Very Independent Food Tours
Food reviewer and photographer, Xavi, February 2017
It’s been nearly a week since I took the VIB Food Tours and I’m still very excited about it. Everyone should take this tour, foodie or not, locals and visitors alike, it even should be taught in schools and universities…. that’s how good it is!
I’m at the meeting point a fraction before 11 am and I’m meeting Cat who runs the tours together with business partner Angela. They started this venture a little over 6 months ago and it’s been a success so far I’m told.
Meeting other foodies
As the rest of attendees arrive we introduce ourselves and find that today we are all industry professionals, we have a professional food tour guide from Vancouver, a travel agent a blogger and myself. We head towards the Lanes with a bit of history and facts given by Cat. I have to add, that I’ve promised to keep most details secret not to spoil any of the surprises to you.
Cat really knows her stuff!
Cat has a teaching background which makes perfect sense why she is a natural at this and feels very comfortable leading the group throwing bits of history and fun facts about the city and some of the independent businesses along the way.
Nothing is revealed at any point as where we are stopping and who we are visiting, I like this surprise element; I try not to guess our stops but in my mind, I can’t help it!
First up, Street Diner
Our first one is at Street Diner which is a must if you take the tour on a Friday. We meet 2 producers there and as we try their specialities, they tell us their life stories. I’m fascinated by people’s stories and how something so simple as the love for food makes them (us) quit their daily jobs and do something more risky yet exciting. This is just the beginning.
As we move on, we’re stopping at different independent venues and having more tasters of their products. Everyone is very welcoming and happy to assist with any questions. This is a great way to get to know what’s going on in town.
A real eye-opener
Moving on and Cat starts to dig deeper into Brighton’s economical issues. The facts and figures given are an eye opener for locals and visitors which traders maybe can’t or don’t feel like saying but VIB are a loud, powerful voice representing these independent traders and their concerns.
Past the North Laine now and I see we are heading to the Open Market, another place with plenty of fascinating stories and a fantastic food offer. We stop at a couple of venues, have some more tasters, do a bit more shopping and off we go.
Connected with the city
Heading back to the centre of town and we discuss more about the brighton food scene, as we approach HiSbe I suddenly feel more connected to the city I chose to live in. We get some coupons to shop at HiSbe while Cat tells us the story and psychology behind the shop. We’re left to browse for for 10 minutes and instead I prefer to ask more questions about the city.
Highly recommend to everyone!
As we walk through the streets, our colleague from Vancouver is fascinated by the artwork on the walls along the city. I stop to say hi to some clients along the way, exchange experiences with the rest of the group and when we least expect it we are walking into Befries… my favorite fries outside the continent!
The best was left for the end, a classic restaurant with plenty of history, the kind of place I like to spend some my time indulging in good wine and simple recipes (and if you want to know where it was you’ll have to take the tour as I’ve been asked to preserve a little mystery! ). I’m really impressed with what VIB have done and can’t wait to do it again. I highly recommend it to everyone – local or visitor to Brighton.