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my best foodie destinations in soho and chinatown, london.

I love exploring what London has to offer - especially when it involves food! One of my favourite areas for restaurants, bakeries and cafes is Chinatown, nearby the bustling atmosphere of Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square, Covent Garden and Soho. From beautifully made bao buns to delicate dumplings, I'm in awe of anything Chinese or Japanese inspired. 

The thing is, I live in the Midlands and London isn't always on the cards. I love to visit on the Leicester to London St Pancras line but it's not always cheap - think £70 return before you've left the platform. So when Sn-ap got in touch to let me know they've started a new Leicester to London route with single fares starting from £5-7, I hopped at the chance. Hopped on a bus, that is. 

So with my foodie pal Rosie in tow, along with an endless list of Instagram recommendations, I got on the Leicester to London coach at around 8.30am on a sunny Saturday morning. The journey was set to take around two hours and we were sent a handy text with a live location with the coach's whereabouts. We opted to be dropped at Covent Garden - absolutely perfect for our day trip and not a tube trip in sight!

The coach was actually a few minutes early so it's definitely a good idea to be there on time, as they can't always stop for long. Not always the best when you oversleep until 7.45am... but that's another story. Safe to say being on the comfy coach in the right direction was a real relief! Rosie would have to eat her way around the big smoke without me!

For matcha green tea croissants

If you're a lover of Japanese patisserie (which, I now am) then Kova is a must-visit. Green tea pancakes, iced lattes and green tea chocolate dipped croissants? I mean, hello! Or should I say... Kon'nichiwa!

Where? 5, 9-12 St Anne's Ct, Soho, London W1F 0BB

For awesome eclairs

Not quite Japanese or Chinese but I can't not mention this place. I indulged in a dreamy pistachio eclair and flat white, which came with a cute sugary biscuit ball. Make sure Maitre Choux is your next dessert destination.

Where? 60 Dean St, Soho, London W1D 6AW

For "those" taiyaki fish

So you've seen those fish ice creams and tiny taiyaki puffs and you want in? These morsels are all over the place in London's Chinatown. We tried these from Bake 麵包屋, though there were so many more custard filled delights and matcha treats to try!

Where?  Wardour St, London W1D 6PF

The best bao buns

The best bao buns? Now that's a contentious one! Personally I've tried a few in Chinatown and there are so many authentic ones that I haven't been disappointed. Ones that stood out were BAO (try the spicy lamb!) and Bun House (amazing value at £2.50), although outside of Chinatown I really rate On The Bab near Old Street.

Where? BAO, 53 Lexington St, Carnaby, London W1F 9AS

Where? Bun House, 24 Greek St, Soho, London W1D 4DZ

The best for rose gelato

I'm an Amorino gelato fan through and through. If I'm in a city that has one, I have to visit. So to polish off our foodie day with a sweet treat, this was a no brainer. Perfectly presented with a pretty pistachio macaron!

Where? 7 Garrick St, London WC2E 9AR 

For the best authentic Chinese dumplings

Following my School of Wok cookery class and Chinatown tour I haven't been able to stop thinking about these dumplings from Jen Cafe. Okay well maybe some days, but only when I'm thinking about other food. These inviting, piping hot Beijing dumplings are constantly being made fresh right in front of you and cost no more than £6 for a plate. 

Where? 4-8 Newport Pl, London WC2H 7JP

For takeaway sushi treats (and hours of browsing!)

As a Japanophile, you can only imagine my delight at perusing the shelves of the Japan Centre. I can't help but leave without a little sushi sample whenever I go - this salmon and avocado is a real favourite of mine. There is so much to choose from though, as well as Japanese drinks, colourful sweets and powdery pastel mochi.

Where? 35b Panton St, London SW1Y 4EA

For beautiful blooms (and something a little different)

I heard of Petersham Nurseries before and their Richmond branch (get it?) had always been on my to-do list. However on our search for all things sweet, we stumbled across their Covent Garden location. Really lovely just to potter about in and perhaps pick yourself up something floral and fancy.

Where? 31 King St, London WC2E 8JB

As well as the flower shop, we also headed to our favourite fashion shops and a few cute gift shops; think Monki& Other Stories and Kikki K to lust after adorable note books, scented hand cream and another pair of dungarees we don't need.

We then headed over to the pick up point for around 5.30/6pm and were back in Leicester by 8. Think we fit rather a lot in, don't you?

Where are your favourite London foodie hotspots? Do you head to Chinatown or do you have another favourite area?

Sn-ap have loads of other routes from Nottingham to London, as well as from Cardiff, Birmingham and Bristol. Find out more and plan your next adventure here.

In collaboration with Sn-ap. 


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