London is a genuinely global city. But it is also the capital of a country whose food culture has been laughed at and derided by its continental cousins.
Britain might not have the deep-rooted cultural relationship to food that is commonplace in France, Italy, Spain or Japan.
And yet modern-day London is a city in whose shops, restaurants, markets and cafés we can experience a multitude of international cuisines and wonderful culinary imports.
From Lebanese grills on the Edgware Road to the proliferation of world-class Antipodean coffee shops; South Indian restaurants in Tooting or Little Korea in New Malden, the layers of London’s history are often most visible and best experienced through its food stories.
Beyond that, in recent years there has been a revival of some very British traditions: manifested by the butcher, baker and market trader, customer expectations are matched by the on going pursuit of the best, aided by an optimistic and collaborative spirit surging through the industry.
Also, in the last few years, London has gone through a process of rediscovery of sourdough baking and you can now find a proliferation of artisan bakeries in quite a few suburbs of the capital.
And while high-quality meat or a fine baguette might not be omnipresent, there are now several places in London where these things can be found. You just need to know where to look among the patchwork of old influences and modern innovations – all of which have contributed to making this city one of the most modern and exciting food capitals in the world.