How staycation has become the new vacation (and 3 reasons why you should take one!)

Vacations are all cool, but they’re only fun if the trip is for more than a week. Minimum. How many week long holidays are you going to be able to take though? Vacations need you to take substantial time off work which isn’t really feasible more than once a year now, is it? This is where Staycation comes in. There are over a dozen long weekends every year in the UK, which allows you to indulge in some getaways and staycations – the marker for which is booming!

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Image via: https://www.pexels.com/photo/filled-drinking-glasses-in-tray-2684260/

Staycation nothing but a vacation in which you stay in the same country, maybe even in the same city, in which your home is. It has become the new vacation because of various reasons but primarily the fact that you can enjoy multiple staycations in a year without losing out on any of your leave days or breaking the bank. 

Here’s our top 3 reasons why you should be taking a staycation the next long weekend:

1. Easy on the pocket

Forget all your worries about airfare, travel insurance, exchange rates, visa costs, internal transport et al. You’re not going to cross any borders for a staycation which automatically removes a ton of hassle and reduces the cost. You are likely to find steal deals for local properties, with special rates for residents as compared to the tourist rates. Not to mention, you’re on your turf so you’re less likely to be cheated off your money!

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2. Less time in transit, more time relaxing

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Staycation cuts out the need to leave your home 4 hours early to reach the airport on time, queue up for various procedures, and then settle in the cramped economy flight next to a chatty stranger. On a vacation you need to chalk up an entire day for traveling to your destination which takes out time from activities you’d actually rather be doing.

When you’re just driving over to the next town or say just the other side of the city, as you would in the case of a staycation, you’ll be spending less time in transit and more time relaxing. Best staycations are at properties that are an hour or less away by car – just far away enough from home so you’re away from routine, but also just close enough so you can maximise your time.

No need to plan months in advance 

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Unlike a vacation that needs planning months in advance (leave applications, flight bookings, visa procedure, logistics etc etc), a staycation can be planned overnight and even as a surprise for your significant other! There’s always a last minute deal waiting for you somewhere, so all one needs to do is decide to take a staycation, go online and find the best bargain deal and you could be ready to start in as little as 30 minutes.

So if there’s a long weekend coming up and you want to put off that deep cleaning of your home for another time, then book yourself a staycation, pack your bags and head off to grab some much deserved down time.

5 Essential food tours to sign up for in London

Are you visiting London this summer? We’re sure you’ve got your itinerary planned with the must-see sights, top shopping destinations and best photo ops in London. We highly recommend that one of the activities on your list be to sign up for a few food tours, and here’s our collection of the 5 essential tours you should consider signing up for.

1. The Great British Food Tour

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Image: https://pixabay.com/photos/food-fish-chips-fish-and-chips-3687804/

We’ve always advocated that one of the best ways to educate yourself about a new city and its culture is via its local food. Sign up for one of the many tours available, some secret and some not so much, that will allow you close to 3 hours to simply immerse yourself in British food culture and introduce you to best places to grab some local grub.

Alternatively, check The Tourist’s Guide British Gastronomy by food.social and begin your own hunt.

2. Soho Food Tours

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Image: https://pixabay.com/photos/asian-food-dimsum-cuisine-chinese-2090943/

Soho is one of the most happening neighbourhoods of Central Londo, and if you’re a visitor then chances are that you will be spending a substantial time in this area. As you take in all the sights and sounds, it’s also important to take in all flavours that Soho has to offer. Look up Tastes of Soho, book your tour and embark on an afternoon food and cultural walking tour. Discover the international cuisine influenced by the multicultural population of the city and feel like a total Soho-pro by the end of it. Prices start at £39. 

Alternatively, you can browse through our London food guide for top restaurants in every neighbourhood. 

4. 3 Markets Food Tour

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Image: https://pixabay.com/photos/paella-food-borough-market-london-678710/

A day out in the markets is incomplete without indulging in some kickass street food. Sign up for a guided tour of 3 popular markets – Borough, Leadenhall and Spitalfields – offering some of the best shopping as well as food deals. On this walking tour you will taste samples of both British and International cuisine, learn about culinary influences and learn why London is one of the greatest food destinations in the world.

Alternatively, take a look at our compilation of top 10 places to eat at in  London.

4. Vegan Food Tour

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Image:https://pixabay.com/photos/breakfast-healthy-hummus-spread-1804457/

Vegans need not cross out food tours from their to-do list, as London has something for everyone. And in the case of vegans, there’s a thriving and vibrant scene to explore. Starting off on Old Street in Shoreditch, the vegan food tour will let you try generous samples from top vegan eateries in London. You will also get to learn about Shoreditch’s history and get some cultural insights from the guide on your walking tour. 

Alternatively, check out our compilation of the best vegetarian & vegan fare around London.

5. Chocolate Ecstasy Tours

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Image via: https://pixabay.com/photos/ice-ice-cream-milk-ice-cream-waffle-2367072/

End your food tour journey with on a sweet note and sign up for one of the popular dessert tours run by Chocolate Ecstasy Tours. Their walking tours are the perfect way to indulge your sweet tooth in some of the best treats London has to offer – be it chocolate, ice-cream or some good old traditional sweets. Tours start at £43 per person and make for the perfect outing irrespective of whether you’re travelling solo, with your partner, friends or the entire family!

Alternatively, you can also check out our top 7 picks for ice-cream parlours in London.

7 Best ice cream parlours in London to beat the heat this summer

This year, the UK has experienced the hottest July – ever. Temperatures are expected to soar to an unprecedented 39C, and the heat wave is taking over all our lives (and insta feeds!). We can think of no better way to cool down and beat the heat other than a delicious dose of ice cream and gelato from the best parlours in London.

Here are our top picks:

1. Gelupo

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Established in 2010, Gelupo makes some of the finest gelato in the heart of London. Their Gelati and Sorbetti menu is updated daily, so if they run out of your favorite flavour don’t let that stop you from trying their other gorgeous creations, including some boozy varieties. Find them on 7 Archer Street in Soho. 

2. Chin Chin Ice Cream

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Chin Chin’s claim to fame is the fact that all their ice-cream is churned using liquid nitrogen – right in front of you! If you’re visiting during the colder months, then opt for their famous hot chocolate. They’ve expanded into multiple branches but their flagship store in Camden is still a local favorite. Cost for two is about £15.

3. Soft Serve Society

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Soft serve ice cream is so called because of lesser milk fats and more air as compared to regular hard ice cream, and this in turn makes soft serve super duper creamy. Head to Soft Serve Society in Boxpark Shoreditch or Market Hall Victoria for some premium soft serve delights in unique flavours & colours!

4. Amorino

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Straight from the heart of Paris comes this popular gelateria, located in Old Compton street. You will most likely have to queue up to get inside the store, but once you’re in, do not rush yourself and try the various flavours on offer before deciding your pick.

5. Udderlicious

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An independent and charming little store that started in Islington, has now also opened its doors in Covent Garden. Their sole purpose is to serve you freshly made ice-cream and sorbets that come in delicious flavours that you get to vote for every month – so there’s a fresh menu for you to taste every 4 weeks!

6. La Gelateria

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Basil and Chilli, Porcini Chocolate, Cornish Blue and Walnuts, Fresh Watercress and Lime… try all of these and many more such unique flavours at the award winning artisanal store La Gelateria. Their menu is updated regularly to feature seasonal ingredients, and experimental flavours. You can find them in Covent Garden as well as East Village.

7. Snowflake Luxury Gelato

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Organic Jersey milk from family farm in Somerset coupled with nuts grown in the Italian mountain sides is what Snowflake Luxury Gelato is all about. To top it off, their raspberries and strawberries are hand picked in the garden of England – Kent. Each of their 50 plus flavours are carefully designed and hand made such that each batch is unique, just like a snowflake, and your tastebuds! Enjoy some exceptional gelato at any of their boutiques in either Soho, Bayswater, Chelsea or Edgware Road. They also have a mini boutique at Selfridges!

From Economic to Extravagant: The 6 Best Places to Host Your Birthday in London

Don’t let age get in the way of you enjoying your birthday to the fullest. No matter how old you get, it’s always a warm feeling to celebrate your special day with your near and dear ones. We’ve compiled the top 6 places in London to host a unique and memorable experience for your friends & family on your birthday this year.

1. Ballie Ballerson – £

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Who says only kids are allowed to have a fun ball-pit at their birthday parties? Ballie Ballerson is your ultimate adult ball pit bar in London. Located in Shoreditch, the venue will take you down a nostalgic lane, guaranteed to bring out the child in you and make your birthday a memorable one. Enjoy a basic baller experience, or go for a bottomless brunch – the choice is yours. Tickets start from £7.5 per person, so get ‘em balls rolling! 

2. Flight Club – ££

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A darts themed pub, Flight Club at Shoreditch is a great Birthday celebration venue especially for those who like to bring out their competitive side. Pricing for Social Darts experience starts at £15 per hour for a group of 2-5 people, and the average food & drink cost for 2 is £45. 

3. The Piano Works – ££

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London’s only non-stop live music venue, The Piano Works call themselves part party, part bar, part restaurant and part concert. Located at a Victorian listed warehouse in the heart of Farringdon, their 2 pianists and accompanying musicians will only play songs requested by YOU, the audience. 

Priced at £50 per person, you can opt for their Brunch dining package with a 2 course brunch, bottomless drinks for 2 hours and a fully seated table. 

4. The Avenue Cookery School – ££

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Image via https://theavenuecookeryschool.com/shop/courses/vegan-brunch-club/#iLightbox[product-gallery]/4

If games and partying isn’t really up your alley, then we’ve got just the thing for you. One of the more offbeat ways to celebrate your birthday would be to sign up yourself, along with your friends and family for a Bottomless Brunch Cooking Class. It’s brunch, it’s a fun activity, and it’s bottomless! Book a session via food.social at The Avenue Cookery School in South London, priced at just £39 per person. 

5. The London Cabaret Club – £££

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The London Cabaret Club, located in Holborn, offers a sophisticated dining experience combined with live entertainment. Enjoy a glamorous evening with majestic live cabaret performances, exquisite dining and quintessentially British cocktails.

Book a unique dinner & show experience for yourself and your guests via food.social priced at £75 per person.

6. Private Dining at Bob Bob Ricard – ££££

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Image via: https://pixabay.com/images/id-2370783/

If a private, intimate setup is more your thing, then book the private dining room at the eclectically styled Bob Bob Ricard. Modelled on the Royal Dining Carriage and seating 9 to 16 guests, the private room is brilliantly coupled with the restaurant’s iconic design and glamorous ambience. 

There’s a la carte menu available with minimum spend is £500 plus service for lunch and £1000 plus service for dinner.

London’s Top Food Trucks Worth Chasing

Aren’t food trucks just amazing? It’s literally fast food on the move with straight forward menus, quick service and more often than not – bang on flavours. It’s the most efficient way of selling and eating food, especially when at food markets and festivals. Here’s our compilation of top food trucks that are worth chasing around town.

1. The Cheese Truck

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This no frills food truck is what you need to chase down if you’re in the mood for a ridiculously cheesy grilled cheese sandwich. Their aim is to show people just how amazing British cheese is and they do so quite successfully by melting locally sourced cheeses combined with artisanal breads. Popularly found at Maltby Street Market the truck travels a lot and you easily find their location via their social media. 

2. Rainbo

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Who says food truck food cannot be healthy? Rainbo, inspired by Tokyo serves delicious and nutritious Japanese street food. Their dishes are not colorful, vibrant and tasty, but they’re actually good for you. They can be easily found at popular food markets and festivals, but to find out where you can grab them delish Gyoza dumplings follow their social media for updates.

3. Anna Mae’s

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Image via https://www.facebook.com/AnnaMaes.Streetfood/photos/a.166275580087569/1926782367370206/?type=3&theater

They call themselves London’s original crack mac dealers – and it’s only fitting because Anna Mae’s food truck deals in only the most gooey and delicious mac & cheese in London. Having travelled around multiple festivals and shortlisted for multiple street food awards, Anna Mae’s has gathered a loyal following of customers. Due to the popularity of their exceptional recipes, Anna Mae’s has also released an exclusive cookbook. Follow their trail via their social media.

4. Mother Clucker

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Image via https://www.instagram.com/p/Bye-me3D4_E/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

Lovers of fried chicken, this is the truck you want to chase down. Mother Clucker serves tea brined, buttermilk soaked, twice batter-fried chicken – making it truly the mother of fried chicken in London. Their truck moves around, but it’s usual haunt is at Elys Yard at the Truman Brewery in Brick Lane.

5. Luardos

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Given the ease of compiling Mexican fare, it seems like the most natural choice for a food truck. Serving since 2007, the original Luardos truck can be found parked at Whitecross Market whereas their second truck is usually on festival rounds and available for hire. They specialize in all the Mexican classics – burritos, tacos, quesadillas, nachos and a whole host of canapes.

6. Jhalmuri Express

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Image via https://twitter.com/jhalmuriexpress/status/1045717346189488130?s=20

As the legend goes, years ago Chef Angus Duncan made a random stop at Calcutta (now Kolkata), and fell instantly in love with Bengali culture. He kept returning to reinforce his love for Bengali food, and in particular the street food also known as chaat. And now he travels around London spreading his love for Bengali chaat through his humble pushcart, sometimes van, the Jhalmuri Express. Decked in colourful signages & garlands as inspired from street food vendors in Bengal, Angus’s van serves Indian flavours like no other. Follow his twitter @jhalmuriexpress to follow his trail!

11 Romantic Restaurants for Date Night in London

Are you looking for that perfect venue to impress someone on a first date? Or perhaps you want to celebrate a relationship milestone? But does love really need a reason to be celebrated? We’ve picked out some of the top spots to have an intimate and romantic evening with your significant other. 

1. Le Pont de La Tour

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We have only four words for this one: LOOK. AT. THAT. VIEW!

Le Pont de La Tour in Bermondsey makes the perfect spot to cuddle with your date on a cool evening, and what’s more is that the first thing on the menu is a classic aphrodisiac – oysters! Need we say more? 

2. Clos Maggiore

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Clos Maggiore on King Street in Covent Garden has been voted as the world’s most romantic restaurant. Serving French cuisine and seafood and a cozy atmosphere of floral decor and fairy lights there’s plenty of romance to go around at this venue whether you come if for a romantic rendezvous in the afternoon or a date night.

3. Kitty Fisher’s

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The cozy dining room of Kitty Fisher’s can fit barely 10 tables – which lends you the much needed intimacy with your date. The dim lighting and candles will only add to the mood. Not to mention, their delicious food will elevate your date night. Reserve in advance, as it’s difficult to get in last minute at this laid back Mayfair joint. 

4. Hutong

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When in love one often tends to feel like they’re on top of the world – Hutong takes that emotion and brings it to your dining experience on your date night. Located on level 33 of The Shard, Hutong offers killer views of London city, adding sparkle to your romantic night. Besides the spectacular view, you will also feast on some of the best Chinese food in town. 

5. Andrew Edmunds

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On 46 Lexington Street in Soho you can find Andrew Edmunds, an 18th century townhouse capturing the spirit of ‘old Soho’. Choose this place if old school charm is your thing, and you’re looking for an intimate evening. They have seasonal menus, daily specials and cozy tables set for two that makes for some romantic eye contact and easy conversations. Not to mention their wine list is guaranteed to make you swoon, even if your date doesn’t.

6. Blanchette

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A French bistro serving simple yet inventive French cuisine, with snug little tables for two makes for a lovely date night venue especially with it’s warm candlelit atmosphere and rustic decor. Located in Soho, a meal for two at Blanchette will cost £35 on an average. 

7. Bob Bob Ricard

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One of the most popular themed restaurants in London, is also a popular choice for date nights – especially when one wants to opt for a fancy evening with their special someone. It has an all booth dining room, and every booth is equipped with a ‘press for champagne’ button. Bob Bob Ricard is located in Soho, serves British and Russian fare, and cost for two is approximately £100.

8. J Sheekey

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Red is a colour that suddenly seems extra pleasing to the eye once you’re in love (or have a date for Valentine’s). At J Sheekey in Covent Garden, there’s plenty of red to surround yourself and your partner with, and with other couples around you you’re sure to feel like love is in the air. Find a cozy corner table, order some oysters and then let the bubbly guide you through the evening. 

9. Rules

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Image via https://rules.co.uk/gallery/restaurant/

Add some traditional English charm to your date night by heading to the oldest restaurant in London – which automatically makes it the oldest date spot in the city. Check out Rules (est. 1798) in Covent Garden – they specialize in game cookery, oysters, pies and puddings.

10. Hakkasan

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Hakkasan in Fitzrovia brings to you modern Cantonese cuisine paired with world-class mixology. For those who want to leave no stone unturned in hyping up their romantic evening, this Michelin starred restaurant is the perfect choice for date night. £120 is the average price for a meal for two.

11. Berners Tavern

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The dazzling dining room of Berners Tavern, with plenty of romantic candles and framed art will make for a memorable dining experience, one that your date will rank you highly for. Located in Fitzrovia, the place isn’t just all glitter and no gold. They serve excellent French and British cuisine and the luxury dining will cost you an average of £100 per couple.

10 Brilliant Burgers in London

Disclaimer: The following post may cause some serious burger cravings possibly accompanied by some drool. This effect is wholly intentional, and we hope that by the end of this post you know exactly where to get your burger fix in London.

1. Bleecker St.

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Juicy, fatty and meaty patties is what makes Bleecker St. burgers the best in town. Try their famous Bleecker black (double cheeseburger with black pudding), or literally any other burger off their menu and get immersed in a sea of flavours. Found at Spitalfields, Victoria and Bloomberg, Bleecker is super easy on your pocket with meal for two costing roughly £20. 

2. Hawksmoor

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While some may regard this as a hidden treasure best known only by locals, we’re here to spill the tea – Hawksmoor in Covent Garden serves mighty delicious burgers. If you manage to not get distracted by their brilliant steaks and Sunday Roasts, then order a Hawksmoor Burger made using 100% well-loved British beef by masters of beef themselves. The price, at £17, may seem steep but it’s love at first bite.

3. Honest Burgers

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Honest Burgers like to stick true to their name, and serving you burgers that are nothing by honestly delectable. With over 15 outlets around the city, you’ll easily find one that’s close to you and in less than £15 enjoy a hearty meal of a burger and beer. Honest Burgers are also a favorite amongst vegetarians for serving the best vegetarian burger in London.

4. Patty & Bun

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Patty & Bun at Marylebone (or 4 other outlets) has a burger called Ari Gold – first on the menu so you don’t have to look further – which would totally win a gold medal were there an Olympics for Burgers. We highly recommend investing in this gold which is priced at £8.75. Most of the burgers on their menu can be requested in a veggie version as well.

5. Mac & Wild

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Their Veni-moo burger has won the award for best burger in London in 2016. Three years on, it still ranks as a favorite amongst burger enthusiasts in the city and is worth £14.5 for the rich venison patty burger topped with candied bacon. You can find Mac & Wild at Fitzrovia on Great Titchfield Street. 

6. Burger & Lobster

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This restaurant serves two main things, and there’s no points for guessing what they are. Their no-nonsense approach means their entire focus is on serving the best burger and the best lobster experience. Check them out in Soho or any of their other 8 locations and splurge on everything on their menu to enter a food coma.

7. Dip & Flip

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It’s juicy, it’s cheesy, it’s messy, it’s beefy! Most importantly, it’s a burger you don’t want to miss out on. Visit them at Battersea Rise and order their namesake – the Dip & Flip burger – for a gravy topped delight in less than £10.

8. Bar Boulud

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Bar Boulud is exactly the kind of place you want to hit up when you want to have a fancy dinner date but also have a hearty meal rather than skimpy fine dining portions. Located inside the posh Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park Hotel in the heart of Knightsbridge, Bar Boulud offers three exquisite burgers ranging from £15 to £25. Not bad of a deal at all if you want to impress a date!

9. Joe Allen

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Joe Allen doesn’t offer burger – not on it’s menu at least – but those that ask for it are never disappointed. London’s worst kept secret when it comes to burgers, Joe Allen’s secret off-menu burger is probably the most ordered items at their restaurant and has made it to many a burger enthusiasts must-have-burgers list. Find them at Burleigh Street in Covent Garden. 

10. Shake Shack

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Do you know why the above photo shows two burgers instead of just one? Well it’s because at Shake Shack you’d be hard pressed to settle for just one. The famous American chain crossed the pond and brought over it’s delicious range of shack burgers in 2013, and has since then become a local favorite.. Headover to their flagship branch at Market Building in Covent Garden to grab your shack!

The Best Thai Cooking Class in London

When you think of Thailand, you think of the golden beaches and green islands of Phuket, the cityscape of Bangkok and the glistening temples scattered across the country. Most importantly, though, you think of food staples that have permeated into every countries eating habits and culture. The Thai cuisine is expansive and far-reaching, that the phrase “Thai green curry” could as easily transport you to the dining table of your favourite dinner host in London as it could a street market on the Chao Phraya River. So here are some cookery schools in London where you can learn the tricks of the Thai-cooking trade.

1. School of Wok

If there is one thing you remember about cooking schools in London, it is that School of Wok is where to b-line for if you are looking to learn about Asian cooking. Their Thai course, like all their others, is a great, all-inclusive way of taking what seem like complex meals and making them in less time than you thought was possible.

There are a number of courses available, depending on what you are looking for. There is a brand new introduction to Thai cooking, where you will cover all the basics and get your taste buds relishing the flavours. Alternatively, though similar in style, is the vegetarian introduction to Thai cooking. In a similar way to Indian cooking, and largely as a result of the sauce-dense meals, Thai food is a great option for vegetarians. Unlike some meat-orientated cuisines, Thai food is all about the spice combinations. If those intro courses just are not enough to satiate your hangering for Thai delights, then the full-day course is the one you want to be attending. Everything from curries, soups and salads to using a clever for chopping is covered in this all-encompassing tribute to Thai cuisine.

Contact: 020 7240 8818

Address: 61 Chandos Pl, Covent Garden, London WC2N 4HG

2. Lamai – Thai: School of Authentic Thai Cookery

The secret’s in a name – this is where to head for lessons in authentic Thai cookery. The school delves into the science behind the cuisine, showing how to make up to five courses of Thai delicacies. They also have a restaurant area, as well as the opportunity to take private cooking lessons, so whether your intentions are to try as many Thai foods as possible, or learn how to cook as much of it as possible, this is an unmissable stop.

You will spend your afternoon cooking and learning, and hopefully gaining momentum and inspiration for all the meals you will prepare in the future now that you have learnt the fundamentals of Thai food. What is really great about the skills they will teach you here, is that they are transferable. You won’t go home with the skills to make only five dishes – you will go home with the skills to make a great number of Thai meals.

Contact: 020 8347 8457

Address: Highgate Road, London NW5 1RL

Thai Cooking Class the best thai cooking class in london The Best Thai Cooking Class in London Thai Cooking Class

3. The Avenue Cookery School

The Avenue Cookery School has cultivated a solid list of all the Thai favourites and condensed them into a two-course class to ensure anyone who takes it leaves feeling comfortable in their ability to rustle up a Thai meal from home. The two meals are chicken or vegetable satay and

Thai red prawn (or vegetables) curry with noodles.

Not only does this class teach you the recipes, techniques and knife skills needed to perfect these dishes, but it also gives you tips on plating and presentation, transforming you from home-cook to dinner host in London.

Contact: 020 8874 7623

Address: 3 Enterprise Way, London SW18 1FZ

4. Cookery School at Little Portland Street

This course exemplifies the variety available within Thai cooking. Yes, it shows you the ropes when it comes to your favourite curry recipes, but it also shows you how fresh and healthy this cuisine can be. It is the flavours of Thai cuisine that remain at the crux of the cuisine, relying heavily on the balance between the herbs and spices. That will be outlined and fostered within your style and technique throughout the day.

The course includes recipes and the necessary techniques to prepare Thai bean salads, prawn soups, Thai fish cakes, delectable dipping sauces for freshly fried spring rolls, jasmine rice, fish dishes and much more. Upon arrival, you will be presented with a Thai snack while the teachers debrief you and give you a little bit of history about the cuisine and the day ahead.

Contact: 020 7631 4590

Address: 15 Little Portland St, Marylebone, London W1W 8BW

5. Food at 52

Food at 52’s Thai Cookery Class is extra special because it is dairy and gluten free, meaning it really is an option for most people with dietary requirements. This school will make sure you are sent home with not only a big pot of Thai green curry for you and your family to devour, but also enough of a basic understanding that the next time you crave Thai, you make it yourself rather than calling for a take-away.

Though all the ingredients are provided for you on the day, the class will also inform you of where you will find all the ingredients used once you leave. Unfortunately, not everything will be in your local supermarket, because some of the dishes are quite exotic flavours. Fortunately, however, all the ingredients are available in Asian supermarkets, which are local to most areas. People do not always realise how varied and diverse Thai cooking is, or only know of a couple of very famous dishes. This course expands that knowledge and makes sure you get a real spectrum of flavours from the dazzling country where they originate.

Contact: 07814 027067

Address: 96 Central St, London EC1V 8AJ

The moral of the story here is: if you are looking to enhance, further or even start your passion for Thai food, London is the place to start. From there, it will just be a constant journey for you becoming the dinner host in London that everyone is talking about. From cookery schools focusing on the cuisine, to other well-established institutions offering it as one of their courses, you can trust that any one of these courses will send you home more adept than when you arrived. They will probably all send you home with a load of Thai food, too – so dinner is sorted!

The Best Vegan Cooking Class in London

Being vegan is becoming more and more prevalent in modern society, but there is an ongoing misconception that vegan food is sub-par to food from animal products. This is simply not the case and there are a number of chefs that are willing to show you how you definitely do not have to sacrifice your favourite meals once you go vegan. You may not even be vegan yourself, but feel like understanding an alternative lifestyle. Either way, these cooking courses will never make you feel like you are getting anything less than the very best.

These kinds of courses are also particularly helpful for people trying to become vegan but struggling with the cost of meat replacement products. Yes, these artificial meat products are a great way to wean meat from your diet, but working with natural, normal ingredients available at shops is not difficult – you just need some guidance. So, here it is.

1. Cookery School at Little Portland Street

Cookery School at Little Portland Street has two vegan cooking courses that are both designed to set you up for a delicious and rewarding time in the kitchen, both on the day of the course as well as once you take your skills home. Both of them are food events in London and worth your undivided attention.

The All Day Vegan course focuses on natural, raw ingredients and how to manipulate them such that you get all the nutrients you need. All their ingredients are additive-free and they do not believe in using meat substitutes. This is the prime place to learn about how to use fresh ingredients and absorb all the nutritional goodness nature has on offer. You will get to gorge yourself on everything you have made at the end of the course, whilst sipping on vegan wine.

A Vegan Winter is a really helpful and relevant course. There is a bit of an incorrect notion that vegan means cold foods, or salads. But this course shows you how wholesome and rich vegan foods can be, keeping you warm and satisfied during the colder months. Hearty soups, pies and quiches are just some of the wonderfully filling and nourishing items on the menu!

Contact: 020 7631 4590

Address: 15 Little Portland St, Marylebone, London W1W 8BW

2. Food at 52

Food at 52 has two courses to show you the wonder of cooking vegan food, and really emphasise how vegan food should not be associated with something being missing, just something different.

The first course is a general vegan class, which puts a heavy focus on new and exciting ways to cook plant-based food. The trouble many people have before attending a course like this is not the motivation or even the access to products, but simply the absence of variation and inspiration. With the number of recipes you will be tempted to try on leaving Food at 52, that should never be a worry again!

The second course is more specific – it is an Italian vegan class. It is so informative and fun that it runs less like a cooking class and more like food events in London. One thing that vegans tend to miss if converting to veganism is dairy products like cheese and milk, which appear to be pillars of Italian cooking. This course shows you that this is not the case and that this ethical-swap does not mean sacrificing your love for the enchanting Italian cuisine. Most importantly for some, you will learn how to make fresh pasta without egg!

Contact: 07814 027067

Address: 96 Central St, London EC1V 8AJ

Vegan Cooking Class the best vegan cooking class in london The Best Vegan Cooking Class in London Vegan Cooking Class

3. The Avenue Cookery School

The Avenue Cookery School is arguably your best bet if you are looking to explore the boundaries of vegan cuisine – mainly because it ends up proving once and for all that there are no boundaries and that vegan diets are limitless when you are equipped with the knowledge and know-how.

The following courses are not strictly vegan, but they have the option to be entirely so on request. There is a paella workshop, where you will learn this iconic dish from Spain. Or, if it is more the nationally acclaimed food of India you are after, there is a curry course that shows you how the combination of the right spices and attitude makes for a very simple mealtime. Their falafel class is suitable for vegans – the only requirement is that you are a fan of delicious things. Their sushi and pizza classes are also vegan friendly.

Then we move on to their courses which are specifically vegan, which are particularly educational and wonderfully specific, ensuring you are armed with the best skills and recipes to turn your kitchen into a plant-based haven. There are too many classes to list them all, but the most popular are: Vegan Easy Christmas Class, Vegan Bottomless Brunch Class, Vegan Indian Cooking Class, Vegan Bao Class and Vegan Spanish Tapas Class. None of them even have the potential to disappoint!

Contact: 020 8874 7623

Address: 3 Enterprise Way, London SW18 1FZ

4. Spice Monkey

Last, but certainly not least, is Spice Monkey cookery school. Dedicated to Indian cuisine, you can be sure to learn all the best practices about a plant-based Indian meal. People often find themselves so familiar with the lamb vindaloo and chicken tikka served in most Western-Indian eateries that they forget that a large majority of Indian cuisine is already vegetarian. It is all about the correct spices and flavours, which Spice Monkey are experts of.

The step from vegetarian to vegan is not a difficult one when you know what you are doing, and Spice Monkey make sure of that before you leave their Simply Vegan class. The course puts focus on how you can make delicious, nutritious, protein dense meals without using meat or dairy, as well as helping you achieve the dreamiest dahl recipe. A special feature of Spice Monkey is that it has the option of private lessons, meaning it can be tailored to your diet and requirements. 

Contact: 07956 468541

Address: 191 Victoria Rd, London N22 7XH

Food events in London go deeper than just food festivals or restaurants – courses such as these show that food events and experiences come in all shapes and sizes. Yes, these courses are extremely helpful for vegans looking to recreate some of their favourite dishes as well as learn how to make plant-focused meals, but it is also useful for those just looking to vary their diet, or make sure they are always able to cater for vegan guests. It is a course for everyone, that benefits everyone – especially the people you are cooking for!

The Best Sushi Cooking Class in London

One of the most popular elements of Japanese food is sushi, with sushi restaurants and conveyor belts on almost every high street in London. Though it may seem simple given its few ingredients, the process of making sushi is more complex than its small and bite-sized aesthetic lets on. Getting the seasoning of the notoriously sticky rice just right, selecting the best possible quality of fish and rolling it so that nothing drops out are just some of the tricks of the trade that you will learn about, transforming you into a food host in London.

1. School of Wok

School of Wok is the go-to for Asian cooking classes in London. It covers everything from Thai curries to Chinese wontons, from ramen to sushi. The sushi-making class on offer is three hours long, and will make you realise that you can never buy supermarket sushi again now that you know how easy it is to make it perfectly from your home!

The class, run by experts in the sushi-making field – and therefore a joy to watch in action – will focus on two major things: the sushi’s shape and its seasoning. The shape may not seem that critical, but it is the make-or-break of most pieces of sushi. You can’t have your maki unrolling in your soy sauce container, nor do you want the contents of your hand roll seeping from the bottom as soon as you take a bite. Rolling, using the sushi mat and all these elements are covered, and the hands-on approach of the teachers means that even if you are struggling, you will eventually come right. The seasoning is the next feature and this is very important. If your rice isn’t seasoned with the right balance of vinegar, you end up with a bland and boring filling to your sushi.

Contact: 020 7240 8818

Address: 61 Chandos Pl, Covent Garden, London WC2N 4HG

2. Atsuko’s Kitchen

Japanese cooking made simple is how Atsuko’s Kitchen describes itself, and it is exactly what you get. Though they flourish in all-things-Japanese-cooking, as it is their only focus, their sushi-making classes are world-class. They offer two major sushi classes and both are worth your consideration, as they will both transform you into the perfect food host in London.

The first is the regular sushi-making class. The second is their vegetarian class. While the latter is less traditional, it is a great way to learn how to adapt a well-loved technique into something you too can enjoy, if you are not a fish-eater. Both courses include the basics in rice seasoning and rolling, as well as delving into the slightly more complex elements such as knife skills and sourcing sustainable fish locally. This may be in Shoreditch, but you will feel transported to the streets of Tokyo.

Contact: 07921 397792

Address: 35 Charlotte Rd, Shoreditch, London EC2A 3PB

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3. Sozai Cooking School

Naturally, all Japanese cooking schools will offer a sushi-making course, or incorporate it in one of the courses. In fact, most non-Japanese cooking schools will offer courses too – the food is that popular and the mystery behind making it that shrouded. Sozai, however, take their sushi classes to the next level, cranking things up a notch in terms of the teaching of technique.

There general courses are all available and excellent. But they offer a special class called Fish to Sushi, which is entirely dedicated to knife skills and taking a freshly bought fish from a market and transforming it into filleted chunklets, ready to be rolled into a salmon california roll. For Sozai, the process in its entirety is as important as the end bits, or the seasoning. If you want to own the creation from start to finish, then this class is unmissable.

Contact: 020 7458 4567

Address: 5 Middlesex St, Spitalfields, London E1 7AA

4. Cookery School at Little Portland Street

Cookery School at Little Portland Street is a prime example of a Western, non-specific cookery school that offers a sushi course – because, well, why not? It is delicious. But it would be unfair to say that they are not masters of this class. The number of class variety in no way detracts from their specialist approach, and their sushi class is a high contender with any of the others with a heavier Japanese focus.

A great feature of this course is that the teachers will give you a bit of a briefing about what you need in your home kitchen to make sushi-making a possibility. Not many people have a cupboard stocked with sushi rice, rolling mats and seaweed. But the course will have more tools than you can imagine, all included in the price. So, they will show you which of the equipment is mandatory, and where you can go without. They will offer tips on how to recreate techniques as well as give you a list of all the stock ingredients you need to have in your cupboard. From start to finish, you are involved and active in this course and will hopefully take a mad sprint home in order to get cracking on the next batch.

Contact: 020 7631 4590

Address: 15 Little Portland St, Marylebone, London W1W 8BW

5. London Cookery School

London Cookery School keep things simple – they do a couple of things, and they do them brilliantly. One of those things is a sushi-making class to blow your socks off. Even though the course is described as a beginners course, you leave having made as many as five different types of sushi in a mere three hours! Your beginner status doesn’t stick for long, in other words.

You leave not only with all the sushi you made over the three hours – and the platter is large and plentiful, be assured – but also with the skills to see you through a lifetime of sushi-making. Your homemade canapé selection will be transformed forever! The real focus for the chefs at London Cookery School is to say yes, it is true that the people you see making sushi in restaurants have decades of experience and mesmerizingly swift and speedy knife skills. However, that does not make it unachievable for your everyday home-chef – it just requires a clear mind and a different approach.

Contact: 07756 289779

Address: 296 Holloway Rd, London N7 6NJ

Food host in London with the most incoming on your part – your friends will have you rolling sushi for them every day once they hear how you have mastered it! Forget what you thought you knew about sushi-making’s difficulty – it can be really easy with the right guidance, and these courses have it sussed.