Have you heard of synesthesia? We hadn’t either, but James Wannerton has. The 54-year-old systems analyst lives with this neurological condition that results in the senses being crossed and combined – resulting in combinations such as “hearing” colour and “tasting”sound.

After visiting every stop on the London Underground in a 49 year project, James has created a flavour map of all the underground stations. As he told The Telegraph, “I’ve often gone out of my way to travel through places such as Plaistow and Mill Hill East just to see what they taste like in situ and of course to add another to my collection.”

“The history of the London Underground started in the 19th century with the construction of the Metropolitan Railway, the world’s first underground railway, which opened in 1863 using gas-lit wooden carriages hauled by steam locomotives.” – Wikipedia

If you have ever gotten off at St Paul’s station and curled your nose, maybe you were getting a whiff of what James described as “the mouthfeel [sic] and nasal taste of sprouts…a soft, mushy, horrible flavour”.

Tastes of Underground London
I’ll just stop off at Midget Gems station, shall I? (Photo Credit: Telegraph/James Wannerton)

It isn’t all bad, however. Step off at King’s Cross station and you might just catch a hint of “moist Dundee cake without the almond bits”.

Next time you are in London and are riding around on the tube, make sure to have a sniff and compare your findings with the Tastes of London underground map.

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About Heather Tucker

Heather is a writer, photographer and explorer of the world with bylines in Archaeology Magazine, Porthole Cruise Magazine, Taste & Travel, amongst others. She is addicted to pen, paper, hotels, organisation and hippos. In addition to Travel Gluttons, you can find her over at Cloggie Central.


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