing the wonders of the world in person, London absolutely does give you a flavour of what is out there without the need to break the bank. Looking for three must visits in this city? Check out my recommendations below:

For an amazing burger try Kua ‘Aina, 40 Goodge Street, W1. 

For simply incredible jerk chicken you cannot go wrong at Negril, 132 Brixton Hill, SW.

For some great Hungarian food and some amazing caricatures to entertain you through your meal, head to The Gay Hussar, 2 Greek Street, W1D.

Follow Sean’s London eating adventures at: www.aroundtheworldin196tables.wordpress.com or on Twitter @eattheworldLDN. 

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