FIONA M SYMINGTON
I'm Australian freelance food writer who lives in London.
I started London Food Essentials three years ago to capture London's food scene and in my own way to contribute to it. The site started originally with the development of free food walking maps. When I first arrived in London, I had no idea where to go to discover the city's best food outside the obvious and so these maps reflect my own journey of discovering London. From here the site has developed, in particular the food producer interviews. These stories are in many ways a chronicle of London as a food city and how it is changing.
I hope you enjoy exploring the site as much as I have enjoyed discovering it.
You can see my writing portfolio, please click here.
Where did the idea of london food essentials come from?
The idea came from a hand-drawn map that I drew for someone visiting London. It was a simple how-to-get-there map with my favourite places marked on it. Reflecting on my own seven years in London, it struck me that what l needed when l first arrived was an insiders food guide. Not a guide book, not a food tour but a rough guide of where to go, eat and see. Thus the idea of london food essentials was born.
Are the maps free?
Yes. There is no charge for the maps nor is this a sponsored site.
How up to-date are the maps?
As you can guess, London is a big city. Things open; close and more recently, simply pop-up. So l make no claims about these being definitive guides. If you see something on a map that really interests you, I'd call and check that it is still there. I always give telephone numbers where I can or twitter contact details. The PDFs are always dated so you know when each map was made.
Do the places listed in your maps pay to be featured?
Absolutely no. To create each map, I literally go walking as well as research each area. I like to feature independent stores - ones that place an emphasis on local produce, the handmade and are unique. These maps are to introduce people to London as a city. I should add that restaurants are not included as there are some wonderful food blogs already dedicated to the city's eating scene.
You interview food producers on your website - how do you select people?
Good question and I was just thinking.. well maybe they select me. This section of the site is new and is my contribution to London's food scene - to support start-ups and people exploring food because they are passionate about it.