Mike James

Food tour guide

Mike is trained and qualified as a tourist guide in the South West of England, and accredited as a Culinary Certified Tourist Guide by the World Food Travel Association.  He is also a trained and qualified Member of the Academy of Cheese.

Who are you?

I moved to Bath after previously living in London and Yorkshire and I’ve worked in tourism since the early 1990s, mostly tour managing with package travel groups but also as a guide with people from all over the world!  I also had a short-lived career in the theatre industry but in 2004 I decided to focus on my travel career so I could experience the world and then come home to the UK where I would make internationally inspired works of theatre… that didn’t really work out as I ended up travelling just in the UK and Ireland and loving it so much that I now just travel internationally for leisure purposes, and I’ve knocked my theatrical aspirations on the head and don’t really miss it… as a tour guide, I guess the show goes on every day!!


What makes you say:

Savoury option is my Mum’s lasagne, or my partners Chicken & Chorizo Jambalaya!… sweet option would be sticky toffee pudding, but I’m very judgemental about it!  There has to be lots of toffee sauce, the stickier the better, and there has to be a small scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side made with real vanilla pods!  Not that I’m picky or anything.

Beetroot… I know… I’m just weird ok!  Everyone I know loves beetroot, and while I’m generally someone who’ll eat anything put in front him, I’m just really not a fan of beetroot. Even weirder though, a couple of years ago, I tried the best thing I’ve ever tasted which was an amuse-bouche at a really lovely restaurant near Bath… it was pickled cucumber with red cabbage water, and a beetroot sorbet and even though it was really small it was just incredible – I’ll never forget it!

“That’s weird!”
I once tried jellyfish in a cold salad… we didn’t know what it was at first as we’d not noticed it on the menu when we ordered.  It was good, but based on the texture and taste we’d originally thought it was just a bit of water-chestnut!

“I love leading food tours mostly because…”
I love that food brings people together.  There’s something very primeval about people sitting around a table and eating or drinking together which somehow forces people to communicate and (more often than not) finding common interests.  Sharing food like this and seeing people come together around the table is something which really makes me happy.

“I love Bath because…”
Having lived in Bath since 2010 I still feel like a newcomer but strangely I somehow also feel like I’ve lived here all my life.  I’ve found it to be a really welcoming city with an incredibly diverse population of different people who all generally mix together nicely.  It’s a city where I made friends quickly and felt at home even quicker and after moving around lots for the first 40 years of my life, I feel really settled and have every intention of staying here!

“My fave place in the city…”
A bench in Royal Victoria Park opposite The Royal Crescent… it’s where I proposed in 2015… awwwwww!

“My favourite Savouring Bath tour is…”
Guilty Pleasures“… because we all love a bit of indulgence!  This tour may focus on indulgent foods but we often consider foods in this context to be bad for us, or ‘fattening’, however, the selection of samples on this tour really doesn’t go overboard as it provides samples which have that feel-good factor, but which are not so filling that you’d feel bloated… they’re all samples which are accessible to most of us, and each tasting is just enough to give you a really broad spectrum of different flavours and textures.  Now, that’s the kind of food tour I really love!
mike james polaroid
mike james polaroid
mike james polaroid