Sabi Sabi x High Timber London Food Tour

Take two global chefs, London’s best food spots, a dash of inspiration and you have a recipe for culinary success.

Ahead of Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve’s exclusive London residency at High Timber this month, we took the respective chefs Wilfred Mtshali and Mircel McSween, along with Sabi Sabi director Jacques Smit and popular food blogger Jeanne from Cook Sister, on a Sunday tour of London’s best foodie markets. Being able to see the two chefs share their passion for food, as well as Chef Mircel’s knowledge of the London foodie scene, made for a truly memorable day featuring unbeatable culinary delights and a continuation of this international gourmet partnership.

The tour began at 11am at the ever-popular Borough Market, rich with history, serving the people of Southwark for 1000 years. The two chefs couldn’t resist the pull of the vegetable suppliers and seasonal produce, which lead into a chat about the popularity of veganism and vegetarianism in both the London and South African restaurant scene, with a wealth of vegan pop-ups opening.

From there the group moved onto Maltby Street Market, tucked under the railway arches in Southwark. Here we tasted the most delicious cheese toasties, proving that sometimes all you need is something simple but done really well. This was swiftly followed by gourmet scotch eggs and a large selection of craft beers and IPAs, brewed just steps away. This craft drinks industry is also a growing trend in South Africa. South African produce also featured highly here with one seller even trying to sell our resident experts, Jacques and Wilfred biltong.

With a brisk walk to burn off the cheese, Brick Lane’s Indoor Food Market was next. Offering an aromatic hit on all the senses, the stalls here were selling an array of colourful treats from across the globe. We sampled creamy Portuguese pastel de nata, to fluffy madeleines and hot mulled apple juice. After a quick tube journey, Camden Market was the next up. Here we explored the new KERB market and its range of stands offering everything from authentic New York-deli style bagels to melt-in-your-mouth pasta cooked in a molten wheel of cheese. This was followed by a trip to the unique on-site gin distillery - all of this walking was thirsty work!

This tour was a fantastic way to kick off a hugely successful three-day residency for Chef Wilfrid at High Timber, and we left inspired, impressed by London’s gastro-culture and drawing parallels with South Africa’s up-and-coming gourmet scene.