London Food on Social Media: Afternoon Tea vs Street Food

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London Food on Social Media: Afternoon Tea vs Street Food


As a food blogger, I’m always looking at new restaurant openings and London food trends that are going on in and around the city. I used Synthesio’s Social Intelligence platform to build a dashboard to find out exactly what people are talking about London food in 2016.

food in london


The two most popular London food topics are: Afternoon Tea and Street Food. Polar opposites in terms of occasion and common views, I have explored into why and how these have becomes London’s favourite foods.


Afternoon Tea

Afternoon Tea originated in the 19th century when it was usual for people to have just two meals in a day. A duchess once complained of regular hunger in the late afternoon, so always had a pot of tea and snacks to fill the void. She started to invite her royal counterparts to share this luxury with her, and it gradually became a fashion with British aristocrats.
The view that Afternoon Tea was for the opulent stayed until very recent years when there was a sudden reinvigoration of British pride. This was stimulated by the Olympic Games in 2012, a plethora of royal events, and TV programmes such as ‘The Great British Bake Off.’
Afternoon Tea has now become the go to when looking for an indulgent celebration for Brit’s, whilst visitors to the UK are trying it to gain a taste of British culture.
Chefs are looking at Afternoon Tea as an opportunity to get adventurous with their offerings, whilst the traditional finger sandwiches, dainty cakes and scones remain at the top of menus at hotels and hideaway gardens of London. Ting, inside The Shangri La hotel at The Shard are offering an Asian inspired Afternoon Tea, whilst Snowflake Gelato are offering an ice-cream Afternoon Tea during the summer months, at their new restaurant in Selfridges on Oxford Street.

Soho cake shop Cutter & Squidge have the first Hello Kitty pop-up in Europe this summer, as they offer a themed Afternoon Tea based around the children’s classic. The setting, a secret garden with Instagram written all over it…

london food social media


london food word cloud

london food social data genders


The interests widget perfectly illustrates the type of people who are the modern Afternoon Tea fanatics – mostly female with an eye for luxury, fashion and beauty. They love to travel, explore, and as backed up by the Media Type SOV widget, like to share the sense of occasion across blogs, forums and social media.


Street Food

Street food – the idea of being served your lunch or dinner through a van or trailer, and eating it outdoors. Pretty simple. It is far removed from the cost and conventional four walls of a restaurant, yet in many cases still packed with great taste. Once you’ve sunk yourself in Tropicana orange juice and had every sandwich on offer from the £3 Sainsbury’s meal deal, it makes financial sense in a city where the cost of eating out can be extortionate. It offers the perfect middle ground for various types of people – office workers, bank executives and Friday night boozers.

It turns out that from a selected list of typical street foods that pizza’s and burgers dominate conversation online, followed by chicken, Vietnamese and pasta. It’s no surprise that the most popular locations in London to have these are Shoreditch, Borough and Camden – all well-known street food hubs.

Interestingly enough, it is males who hold the majority of conversation when it comes to street food. This is as this is a new found way of ‘the lads’ being able to socialise, which many much prefer to going to restaurants.

So there we have it, on an everyday occasion people are looking at street food as their go-to, for a relaxed lunch or dinner environment. Whether it’s a quick lunch break stop, or a Saturday night catch-up with ‘the lads,’ street food is what people love to talk about on the internet.
Afternoon Tea is more reserved for the occasion, which is perhaps why this gets more recognition on social media. But if you can’t decide which one to go for one day, you could always combine the two!
There is a street food inspired afternoon tea being served at The Arch, London.

Interested in seeing how Synthesio’s Social Intelligence platform was able to pull data about London food? Request a demo today.


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