Last weekend we went to Taste of London festival at Regents Park, we went last year and we were blown away all over again. We go to food markets and festivals whenever we can, but this set up tops everything!
We opted for VIP tickets and jumped the queue (it was huge and in 30 degree heat we were thankful for it) I had already looked at the timetable and jotted down some of the restaurants and demos to sign up for – theres SO much to choose from we were struggling to little it down; luckily Billy booked a ticket for re-entry so we were there for 8 hours!
We spotted Ember Yard straight away because of the amazing smells coming from the smoking barbecue, and it didn’t take us too long to ask for some Octopus a la Plancha which consisted of blistering padron peppers, juicy prawns and slow cooked octopus cooked on the grills; served with a chickpea and heritage tomato salad – perfect in the sunshine sitting on the grass, even better whilst watching Billy choose the short straw with the spiciest padron ever!
We had to quench our thirst with something, we couldn’t wait for an ice cold Gin and Tonic, headed to Fever Tree and they had a mammoth amount of options to choose from with a very enticing stall. I chose a ‘Pink Pepper’ which was was made with grapefruit tonic, Billy went for a drink mixed with Chase orange Gin. They were delightful – Plus, look at these lovely glasses.
Next we noticed the Natoora stall, here these guys were barbecuing fresh vegetables (with peppers the size of your head!) the smell and sound was unforgettable, we had a look around and noticed the large dining table full of buffet style dishes made from the grilled veg. We grabbed a plate and started dishing some up, some people seemed to be rooted here all day living off the free tasters. We tried aubergine, courgette dishes with fresh burrata and some romesco sauce and yoghurt dip – delicious!
We tried some brilliant cocktails and drinks; a little Tiki hut featuring Pina Coladas made with the Barbadian Plantation Rum and muddled in cups made from fresh pineapples, shots of smooth Pirates Grog rum ranging from coffee to aged vintage and a great Gin bar called Gin Parlour who used some new tonics from Lamb & Watt (the Basil one is so good!)
We made the most of our VIP passes and used the lounge and grabbed our complimentary glass of champagne in the sun, before it got so hot we had to seek out more refreshments…
Next was a visit to the AEG take taste further tent, where we had a go at making a dish using their equipment – smoked Haddock and poached egg salad with a honey mustard dressing (they walked around looking for the best plate – we decided to grab the flowers from our gin to add something fancy ha!)
After all that hard work, we felt we needed a little rest on the grass with some ice cold Italian Geno Prosecco and a plate of Grana Padano cheese- yum!
Up next was a demonstration at the AEG theatre delivered by chef Francesco Mazzei, and hosted by Rosie Birkett – two of our favourties. Chef cooked a dish from his restaurant Satoria; a rustic saffron, wild mushroom and truffle risotto. Watching such a complex dish cooked in a matter of minutes by such a renowned chef was such a good experience, tasting it was even better.
One of my favourite dishes of the day (there were a lot to choose from) was the tandoori spiced octopus with chutney aloo and picked fennel from The Cinnamon Club. So well balanced and soft with just the right amount of spice – tasted great whilst sipping a Sipsmith citrus gin.
Lastly, we visited the Taste of travel with Celebrity Cruises, the Galapagos Islands. We were seated with a passport and menu card which made my mouth water. We were poured a glass of wine to taste along side a stunning avocado shrimp ceviche which was the nicest I have ever eaten, followed by grilled cod, achiote potatoes and chimichurri.
So, that was a brief snapshot of our brilliant time at the Taste of London festival. We’ll be doing it all again next year (maybe even in November!)