As part of my grand plan to practice what I preach this year and seek out interesting, challenging experiences close to home, I came up with what I hope will be a fruitful little project. I love travelling for many reasons. And I suspect that many of the kicks I get out of travel can be fulfilled without actually needing to travel to the other side of the planet.
London is an international city; one of the world’s vital hubs. So is it possible to travel round the world without even crossing the M25? This then is going to be a journey round the world foods of London. I’m going to eat in one restaurant from a nation representing each letter of the alphabet. An A to Z of world food.
And who better to team up with for this project than the one and only Hungry Cyclist? Tom Kevill- Davies, aka The Hungry Cyclist, loves nothing more than travel and eating. As a food explorer, journalist, author and occasional photographer, Tom spends as much time as he can cycling in far-flung places seeking out the most delicious and interesting food he can find. His pedal-powered quests have taken him up the Mekong River, through the Americas and around Taiwan, but Tom can’t wait to get his teeth into London’s world of food.
Eating, drinking and socializing are such vital, distinctive parts of every culture, and integral parts of all great travel experiences. This A to Z is partly about sourcing superb, surprising food, partly about vicarious travel thrills (of nostalgia and of trips still to be done), and partly about the rich stew of stories we will hear from all the people we meet on our journey.
It is an open, fluid project: the nation and the restaurant for the next letter will be chosen only at the last minute (though Qatar can probably be fairly confident about being picked).
We want to try to cover the world of London as widely as possible. We are looking for countries from right across the world and restaurants all over London. But apart from that we will be driven mostly by whims, spontaneous hankerings, and mysterious tip-offs from exotic strangers. In other words it will be exactly like the best kind of far-flung adventures. Except that our world of food, and our A to Z of nations, will all be neatly corralled within the confines of the M25.
I will share each meal, each country, each letter on this website. If you would like to suggest a restaurant or a country please get in touch. We want to share each meal with different people who have been to the countries we choose, so keep an eye on Twitter for the next letter/meal/country.
First up is A. A for Afghanistan. I can’t wait!