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When you think of Parisian food, you probably imagine a crusty baguette in the basket of a bicycle, a market-stall heaving with artisanal cheeses, a plate of escargot with melted butter and garlic or a display of dainty pastel macarons in the window of a boulangerie.

But do you ever think of couscous?

Yes, couscous is a traditional Maghrebi dish – but it’s also one of the most widely consumed foods in France and an essential part of Parisian cuisine. Most neighborhood bistros will feature a couscous dish on their menu.

What is Couscous?

So, what actually is couscous? It’s a pretty simple dish made with granules of semolina flour, meat (or fish) vegetables and spices. When steamed, the grain expands and becomes fluffy – with a texture similar to rice.

A meat couscous dish might be served with chicken, lamb or beef as well as a vegetable broth. It will be spiced with saffron, ginger, coriander and cinnamon – the aromas blended together and simmered for several hours to create a warm and comforting dish.

The longer the broth simmers, the more the root vegetables (turnips, carrots, sweet potatoes, parsnips) soak up the rich, meaty juices. Broiled until they are almost soft enough to be pureed, these vegetables add wonderful texture to this complex dish.

The process of making couscous is often communal and celebratory – it brings everyone together. The grains are steamed over simmering broth or water and they are fluffed by hand – a total of three times. This allows the couscous to absorb the moisture yet still remain plump, soft, fragrant and tender.

Or, if you order the Couscous Royale you’ll get the ultimate dish – lavished with lamb, chicken, merguez sausage, meatballs, chickpeas and more.

The History of Couscous in Paris

Expats from the Maghreb (French-influenced Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria) are the largest immigrant group in France. They began to arrive in the 1950s and settled in Paris as the French colonial era came to an end.

Many Moroccan immigrants have started restaurants throughout Paris, including quite upscale places with high-end clientele. For example, Fatima Hal is a chef and cookbook writer and is known as the “Grand Dame” of Moroccan cuisine in Paris. She created the legendary restaurant Mansouria in 1984, proudly carrying on a tradition that was handed down from mother to daughter. (Check out this fascinating profile of her in Time Magazine.)

Couscous isn’t just offered in fancy, upscale Moroccan restaurants. It is served up for all budgets – there are student restaurants with simple, cheap versions of the dish as well as more luxurious recipes in the fancy restaurants.

Even before the Maghrebi people made their way to France in large numbers, the French have always had a love for couscous. It was written about as far back as 1542, described by Francois Rabelais as ‘coscosson.’ In his novel “Gargantua”, he wrote about banquet tables heaped with meats, soups and vegetables of all kinds – accompanied by bowls filled with couscous. He described the couscous as being served with a “reinforcement of soups” as well as tongues of smoked beef. He also mentions that it is part of a “pot pourry” which refers to a mixture of meats cooked with vegetables.

(image in the public domain)

After, so much of any culture around the world is defined by the immigrants who settled there and the culinary traditions that have been imported from different lands. This is certainly true in Paris and the warm, richly-flavoured couscous dishes served up in the French capital are as much a part of the food scene as any buttery croissant.

On our NEW food tour in Paris, you’ll dine on fluffy couscous at a traditional Algerian restaurant. Join us for the chance to sample this delicious Parisian dish and taste authentic French culinary history.

The post Moroccan Couscous is One of The Most Parisian Dishes You Can Eat appeared first on Eating Europe.

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Looking for a proper cup of speciality coffee in Amsterdam? If you ask people for a “coffee shop” recommendation they might think you’re using a code word. To avoid drinking foul-tasting java in a place that reeks of weed, here’s a list of a few coffee bars and roasters where you’ll be guaranteed a stellar cup of coffee.

Lot Sixty One is a coffee lover’s paradise (Photo Credit: Lot Sixty One Facebook) Lot Sixty One

Lot Sixty One is a coffee lover’s paradise located in Amsterdam West. This coffee roastery prides itself on quality, consistency and efficiency and coffee enthusiasts just rave about the place. The cooly yet cosy coffee bar has subway tiled walls and warm wooden accents, but the main focus is of course on the baristas delivering world class joe.

Address: Kinkerstraat 112, 1053 ED Amsterdam

Coffee Bru specializes in a variety of outstanding coffee drinks which it has won awards for. (Photo credit: Coffee Bru Facebook) Coffee Bru

Amsterdam Oost’s first specialty coffee shop, Coffee Bru specializes in a variety of outstanding coffee drinks for which it has won awards, as well as its own range of speciality teas and light fare. Its dog-friendly interior is both rustic and arty, while its cool vibe attracts an eclectic clientele. It has a few vegan items on the menu and you can always grab a seat outside on the sidewalk during summer if it gets a bit busy.

Address: Beukenplein 14, 1092 Amsterdam

Have some freshly-baked goods with your coffee at Rum Baba. (Photo credit: Rum Baba Facebook) Rum Baba Coffee Roasters & Bakery

If you’re searching for a laid-back atmosphere and freshly-baked goods to go along with your delicious caffeine hit, then you’ve come to the right place. The sister cafe of Coffee Bru, Rum Baba is a small roastery dedicated to selecting the right beans and brewing methods to satisfy the most demanding of coffee connoisseurs! The staff are friendly and they also have a curated list of imported speciality teas. What more could you ask for?

Address: Pretoriusstraat 33, 1092 EX Amsterdam

KOKO’s is a design-focused coffee bar in the red light district. (Photo Credit: KOKO’s Facebook) KOKO’s Coffee & Design

This design-focused coffee bar in the red light district sells a range of covetable Scandinavian and Dutch clothing and serves up killer coffee! Owners Karlijn and Caroline shared a love of both fashion and specialty coffee so decided to combine their passions. Their beans are roasted with love and care by the local roastery and coffee shop, Caffènation. If you’re in an indulgent mood after your stellar coffee, then snag some fabulous fashion as well as a bag of beans to take home.

Address: Oudezijds Achterburgwal 145, 1012 DG Amsterdam

Creatives and hipsters congregate at The Coffee Virus (Photo credit: The Coffee Virus Facebook) The Coffee Virus

The Coffee Virus is a hidden gem in an up-and-coming neighbourhood. Creatives and hipsters congregate in this cosy spot which boasts a minimal design aesthetic, graphic artworks and most importantly, expertly-brewed coffee. It has great filter and espresso options, an original mostly vegetarian menu, home-made cakes and friendly staff!

Address: Overhoeksplein 2, 1031 ks Amsterdam

The post Amsterdam’s Best Coffee Houses for When You Just Want a Coffee appeared first on Eating Europe.

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When visiting London you’re bound to want to seek out the very best British cuisine but there’s something else that you shouldn’t miss out on: London’s best booze. Whether you’re looking for traditional, well-known British beverages or modern interpretations of classic British tipples there are a few drinks that you just have to try if you’re visiting the U.K.. Here’s a rundown of the must-try drinks in London, and a few tips on where to enjoy them.

Enjoy some “real cider” and meet Lenny, the pub cat at an authentic English boozer on our East End Food Tour! Image ©MaxBertolini Cider

Say the words “apple cider” to an American and they’ll probably think you’re referring to a warm, non-alcoholic drink made with apple juice and spices like cinnamon and cloves. Outside the United States, however and especially in the U.K., cider usually refers to fermented apple juice which is an alcoholic beverage. On our East End Food Tour we’ll take you to an authentic English boozer where you can try a glass of the finest apple nectar the British isles have to offer! There are a number of different types of British cider or “hard cider” as Americans would call it, and you can taste some “real cider”  on the tour. What do we mean by “real cider”? Real cider is cider that contains at least 90% fresh apple juice with no added flavourings, colourings or concentrates. You can enjoy some delicious Cornish cider at The Pride of Spitalfields, a typical East End pub located on a quiet cobblestone street just off Brick Lane. It has floral carpets, black and white photos of the East End, and a piano if you want to get the party started with a sing-along. And if you’re lucky, you might get to meet Lenny the pub cat who’s more than happy to pose for photos – he has his own website, fan club, a fascinating blog, and his own Facebook and Twitter account, so he’s more than used to being the center of attention.

Address: The Pride of Spitalfields, 3 Heneage Street, London E1 5LJ

Experience a real gin & tonic on our Twilight Soho Food and Cocktail Tour! Gin & Tonic

Although it was invented by the Dutch in 1689, the Brits had a love affair with gin from the start and by 1730 around 10 million gallons of gin were being distilled in London each year and sold from 7,000 shops. It’s estimated that the average Londoner drank a staggering 14 gallons of the stuff a year! Winston Churchill once declared, “The gin and tonic has saved more Englishmen’s lives, and minds, than all the doctors in the Empire.” This is because the Gin and Tonic was actually used as an antimalarial for the British troops serving in India because quinine, which is found in tonic water, could be used to prevent and treat the disease. And since troops were already given a gin ration and the tonic tasted pretty bitter they added some sugar, lime and gin to the tonic and hey presto, the G&T was born! These days tonic is usually sweetened and contains much less quinine because it’s no longer used as an antimalarial, so it’s a lot less bitter.

The London Gin Club claims to serve one of the best Gin & Tonics in London, try one on our Twilight Soho Food and Cocktail Tour!

The London Gin Club stocks over 350 of the best premium and super premium gins available including micro-distilleries and small batch producers from around the world and claims to serve one of the best Gin & Tonics in London – and we’re certainly not disagreeing! They pride themselves on their G&T, served in a copa glass over cracked ice with a garnish individually matched to your gin of choice. On our Twilight Soho Food and Cocktail Tour their resident Gin Mixologist will guide you on a sensory adventure as you build your own gin and tonic, and taste how it changes at each step. To balance out all that alcohol, you’ll also enjoy one of their 5 different gin-infused pies!  The London Gin Club offers 9 different gin tasting menus that you can be shared between friends or 

Address: The London Gin Club, 22 Great Chapel Street, London W1F 8FR
Website: www.thelondonginclub.com

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Taste the best of Brick Lane!

Join us on our Brick Lane – Flavours of India & Beyond food tour

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Try the bespoke tea-inspired cocktails at Opium on our Twilight Soho Food and Cocktail Tour! Tea (Cocktails)

When it comes to drinks, it doesn’t get more quintessentially British than tea. The United Kingdom has been one of the world’s greatest tea consumers since the eighteenth century, and Brits drink a staggering 165 million cups every day, that’s 60.2 billion per year! Strong tea served in a mug with milk and sugar is known as builder’s tea, but it’s not uncommon to drink it black or with lemon, either with or without sugar. It is, however, uncommon to drink tea the way they serve it at a certain Tea House tucked away in Chinatown in Soho.

Soak in the atmosphere at Opium on our Twilight Soho Food and Cocktail Tour

Behind an emerald-green door and up 4 flights of stairs, you’ll find our very own Soho secret: Opium – whose incredible décor really feels like a hidden opium den. Opium specializes in a special selection of Chinese teas and bespoke tea-inspired cocktails. Its cocktails, spirits and teas have been carefully selected for their quality and balance, and its expert bartenders provide regular cocktail masterclasses for groups of 4 to 16 people which will take you on a journey through the history of cocktails from the early 18th century to present day. Try a bespoke, tea-infused cocktail served from exquisite Chinese tea pots, along with some gorgeously silky dim sum filled with everything from crab and samphire to Cantonese BBQ, on our Twilight Soho Food and Cocktail Tour!

Address: Opium, 15-16 Gerrard Street, London W1D 6JE
Website: www.opiumchinatown.com

Enjoy some real ale on the London Old Docks – Historic Pubs, Food & Beer Tour! Real Ale

You of course can’t visit London without having a proper pint of real ale! But what exactly is real ale? Technically it’s a beer which is brewed from traditional ingredients, is unfiltered, unpasteurised and finishes maturing in the cellar of the pub rather than at the brewery and is served with only natural carbonation. The Brits have been brewing beer for hundreds of years and every conceivable style from India Pale Ale to bitter has been brewed in London. These days the rise of microbreweries and the craft beer revolution that has come along with it is forcing traditional brewers to change decades of tradition as they compete for space at the bar.

On the London Old Docks – Historic Pubs, Food & Beer Tour you can enjoy some of the U.K.’s best brews from traditional ales, craft ales and ciders only found on this side of the Atlantic. You’ll visit the oldest pub on the River Thames, The Mayflower – its name comes from the fact that the pub sits in front of the original mooring spot of The Mayflower ship that transported the Pilgrims to the New World in 1620. On the London Old Docks – Historic Pubs, Food & Beer Tour you’ll enjoy a half pint of The Mayflower pub’s very own Scurvy Ale along with a classic British dish: bangers ‘n’ mash! It’s hard to find a pub that’s more character-packed than this gem which has barely changed since it was built in 1550. On entering you’re met with oak beams, wooden pews, an open fire, a range of seafaring memorabilia, and to top it off there’s a wooden deck at the back with one of London’s best view of the Thames.

Address: The Mayflower, 117 Rotherhithe Street , London  SE16 4NF
Website: www.mayflowerpub.co.uk

Let Us Take You on Tour of London’s Historic Pubs

There’s no arguing with this atmospheric tavern’s charms. Not only is The Mayflower one of London’s best pubs, it’s packed with a unique history which you can learn about as you tuck into some of the finest British cuisine in London on the London Old Docks – Historic Pubs, Food & Beer Tour! As well as visiting the Mayflower you’ll explore the old stomping grounds of smugglers, pirates, and some of the world’s most famous writers and artists, as you eat and drink your way along the River Thames!

The post Must-Try Drinks in London! appeared first on Eating Europe.

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There are many different signs that summer is coming to an end in Europe: the leaves turn brown and begin to fall from the trees, it gets darker earlier in the day, and most importantly we start serving the craft beer – Bokbier, on our Amsterdam Food and Canals tour! Craft beer in Holland is serious business, so much so that there are more breweries here than in Belgium.

Our friends Joost and Sophie, the owners of De Kaaskamer van Amsterdam, helping us to pair the Bokbier and cheeses we serve on our Jordaan Food and Canals Tour throughout Autumn. What is Bokbier?

“What is this Bokbier?” I hear you cry, hang on a second and I will reveal all.

‘Bock’ beer is a strong lager of German origin, and Bokbier is the Dutch version. It’s a maltier, ruby-red colored, slightly hoppier version of regular lager brewed especially for the autumn and winter seasons. Most of the larger Dutch breweries, like Heineken and Grolsch produce a Bokbier, but we like to concentrate on the smaller, craft beer brewers. Today there are over 50 on the market in the Netherlands.

Some say the origin of the beer’s name goes a little like this: It was originally brewed in the German town of Einbeck during the fourteenth century, and was so popular it moved around the country but that due to subtle language differences and pronunciations between the north and south of the country, ‘Einbeck’ was heard as “ein bock” by Bavarians, which means “billy goat” in German. This is why you’ll often see goats on the labels of this beer to this day!

Amsterdam’s Bokbier Festival

We sent our wonderful tour guide, Aileen, to the 40th annual Bokbier Festival in Amsterdam to try some out for us! Here’s a run down of some her favourite beers brewed by independent breweries.

Brewery: Walhalla

Beer: Imperial Rye Bock 8,5%
This young microbrewery claims to make the favorite beers of the Gods! Brewer, Aart van Bergen started brewing beer in his own house, but was so successful that he scaled up to satisfy the needs of the beer lovers of Amsterdam. The American craft beer revolution, fantasy films, comic books and games are his inspirations so they’ve been incorporated into the company logo.

Taste: The Imperial Rye Bock is a dark double bock with 8.5% alcohol, made with a large dose of rye and chocolate roasted malt. It is an intense, full-bodied beer with a spicy aroma and toffee, coffee and dark berry flavors. 

Wahalla’s seasonal bock beer. (Photo Credit: Wahalla)
Brewery: Oldskool

Beer: Go B*ck Yourself 8.2%
The brewery opened in 2012 and although it only began making bock beer in 2015 it won second place in the Special Bock category that year! The brewing style combines classic German and British methods but adds a modern twist.

Taste: Go B*ck Yourself is a Weisse Doppelbock made with 100% Weyermann malt, Schneider yeast and Chinook hop. The beer -which is lower in acidity so not too bitter – is full-bodied with caramel flavor and has a smooth finish. Delicious and very easy to drink.

Brewery: Poesiat & Kater

Beer: Van Vollenhove Bokbier 6.5%
The beers are brewed in a 19th-century building with a high ceiling and large windows. They recreate historic Van Vollenhove beers from the last century as well as making their own modern brews. The Van Vollenhove bock beer is brewed with 6 different kinds of malt.

Taste: Good sweet and bitter balance, caramel flavor, surprisingly light and easy to drink, a really wonderful thirst quencher!

Zeeburg won “Best Doublebock” at the festival this year! (Photo credit: Zeeburg) Brewery: Zeeburg

Beer: Zeeburg Dubbelbock 8,2%
This wonderful bock beer is brewed according to German tradition and won the “Best Doublebock” at the festival this year.

Taste: 
Brewer Robert van Lil describes his beer as full bodied and creamy with a taste of caramel, malt and a light smokiness. Velvety yet refreshing, a total delight!

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Planning your trip to Amsterdam? Explore the city’s culture, history, food and beer by taking our food and canals tour or our walking-only food tour in the stunning Jordaan neighborhood!

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Where to Drink Craft Beer in Amsterdam

No matter what time of year you visit Amsterdam there are plenty of fantastic places to try hundreds of varieties of locally brewed craft beer (obviously we think on our boat is the best…) but here are a few other places to enjoy a drop.

Brouwerij ‘t IJ

A modern brewery next to a windmill producing organic blonde and dark beers. They also run short tours.
Address: Funenkade 7, 1018 AL Amsterdam, Netherlands

Oedipus Brewing

12 beers on rotation in an arty, warehouse setting.
Address: Gedempt Hamerkanaal 85, 1021 KP Amsterdam, Netherlands

Craft and draft

Exposed brickwork, 40 beers on tap and over 100 bottles. What more could you want?
Address:  Overtoom 417, 1054 JR Amsterdam, Netherlands

The post Craft Beer in Amsterdam – The Best Beers from the Bokbier festival! appeared first on Eating Europe.

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When visiting Prague you’re bound to want to seek out the very best Czech cuisine. Whether you’re looking for traditional Czech food or modern interpretations of original Czech recipes there are a few dishes that you should not miss out on. If you’re unfamiliar with Czech cuisine, here’s a rundown of the must-try foods in Prague, and a few tips on where to eat them.

Try the gourmet open-faced sandwiches at Sisters on our Prague Food Tour Open-Faced Sandwiches

Founded by a famous Czech food journalist and Czech culinary hero, Hana Michopulu, Sisters serves up the tastiest chlebíčky  or open-faced sandwiches in Prague.  Although you’ll find the traditional topping combination of potato salad and ham all over the city, Michopulu’s bistro – which is considered one of the hottest new entrants to the Prague food scene – gives the sandwich a modern, gourmet twist. Try three of our favorites stacked with fresh local ingredients on our Prague Food Tour

Try the sausage at Prague’s best butchers on our Prague Food Tour Sausages

As well as being the perfect accompaniment to beer, sausages make for a satisfying on-the-go snack and hearty breakfast – so who can blame the Czechs for loving them so much! For the best wieners in Prague, we go to the Naše Maso butcher shop and bistro. Known as Prague’s best butcher shop, Naše Maso translates to “our meat”. The owners pride themselves on preparing high-quality meat sourced from locally-reared animals which are raised to the highest standards. Order the trio of sausages: a classic, a beef and a debrecener (pork sausage), with a bit of mustard and freshly baked bread!

Traditional dishes like schnitzel with potato salad come highly recommended at Lokál. (Photo credit: Captain and Clark). Schnitzel with potato salad

The Viennese claim to have invented schnitzel –  tenderized meat which is breaded and fried. While the Wiener schnitzel is made from veal, the German and Czech versions are typically made from pork. The traditional Czech version of potato salad combines potatoes with carrots, hard-boiled eggs, onions, pickles, mayonnaise, mustard, and pickle brine. Tourist traps serving low-quality schnitzel and other Czech classics are dime-a-dozen in Prague’s Old Town so for quality head to Lokál Dlouhááá, a hip eatery which offers traditional Czech dishes made with fresh ingredients sourced from renowned regional suppliers.

Goulash is a traditional thick stew and Czech staple. Goulash

Another ubiquitous Czech dish, guláš or goulash is a thick stew, usually made using a cheaper cut of beef, and served with dumplings. Although the dish may have originated in Hungary, the Czech version contains more meat and fewer vegetables. Head back to Lokál Dlouhááá or try Restaurace Mlejnice which also offers traditional Czech dishes. If you fancy trying out a variety of Prague’s culinary delights in the medieval quarter, found around the foothills of Prague Castle, join our Prague Evening Food Tour

Try Perníčkův sen’s delicious gingerbread on our Prague Food Tour Gingerbread

Indulge your sweet tooth with some Czech gingerbread! Tucked away just off of Old Town Square you’ll find Perníčkův sen, an enchanting shop and bakery where delicious gingerbread is decorated right before your eyes! Owned by two sisters-in-law, Perníčkův sen is single-handedly reviving Prague’s gingerbread tradition. A firm favorite on our Prague Food Tour, the bakery’s gingerbread is made to an authentic recipe, they also serve up some of the tastiest poppy seed kolache in town!

Steak tartare at Naše Maso which you can visit on our Prague Food Tour. (Photo credit: Travel Yourself) Beef Steak Tartare

A lot of people initially fear beef steak tartare until they try it. One of the most popular foods served in Czech pubs as well as restaurants, the dish consists of raw meat, condiments and egg and is usually eaten with fried bread. At Cestr the meat from dry-aged Czech spotted cows is mixed with onions, fried capers, oil and cream and served with a quail egg and lightly toasted bread. Watch butchers create the steak tartare from scratch from behind a glass wall at Naše Maso, the best butcher shop and bistro in town. You can visit Naše Maso on our Prague Food Tour!

The post 6 Must-Try Czech Foods in Prague appeared first on Eating Europe.

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With Thanksgiving coming up, what better time to delve into an iconic story from American history! You may know that the Mayflower is the ship that transported the Pilgrims to the New World in 1620, but did you know that you can visit its original mooring spot on the London Old Docks – Historic Pubs, Food & Beer Tour!? The old London Docks area is still largely unfamiliar to the broader London population, and virtually unknown to tourists but down a narrow cobbled street in the residential Rotherhithe district you’ll find the oldest pub on the River Thames in front of the home port of its namesake – The Mayflower. If you’re unfamiliar with the story of the Mayflower’s voyage, here it is!

Visit The Mayflower pub and eat a classic British dish on the London Old Docks – Historic Pubs, Food & Beer Tour The Story of The Mayflower Voyage

65 passengers set sail on the Mayflower ship from its home port of Rotherhithe on the River Thames in July 1620. Captain Christopher Jones allegedly moored here to avoid paying taxes further down the river. The Mayflower travelled to Southampton for supplies and to rendezvous with the Speedwell but due to several issues including a devastating leak, its journey with The Mayflower was cancelled. The Mayflower took on the Speedwell’s passengers and set sail from Plymouth with 102 passengers in total and approximately 30 crew members on 6th September 1620.

Learn about American history on The Mayflower pub on the London Old Docks – Historic Pubs, Food & Beer Tour

Strong winds and rough seas forced Captain Jones to anchor at Cape Cod – much further North than the original destination of Virginia – on 11th November 1620. During the voyage the settlers created and signed “The Mayflower Compact” to establish legal order in their new homeland, this provided the basis for the government of what is now the United States.

If you’re a descendent of someone who was on the The Mayflower voyage you can sign the Mayflower Descendants Book on the London Old Docks – Historic Pubs, Food & Beer Tour Descendants of Passengers on The Mayflower Voyage

Guests who can prove a family connection to the original Pilgrims on The Mayflower 1620 voyage are invited by the pub to share their details and sign The Mayflower Descendants Book!

Tuck into bangers and mash on the London Old Docks – Historic Pubs, Food & Beer Tour! Classic British Food at The Mayflower Pub

When you enter The Mayflower you’ll step back in time. It’s hard to find a pub that’s more character-packed than this gem which has barely changed since it was built in 1550. On entering you’re met with oak beams, wooden pews, an open fire, a range of seafaring memorabilia, and to top it off there’s a wooden deck at the back with one of London’s best view of the Thames. The pub offers classic British dishes made with fresh, local ingredients as well as a great range of traditional ales, craft beers, local gins and fine wines. On our London Docks tour you’ll enjoy a classic British dish here: bangers ‘n’ mash! The “bangers” or sausages are made from pork and leek and served with mashed potato, black pudding, a red wine onion gravy and seasonal vegetables. This is accompanied by a half-pint of The Mayflower’s very own Scurvy Ale!

Visit The Mayflower pub and eat a classic British dish on the London Old Docks – Historic Pubs, Food & Beer Tour! Let Us Take You on Tour of London’s Historic Pubs

There’s no arguing with this atmospheric tavern’s charms. Not only is The Mayflower one of London’s best pubs, it’s packed with a unique history which you can learn about as you tuck into some of the finest British cuisine in London on the London Old Docks – Historic Pubs, Food & Beer Tour! As well as visiting the Mayflower you’ll explore the old stomping grounds of smugglers, pirates, and some of the world’s most famous writers and artists, as you eat and drink your way along the River Thames!

The post The Mayflower – Pilgrims & Pub Grub appeared first on Eating Europe.

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Heading to Amsterdam? I bet you’ve already made a list of all the Dutch cuisine you can’t wait to try. Chances are herring, gouda and stroopwaffle are all on that list (and for good reason – they’re all delicious!) but you might know less about the abundance of Surinamese food in Amsterdam.

What is Surinamese Food?

To answer this question, we need to take a look at its history. If you’re sitting comfortably, I shall begin.

Bordered by French Guiana to the east, Guyana to the west and Brazil to the south, the South American country of Suriname is a former Dutch colony. After the abolition of slavery in 1863, Dutch plantation owners in Suriname needed a new source of labor, so they encouraged workers from the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia) to start a new life in South America. Today 14% of the Surinamese population are Javanese – Java being the fourth largest island in Indonesia. This is the reason you’ll often see Surinamese cuisine listed alongside Indonesian.

It’s because of this colonial past, that Surinamese food is hard to define. The people are some of the most diverse in the world. Suriname is a melting pot of Indian, African, Javanese and Chinese settlers – and you’ll find all these influences in the country’s cuisine. Here’s a list of our favorite Surinamese restaurants in Amsterdam followed by a handy guide to Surinamese food so that you know what to order when you get there!

Top 5 Places to Eat Surinamese Food in Amsterdam Surinamese food from Warung Spang Makandra. (Photo credit: Foodspotting). Warung Spang Makandra

After a walk through De Pijp’s Albert Cuyp Market head here for lunch. This restaurant has been serving up quality Surinamese / Javanese food since 1978. The restaurant is small but very popular and they don’t take reservations so expect a bit of a wait if you head there on weekends. Look forward to generous portions and reasonable prices!

Address: Gerard Doustraat 39
Opening times: 
Mon-Sat: 11am-10 pm; Sun: 1pm-10pm.

Visit Swieti Sranang on both our Jordaan Food Tour and our Jordaan Food & Canals Tour! Swieti Sranang

A perfect place to grab lunch or dinner to go. The tiny hole-in-the-wall owned by Henk van de Weerd and Juliet Chang specialises in Surinamese-inspired sandwiches, snacks, roti, rice and bami/nasi specialties. You can visit Swieti Sranang on both our Jordaan Food Tour and our Jordaan Food & Canals Tour – you’ve got to try the satay!

Address: Brouwersgracht 125
Opening times: 
Mon-Fri: 12pm – 9pm; Closed Sat & Sun.

Get your fill of freshly prepared rice with meat and vegetables at Tokoman. (Photo credit:Tokoman) Tokoman

Tokoman specializes in traditional Surinamese dishes. This is where you need to head if you’re looking for a quick, tasty and fresh lunch or evening meal. They serve delicious sandwiches, as well as rice and noodles with meat or vegetables.

Address: Waterlooplein 327
Opening times: 
Mon-Sun: 11am – 7pm.

Some of the dishes at Albina. (Photo credit: Tripadvisor). Albina

Named after a town in Suriname, this simple restaurant serves up a mixture of Surinamese and Chinese food. It has friendly staff and is excellent value for money. Try the Tjauw minh (thin noodles with meat and vegetables) and the gado gado (vegetables smothered in peanut sauce). 

Address: Albert Cuypstraat 69
Opening times: 
Tue-Sun: 10:30am-10 pm; Closed Mon.

Lalla Rookh serve the best Roti dishes in town. (Photo credit: Foodspotting). Lalla Rookh

According to locals they serve the best Roti dishes in town – and you have the option of meat or vegetarian versions. Don’t miss your chance to try the traditional Surinamese soda called “Fernandes” if you stop by this popular eatery.

Address: Wijttenbachstraat 290
Opening times: 
Mon-Sun: 12pm-10pm.

A Handy Guide to Surinamese Foods Broodje Pom

Pom in a bread roll, “but what’s pom?” I hear you cry. Pom is a traditional Surinamese specialty – chicken, the root of the tayer plant and citrus baked in the oven.

Bakabana

Friend plantain with peanut sauce.

Roti kippenbout

Roti bread with chicken curry.

Bara

Think – spicy, herby doughnut. Dip in sauce or top with your favorite topping.

Moksi Meti

Roast pork and chicken served with rice.

Pindasoep

Spicy peanut soup.

Her Heri

A stew of cassava, sweet potato, plantain and salted cod.

Learn More & Try Surinamese Cuisine on our Amsterdam Food Tours

Hopefully that gives you a brief understanding of Surinamese cuisine, and what you can expect to try. You can also read more about how Surinamese cuisine is closely linked to Indonisian cuisine in Amsterdam in this article about the Top 5 Indonesian Restaurants in Amsterdam. And don’t forget, you can try some Surinamese food on both our Jordaan Food Tour and our Jordaan Food & Canals Tour!

The post Top 5 Surinamese Restaurants in Amsterdam appeared first on Eating Europe.

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Anyone who’s pulled up a barstool at a watering hole in London shouldn’t be surprised that the British capital is home to some of the best pubs in the world. To celebrate the launch of our London Old Docks – Historic Pubs, Food & Beer Tour we assembled a lineup of in-the-know bloggers to give us their two cents on which is the best pub in London. This list is includes the best of the best, from traditional British pubs to quirky, queer bars. We’ll drink to that!

Lord Wargrave has a selection of over 230 whiskies. (Photo credit: Lord Wargrave) 1 – Lord Wargrave, Marylebone Chosen by: Victoria – Fashion’s On Vacation What do you like most about this pub? 

I love this pub because it has a around 150 whiskeys from around the world behind the bar and it serves the most delicious ribs in London! Definitely get the Jacob’s ladder beef ribs, they’re incredibly meaty.

What are you drinking?

Whiskey or a Beavertown Neck Oil IPA.

2 – The Albion, Islington Chosen by: Frankie ThompsonAs the Bird flies

What do you like most about this pub? 

The main reason I like this pub is the beer garden. It’s a cosy, but spacious green space tucked away from the main drag and any traffic. During the day it’s great for families, but later on in the evening there’s a definite party atmosphere. The same goes for inside The Albion, and the food is excellent!

What are you drinking?

I’m partial to a nice Italian red with my Sunday roast, but The Albion has a fine cocktail menu and over ten different types of gin to choose form.

3 – The Glory, Dalston Chosen by: Adam GroffmanTravels of Adam

What do you like most about this pub? 

The Glory is a gay pub in East London – super quirky, bright, cheery and always a lot of fun. With regular drag shows and other fun events, there’s a social atmosphere inside and it’s easy to make friends or meet new people — a definite must visit pub for East London!

What’s your favourite drink to enjoy in this pub?

Just a cheap beer!

  The Spaniards is a traditional British pub with a cosy atmosphere. (Photo credit: The Spaniards) 4 – The Spaniards, Hampstead Heath Chosen by: Yisheyne – SMALLCRAZY

What do you like most about this pub? 

It’s near the park, has a large outdoor space and garden, good variety of beer, and feels tranquil as it is out of the city. They also have fires in winter to keep you warm. The indoor space is cosy and I love the wooden walls.

5 – Rutland Arms, Hammersmith Chosen by: Neil BarnesBackpacks and Bunkbeds

What do you like most about this pub? 

Located right on the river, so perfect for afternoon relaxing in the sunshine (on the occasion that London actually sees the sun), and/or for watching the sun go down as you enjoy an evening jar. Accessible only by foot, it has a nice selection of guest ales, and does a mean burger too. A really chilled and relaxing atmosphere inside and out.

What’s your favourite drink to enjoy in this pub?

Guest ales – whatever is on tap

If you’re in London’s Soho area, have a pint at The Ship. (Photo credit: The Ship) 6 – The Ship, Soho Chosen by: Emma CreeseAdventures of a London Kiwi

What do you like most about this pub? 

Tucked away down a Soho side street, the Ship has such a great atmosphere we can’t helping returning time and time again. Playing a great indie/rock music playlist, serving delicious Scotch Eggs and a cracking pint of Fullers to the varied and always friendly regulars, this is our favourite London pub.

What are you drinking?

A pint of London Pride.

7 – The Sun of Camberwell, Camberwell Chosen by: Lucy McGuireThe Travel Journo

What do you like most about this pub? 

The Sun of Camberwell has a cool, shabby chic vibe which I love, but the biggest draw is it serves up a delicious roast. It’s perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon and a glass of red wine with friends. After dinner, you can delve into their collection of retro board games. Buckaroo or Monopoly anyone?

What are you drinking?

Red wine.

The Duke of Cambridge is Britain’s first organic Certified pub. (Photo credit: Ents Weekly) 8 – The Duke Of Cambridge, Islington Chosen by: Ceri Jones Natural Kitchen Adventures

What do you like most about this pub?

The pub is run by Organic Food Company Riverfood, the food is outstanding, mostly sourced from Riverfood in Devon and the UK, and has such a foodie atmosphere to it. Plus its beautifully decorated inside.

What are you drinking?

Gin and tonic (same anywhere!)

9 – The Spaniards Inn, Hampstead Heath Chosen by: Turner BarrAmerican Travel Blogger

What do you like most about this pub?

The best thing about this pub is it’s dog-friendly, so you can take your dog for a walk on Hampstead Heath and then take them to the pub. In summer it’s nice to sit out in the beer garden, where they serve up a BBQ on the weekends. They also do a mean Sunday roast!

What are you drinking?

You can spice your own Bloody Marys to help kick-start your Sunday.

Ye Olde Mitre was build in 1546! (Photo credit: Ye Olde Mitre) 10 – Ye Olde Mitre, Holborn Chosen by: PaulTravMonkey

What do you like most about this pub?

If you want a proper old style pub in London, you can’t go too far wrong with a visit to the Ye Olde Mitre. It’s a real challenge to find, hidden down a narrow alley, inside there’s a cosy atmosphere, good real ales and old skool bar snacks. If the weather is good you can drink in the courtyard area outside.

What are you drinking?

Seafarers.

Visit The Mayflower on our London Old Docks – Historic Pubs, Food & Beer Tour Bonus Pub – The Mayflower, Rotherhithe Chosen by: The Eating Europe team

What do you like most about this pub? 

When you enter The Mayflower you’ll step back in time. It’s hard to find a pub that’s more character-packed than this gem which has barely changed since it was built in 1550. Look forward to oak beams, wooden pews, an open fire and a wooden deck at the back with one of London’s best view of the Thames. You can visit The Mayflower on our London Old Docks – Historic Pubs, Food & Beer Tour.

What are you drinking?

A pint of Scurvy, the pubs very own real ale.

The post London’s 10 Best Pubs – Chosen by Those in the Know! appeared first on Eating Europe.

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There aren’t many things more British than ‘the pub’. A focal point for communities, work colleagues and friends to meet and put the world to rights, but how did the pub as we know and love it, come to be?

We can start with our good friends the Romans. As their road network sprung up so did ‘tabernae’, these retail units (often at the front of domestic dwellings) sold all manner of lovely things including books, food and wine to people passing through. Fast forward to the 5th Century and the Anglo-Saxons – inspired by the ‘taberna’ idea, many established alehouses out of their homes. These soon evolved into meeting places where the public would congregate, gossip and discuss important community matters, and so the public house or ‘pub’ (as it’s more commonly known) was born!

So many pubs sprung up in such a short time that in 965 King Edgar decreed that there should be no more than one alehouse per village. In 1577 there were 14,202 alehouses, 1,631 inns and 329 taverns in England and Wales. That’s one pub for every 187 people! Today, England alone is home to 48,000 pubs.

Visit The Mayflower pub on our London Old Docks – Historic Pubs, Food & Beer Tour British pub names and signs

One of the first things you’ll notice about most pubs are their colorful signs or their interesting names. The signs date back to 1393 and King Richard II of England, who ruled that landlords must clearly indicate that ale was sold on their premises or risk being shut down. This meant that pubs were visible to inspectors who could check the quality of their ale. Little fact: William Shakespeare’s dad was an ale inspector!

The most common pub name in Britain is the ‘Red Lion’; it’s thought this is related to when James VI of Scotland became James I of England and insisted that public buildings display the ‘Lion Rampant’– the Scottish royal coat of arms. Names often relate to heraldry, coats of arms or they are a way of pledging allegiance to the King – thus ‘The Crown’ remains the second most popular pub name. Names such as Angel, Bell, Cross Keys or Lamb and Flag all remain popular and indicate the pub’s proximity to a church.

The Mayflower, which we visit on our London Old Docks – Historic Pubs, Food & Beer Tour, takes its name from the ship that started its journey from London’s docks in 1620, taking the first English pilgrims to Cape Cod, America.

Don’t wave money around or yell for attention when ordering – that’s just plain rude British pub etiquette

“Experienced native pubgoers obey the unspoken rules, but without being conscious of doing so. Regulars will mutter and grumble when an uninitiated tourist commits a breach of pub etiquette, but may well be unable to tell him exactly what rule he has broken.”
– From the Brewers and Licensed Retailers Association’s 1996 publication, Passport to the Pub

How to order beer in an English pub

As tempting as it is to pull up a chair, make yourself comfortable and wait for a waiter to take your order – you’ll end up very thirsty. Instead, get your group a table, find out what everyone wants and then head to the bar to place your order. Don’t take everyone to the bar with you – you do not want to block locals from being able to get to the bar. Wait for your turn to be served and never wave money around or yell for attention, that’s just plain rude. The only people you may see giving the server some cheeky attitude will definitely be regulars or, you know, rude people.

What to order in a pub

“What can I get you?” asks the bartender.
“A beer, please.” you respond.

Uh oh, things could go horribly wrong here. In many countries, a ‘beer’ refers to a ‘lager’ but in the U.K. ‘beer’ is an umbrella term that can include lagers, ales, stouts, pale ales, IPAs, wheat beers… you get the picture. If you like the look of one of the draft, hand-pulled ales on display most pubs will let you try a small amount before you decide to buy.

When you’ve decided on the type of beer you want you’ll be served a pint. To many non-Brits a pint can seem like a lot – it’s just over half a litre – but you can also ask for a half pint. If you’re buying wine a large glass tends to be 250ml which is a third of a bottle, then it goes down to 125ml.

If someone ‘gets a round in’ it is expected that you’ll reciprocate! British pub slang: ‘Getting a round in’

If you’re drinking with British people this is IMPORTANT! Buying a round of drinks – a drink for everyone in your party – is an unspoken social contract. If someone has ‘got a round in’ it is expected that you’ll reciprocate!

Tipping in a British pub – what’s the rule?

It’s not expected of you to tip the bartender, however, if you spot a tip jar you’re always welcome to stick a pound in.

When do British pubs close?

The sound of a bell or flashing lights means that it’s last orders, after which time you’ve got twenty minutes to finish up and they mean twenty minutes!

• • •

If that seems like a lot to navigate, one of the easiest (and most fun) ways to get to know some of London’s oldest pubs is by joining our London Old Docks – Historic Pubs, Food & Beer Tour. Enjoy some of London’s best brews from traditional ales, craft ales and ciders in the historical pubs along the docks of old London town! Cheers to that!

Let us take you on tour of London’s historic pubs

Taste the best of British pub food on the London Old Docks – Historic Pubs, Food & Beer Tour

The post British Pub Etiquette – The Guide to the British Pub appeared first on Eating Europe.

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This post was updated on 23.8.17

So you’ve decided to visit Prague in September? The waves of summer tourists will have subsided, and temperatures should be more bearable than those we’ve had in August! Just because summer is coming to an end doesn’t mean a lack of activities in the Czech capital. Here’s a list of 5 great things to do in Prague in the month of September.

Vinobraní (Wine festivals)

September is the month of vinobraní, traditional folk festivals dedicated to the wine harvest season. Although they are most popular in the wine-making region of Moravia, there are still plenty of vinobraní celebrations in and around Prague. You’ll probably notice lots of people drinking burčák, a sweet, fizzy, low-alcohol by-product of the wine-making process. Vinobraní festivals are so popular that they produce truckloads of the stuff to satisfy the public demand. A word to the wise: nearly everyone has an unpleasant burčák story, as it’s easy to forget this fermented beverage can wreak havoc on your head and digestive system. Drink too much at your own risk! In addition to the burčák, there is plenty of traditional food, beer, wine, activities for kids, live music and merriment for people of all ages.

‘Tis the season… for burcak!

The largest vinobraní within Prague takes place at the park Havlíčkovy Sady (Grébovka, September 22-23), while other options include the Prague Castle Gardens (September 16-17), Jiřího z Poděbrad Square (September 15-16), and the most popular vinobraní in the region is held in the nearby town of Mělník, about 35 km north of Prague (September 15-17).

Náměstí Míru and Havlíčkovy sady: vinobraninagrebovce.cz (website in Czech)
Mělník festival: vinobranimelnik.cz (website in Czech)

Prague Harley Days (September 1–2)

The world’s most iconic motorcycle brand has an annual 2-day festival in Prague featuring a little bit of everything. While the Harley-related activities, demonstrations and exhibitions will make motorcycle enthusiasts giddy, there will also be food and drink from local restaurants, live music, a pole dance contest and Thai boxing. Because, why not? At the very least, the sight of hundreds of motorcycles cruising the streets of Prague should turn some heads.

Prague Harley Days: much more than motorcycles!

Výstaviště Holešovice – Areál Výstaviště 67, Prague 7
pragueharleydays.cz

Zažít město jinak (September 16)

This unique, city-wide event is translated into English as “Different City Experience.” One Saturday a year, locally-organized street festivals appear in neighborhoods all over Prague. The main organizer, Auto*Mat, started this event 10 years ago to encourage people to use public spaces and streets for more than cars. They work with volunteers and local businesses to create a proper block party atmosphere, which has become one of the most anticipated public events of the year. While each of the approximately 60 local festivals are unique to their neighborhood, you can count on plenty of local and international food, live music, activities for kids, and vendors selling all kinds of products.  If you’re in town on September 19, “Different City Experience” is definitely worth checking out.

One of the larger gatherings takes place on Krymská street in Vršovice – for a full list of locations, visit the website.
zazitmestojinak.cz (website in Czech)

Prague Burgerfest (September 9–10)

The burger scene has exploded in Prague, so it’s no surprise this event has been a huge success in recent years. Perhaps too popular. Last year’s Burgerfest attracted about 40,000 visitors and I heard numerous horror stories about long queues and massive crowds. Anyone planning to attend this year’s festivities might be wise to arrive a bit early just in case. In addition to the burgers and other grilled goodies, there will be live music, games and competitions. The Prague Burgerfest takes place at the the Exhibition Ground Holesovice in Prague.

The burger scene in Prague has taken off in recent years

Výstaviště Holešovice – Areál Výstaviště 67, Prague 7
burgerfest.cz

Eating Prague Food Tours (all month)

If you’d like to sample Czech cuisine while getting to know one of Europe’s most beautiful cities, you can check out our food tours – and September is the perfect month to do so, with fewer crowds but still beautiful weather. Dobrou chut’!

Napoleon’s favorite sweet treat is always a winner on one of Eating Prague’s food tours!

The post 5 Reasons to Visit Prague this September appeared first on Eating Europe.

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