A day with Brighton Food Tour’s V.I.B (Very Independent Brighton) food Tour
A couple of weeks ago I was lucky to enough to live out my dream day in Brighton: Spending three hours walking around and sampling some of the best food that Brighton has to offer. This food filled morning was courtesy of Brighton Food tours V.I.B. walking tour, a fantastic foodie experience in the city which over a three-hour walking tour offers a chocolate box selection of Brighton’s best food from local retailers, cafes and restaurants.
It might seem strange that I’d do a tour in my hometown however the great thing about Brighton Food tours is that it’s ideal for locals as well as tourists. When it comes to eating, one of my faults is sticking my favourite food spots so it was great to join the tour and discover new places too
For visitors think of this tour as exploring the city with your very knowledgable foodie friend. As a tour it really is a great choice as it gives you a good orientation of the city while interspersing eating with some of Brighton’s history along the way.
I went on Brighton Food Tours V.I.B (Very Independent Brighton) tour. The Three hour tours run on Fridays and Saturdays but you can also book a tour for special occasions like corporate events or birthdays.
The V.I.B tours emphasis is on substance over style places run by local people with a HUGE passion for their products and may include a mix of high-end eateries and hands on food. What I think is the most exciting thing about the tour is that it’s a complete surprise so you have no idea where you’re going to eat until you get there.
Brighton Food Tours also run a Drink Brighton tour, giving participants a chance to try a selection of mostly alcoholic drinks around the city (£45 pp) as well as the Brighton Wine Rebellion Tour, a three-hour walking wine tour (£65pp).
The day itself
I had to think long and hard about how to structure of this post because one thing I don’t want to do is ruin the surprise element of the tour. So what I decided to do is to just give you a taste of the day and highlight some of my favourite food that we ate throughout the three hours.
I met the tour at 11am on friday at the meeting point by Brighton’s iconic North Laine. There were only 5 of us in the group along with our fantastic tour guide which made the experience really personal. As a local I thought I knew my way around Brighton very well but the great thing about this tour is that it takes you on obscure routes through all the little passages and side streets which really kept up the element of surprise.
Our first stop was sampling some fantastic bao buns. Chinese in origin, bao buns are steamed giving them a unique light and spongy texture. These are then stuffed full of a variety of fillings such as spicy chicken, pork or tofu and then topped with fresh vegetables and sauces which in mine included the wonderfully invented ‘miso mayo’. It also seems that I’ve been pronouncing these buns wrong the whole time (it is in fact pronounce Bow not Bay- O as I’ve been saying).
Donuts and coffee
Anyone that lives in Brighton will no doubt know where this next stop was: One of my favourite cafes for what must surely be the best donuts around (You’ll never go to the pier again once you’ve tasted one of these beauties). We sampled a few things at this stop including artisan bread, house made spreads and fantastic coffee too.
Amazing Hot Chocolate
Another one of my favourite stops was at a place I’d actually never heard of, let alone been. I could have tried absolutely everything in this local store but what we really came for was the hot chocolate. I’ve got to say that this rich and velvety hot chocolate was not only the best hot chocolate that I’ve had in Brighton but also probably one of the best hot chocolates I’ve ever had. As someone who spends a lot of time eating and drinking in Brighton It’s so exciting to have found somewhere new to add to my list of favourites.
Brighton’s best houmous
One more stop that we made was at a place that’s a bit of an institution among locals in Brighton. This all vegan place is famous for one thing in particular: Their fantastic homemade houmous. Now I know houmous isn’t hard to find in the city but the ones that this place makes are the real deal and the best thing is there are lots to choose from including a variety of garlic strengths.
One of my favourite things about this stop though was chatting to the lovely woman who runs it. Brighton food tours work very closely with the people behind the businesses in Brighton so as a local it’s fantastic to speak to people with a real passion behind their produce and hear the stories behind their food.
Oysters and wine
Another stop that I really enjoyed was sampling oysters and wine, something that’s fair to say I don’t do often. Eating oysters is something that people have been doing in Brighton for years so it was really fun to go to this quaint restaurant and feel like I’d stepped back in time while the knowledgeable waiter talked us through the different types of oysters and what wine to pair them with.
I finished the three-hour tour very happy and full ( A note of warning, don’t eat as much breakfast as I did before you go). For £40 I think that the V.I.B food tour is fantastic value, taking you to around six to eight different places while giving you some history and a scenic tour of Brighton along the way.
Before you go
- The food tours only run on Fridays and Saturdays so pre book as early as possible to save disappointment
- The tour offers a 10% discount on the local traders that you visit so make sure to bring some money for spending
- Bring good walking shoes as you’ll be on your feet for most of the time
- Don’t eat much before you go. There are a lot of opportunities for eating on this tour
- Bring hand sanitizer. The V.I.B tour offers an eclectic selection of food, some of it which is very hands on so if you can’t stand sticky fingers then best come prepared.
- Dietary requirements: Being in Brighton, finding food to meet your dietary requirements isn’t hard. However it’s best to advise upon booking if you have any specific needs e.g Gluten Free or vegan so that the tour can be best matched to you.
All views and photos are my own