UK Culinary Tour: London, Edinburgh, Glasgow

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Total Trip:

9 Days
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Countries Visited:

England, Scotland
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Places Visited:

London, Edinburgh, Stirling, Glasgow
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Departure Dates:

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.
The United Kingdom has shed its culinary past for a rich and celebrated present. Modern chefs have taken inspiration from around the world, incorporating international elements to intensify familiar flavors along the British Isles. On this custom tailored UK culinary tour through London, Edinburgh and Glasgow you will indulge in dining; discovering the exceptional newness of tradition, celebrated by the international cooking community but somewhat hidden behind the blanket of a distinct past.

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Customizable Itinerary

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Day 1

Modern Union Jack

Arrive in London, a city positioned at the center of the world for centuries and moving forward in culinary tradition with decadent inventiveness. Your private transfer is at the airport waiting for you, and soon you are comfortably at your hotel in the heart of London. Big Ben sounds on the hour with a resounding peel. The Elizabeth Tower, also known as the Clock Tower, rises over Parliament on the River Thames and dates back to the 19th century. The Neo-Gothic design stands 315 feet tall.

The food scene around the city has burgeoned, moving away from the famous meat pies and licorice candies, on to something more refined, while simultaneously based upon British tradition. The city maintains a particular, unequaled energy. The streets bustle with people at all hours of the day. The streets wind around almost 2,000 years of history, from when the city was first founded in the 1st century. Smithfield Market is one of the largest and oldest meat markets in Europe dating back to the 12th century.

The pavilion opens up to the cityscape, decorated with colorful storefronts, and the occasional iconic red phone booth. In the evening, you can visit Dairy, a contemporary bistro in Clapham whose menu changes monthly. Workshop light fixtures and craft English beers add to the rustic décor. Using only seasonal ingredients the kitchen creates delicate, yet bold dishes, including a stunning pistachio and rapeseed cake, zested with orange and lime, accompanied by a ricotta and Sambuca ice-cream.

What's Included:

included

Transfer

included

Accommodation

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Day 2

All About Flavor

London is a city always on the move, before sun-up to well after sundown. Start your day with a fabulous breakfast that can range from the striking tastes of a Full English, complete with sizzling bacon, ham steak, beans, and a fried egg, or a traditional, English scone with jam. The aroma of freshly brewed black tea drifts from your steaming mug. Your guide meets you at the hotel ready to take you through the sensational historic streets of London. More contemporary history will take you into the fascinating world of Winston Churchill’s War Rooms.

The perfectly preserved nerve center is home to where the Prime Minister gave his famous wartime speeches. The room is small, fitted like a cubicle. Phones line the inner walls. The walls are covered with maps depicting Europe and the world. The simple and confined space offers the imperiled ambiance of the times. In the evening, you make your way to the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park. The hotel houses the premier gourmet destination of Heston Blumenthal’s restaurant, Dinner. The food was inspired by Britain’s past, using familiar techniques and ingredients to create mouthwatering new flavors. Indulge in the roast turbot seasoned with mussel and seaweed ketchup.  The unique combinations of the chefs have reaped nothing but successful cuisine.

What's Included:

included

Tour

included

Accommodation

included

Breakfast, Dinner

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Day 3

Tasteful Day

Wake up to a day filled with flavor. Your breakfast choices are not the only sumptuous detail to the day. Spend the morning enjoying the historic lengths of Britain’s heritage, from the Celts to the Romans to the entire empire situated in the British Museum. The marble tiles shine in the natural light flooding in from the glass dome. Museum enthusiasts and schoolchildren, backpackers and parents come together in awe over the extensive display of artifacts. Egyptian mummies are cozy in their sarcophagi. Glossy antique armor stands guard over certain halls. The empire spanned the entire globe, giving weight to the saying, “The sun never sets on the British Empire.”

In the early afternoon, you make your way to Claridge’s for tea. The restaurant has been conferred an Award for Excellence five times. The interior is decorated with an Art Deco theme and has been affectionately called an extension of Buckingham Palace. A glass chandelier hangs in the lobby while a harpist plays an elegant array of music. Choose from 40 different tea blends and indulge in both sweet and savory finger foods, including homemade raisin apple scones. The herbaceous and fruity tea blends fill the flowered dining room with sensual aromas. The tranquil space is inherently British with a modern twist.

What's Included:

included

Tour

included

Accommodation

included

Breakfast, Dinner

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Day 4

Turning Your Attention North

The city once again moves with a fast-paced fluidity. The London Eye winds up and down alongside the River Thames. After breakfast, your private transfer brings you to the airport for your easy flight to Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland. You soon settle into the city center in your comfortable accommodation near Old Town. The differences between Edinburgh and London are immediately apparent. The history is much more visible in every step along the Royal Mile. The cobblestone street connects Edinburgh Castle to Holyrood Palace, reaching over a mile by 321 feet. Your guide joins you at the hotel and takes you on a tremendous tour of the cityscape.

Charming edifices have become historic landmarks, housing antique kilt makers and inns, situated in buildings between six and 15-stories tall. Outlook Tower, now known as Camera Obscura, is an exhibition observatory that dates back to the mid 19th century. The tower is filled with six floors of exhibitions, all of them hands-on and open to the public. Lights bounce off the walls and create the illusion of movement. After your tour, you can dine in style at The Gardener’s Cottage. An incredible charm fills the interior and accompanies the savory seasonal cuisine. The 19th-century cottage creates a distinct feel the moment you arrive, combining decadent ideas with down-to-earth comfort.

What's Included:

included

Tour

included

Accommodation

included

Breakfast, Dinner

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Day 5

Castle Grounds

An early morning mist dissipates leaving the cobbled streets slick and clean. Enjoy the savory indulgences of a full Scottish Breakfast before your guide meets you at the hotel. Crowds of people visit the farmers market located at the Castle Terrace. The 11th-century castle overlooks the marketplace from atop Castle Rock. Blue and white striped tents shade the vendors. The aroma of country fresh breads, cheeses, and meats swirls around the square. You continue southbound to the Scottish Borders, home to a millennium of tumultuous history with the English, but also an incredible architecture. Lush greenery and blossoming flowers encircle Sir Walter Scott’s estate.

Floors Castle rises out of trees with proud strength. Melrose Abbey maintains its red sandstone structure, constructed in the 12th century. The exterior provides an impressive look into the power and grace of the antique walls. Glass no longer fills with windows and instead leave open archways where the sun shines elegantly through. The ornate stonework creates an ethereal connection to the old abbey. A fountain has an etching of a pig playing the bagpipe. When you return to Edinburgh you make your way to the Castle Terrace restaurant, bearer of a Michelin Star and an outstanding Surprise Tasting Menu.

What's Included:

included

Tour

included

Accommodation

included

Breakfast, Dinner

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Day 6

A Touch of Smoke and Water

The majesty of the Scottish countryside has captivated poets and writers for centuries. The lush grasslands and hills spread into the foothills and tower into the tallest mountains in the British Isles. After breakfast, your guide whisks you out of the city for the day and into the province of Stirling, home to the stunning Stirling Castle and gorgeous Loch Lomond. Loch Lomond is Scotland’s largest lake, encompassing an area of 27 square miles and a maximum depth of 620 feet. A paddle steamer sets out on a lake cruise, floating along at around six-miles per hour. The calm pace causes small ripples in the water. Small boats contain fishermen casting their lines in the distance.

The air is sweet and warm. The vibrant trees rustle in the breeze. Your day continues at Glengoyne Distillery, a scotch producer situated in what resembles a small village set amongst the trees. The buildings are opulent white with dark gray sloping roofs. The Stillhouse is the first large building on the let where workers mash, ferment, and distill the malted barley in copper. You follow your guide through grounds before arriving at the celebrated tasting room. The unfettered stream passes through the back of the distillery. The honey colored liquid has a scent of ripe banana and a slightly peppery flavor.

What's Included:

included

Tour

included

Accommodation

included

Breakfast, Dinner

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Day 7

Taste of City Living

Glasgow is Scotland’s largest city, where the Victorian architecture hides the contemporary shops and nightlight. After breakfast, your private transfer escorts you to Glasgow. You meet your guide at the hotel and wander through the remarkable mixture of rugged centuries old factory facades and vibrant, jovial boutique stores and cafes. Argyle Street runs almost three miles long and is the longest street in the city. The checkered stone walkway guides you along windowed storefronts. Flower-stands line the center of the walkway and fill the air with blossoming sweetness.  The River Clyde winds perpendicular to Argyle Street, passing the train station. The Mackintosh House is an architectural gem.

The early 20th -century construction was modeled to allow all the natural light possible to flow into the interior. The austere décor shows an elegant use of space and remained distinct in the hearts of Glaswegians. The pubs brim after work when locals crowd through the doors to wind down after a day at the office. You make your way to the celebrated Ubiquitous Chip. The interior looks like a garden terrace, decorated with dangling fairy lights, a sloped glass ceiling, and elegant vines. The bohemian ambiance accompanies the fine-dining-style cuisine. The plates are pristine, each ingredient creating a picturesque dish. It looks like you are having an art piece for dinner. It tastes even better.

What's Included:

included

Tour

included

Transfer

included

Accommodation

included

Breakfast, Dinner

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Day 8

Inside the Traditional Kitchen

The morning along the riverfront is energetic. People roam alongside the banks, lingering in cafes, sipping herbaceous fresh brewed tea. The industrial history of the city is apparent in the hard working locals, moving fluidly through the cityscape to and from work, paying homage to the adage, “work hard, play hard.” Today you make your way into the kitchen to work hard at learning traditional Scottish dishes with modern twists to accommodate evolving tastes and preferred flavors. You meet your private guide and ready yourself for the close attention.

Your private chef/guide takes you through the necessary steps, blending demonstration with action. You learn about the infamous Scottish sweet tooth as your chef begins to shape and roll out dough. You follow her lead and soon the kitchen is filled with the aroma of baking crust and caramelized sugar enveloping rhubarb and apples. When the meal is complete, the chef urges you to dive into the dishes you all created, tasting the subtle flavors beneath the bold look of your appetizer, main course, and of course, dessert.

What's Included:

included

Tour

included

Accommodation

included

Breakfast, Lunch

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Day 9

Morning Flavor

You wake up with the thoughts of the previous day's lunch still roaming around your head. Freshly baked scones at breakfast replace the mouthwatering aroma of an apple and rhubarb tart. You pull apart the warm, buttery scone and watch steam rise from the center. Butter and jam blend together as you smear one and then the other across the crumbly textured surface. Breakfast is a simple but delightful affair, a moment before the bustle of the day begins. Fragrant tea accompanies the meal and adds a touch of familiar comfort to the morning. Your private transfer meets you at the hotel. Soon you will make your way to the airport and board your flight home. For now you can indulge in breakfast, remembering all the eclectic flavors your have experienced.

For further vacation planning assistance, visit the tour of Europe page.

What's Included:

included

Transfer

included

Breakfast

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Trip Highlights

  • Explore three of the most iconic cities in the British Isles, each enchanting with modern luxuries hidden behind old-world charisma
  • Indulge in the modern twist on England’s traditional dishes at award winning DINNER by Heston Blumenthal
  • Discover London, where foods from around the world are emblematic of England’s past empire and contemporary internationalism
  • Eat finger sandwiches and fresh baked scones during a uniquely British Afternoon Tea at an award winning tea house
  • Sample a collection of distinct scotch at a famous distillery to taste the elegant combination of flavors
  • Delight in Scotland’s exceptional and newly recognized culinary mastery in restaurants that boast rustic ambiance and essences of fine dining 
  • Experience a half-day cooking course in Glasgow for first-hand knowledge of traditional dishes modernized by skillful and imaginative chefs  
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Detailed Description

Britain has not long been known for its culinary contributions to the world, however in recent years the restaurant world has erupted with celebration over the skilled and imaginative styles and flavors emanating from the United Kingdom. Your 9-day culinary tour of the UK takes you through the wonders of London, Edinburgh, and Glasgow to witness both the marvelous pasts of both England and Scotland, along with the enlightening culinary present. Relax in the pleasantries of dinner with a view over the whole of London. Feel the awe of dining in the shadow of an 11th-century castle. Traverse country roads and lavish art galleries to find bohemian ambiance with fine feasting. You will find an abundance of flavor in unforgettable Britain.

Your tour begins in London, where the international flair is alive and well, known for its global reach and desirable history. Your guide meets you at the hotel, readying you for a tour of the energetic streets. The iconic images of England practically overrun London, from Buckingham Palace to London Tower Bridge. The aroma of hoppy beer meets fresh, steaming pastries. Indian restaurants stand next to wood-oven pizzerias. You venture to Hyde Park to taste the celebrated dishes at Heston Blumenthal’s restaurant, DINNER.

Spend the early half of the day exploring London at your leisure before afternoon tea. An award-winning tea house near Hyde Park enriches the experience with traditional décor and modernized cuisine. For dinner, you head to the Financial District and venture to the 40th floor of Heron Tower for your meal and a view of London lit beneath the night sky. Your private transfer escorts you to the airport for your flight to Edinburgh for your Scotland tour. You quickly settle into the historic city and make your way along its streets on a private guided tour.

The marketplace is most energetic in the mornings but maintains a steady flow of passersby throughout the day. The following day you will venture south to tour Scotland’s southern borders before enjoying a meal at the elegant establishment, The Castle Terrace. You make your way north of the city to cruise along Scotland’s largest lake, Loch Lomond. Your tour of the local distillery finishes with a sampling of a fine collection of scotch.

Transfer to Glasgow where your private guide awaits to take you through the remarkable city, making a name for itself beyond its manufacturing past. Dine at the Ubiquitous Chip for a charming evening in bohemian ambiance. A half-day cooking course takes you on a journey of Scotland’s cuisine - beyond the preconception of food and heritage around the country. After breakfast, your private transfer meets you at the hotel and takes you to the airport for your flight home.

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Starting Price

$2920 per person (excluding international flights)

This trip is customizable for your private travel.
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What's Included

  • Accommodations
  • In-country transportation
  • Some or all guided tours and activities (dependent on season)
  • Expert trip planning
  • 24x7 support during your trip
The starting price is based on travel during the low season for a minimum of two travelers staying in shared 3-star accommodations. Please inquire for a custom trip quote based on your travel preferences and travel dates.

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