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The Taste of London festival

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Thanks very much for visiting my blog. Always happy to have people read my stuff but just thought I should point out this post is years old. If it's about technical stuff there is a possibility that it is no longer relevant, if it's a bug report/fix I'm hoping that it should now have been fixed.

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What with all the @media 2006 heat going on during the week – and the nice additional meet up on the Saturday (in which I did feel that my jokes were going down well, probably due to beer!) Either ways with all this fun it was very easy to forget that I had booked up the attend the Taste of London Festival; 40 of London’s top restaurants providing sample courses from their menu’s as well as a number of additional stands containing food produce, cookery books, cookery prsentations, beer sampling :> AND The World Cheese Awards – what more could I ask for?!!?

Before I get into the fun stuff I just want to have a bit of a rant and say that this was the WORST fecking event I have ever attended. We had no map provided and the maps within Regents Park are bloody dire, some have a your are here marker, others don’t and there are NO road signs which is great when you are looking for a certain road. It all meant that I was walking round and round in outer circle for 30 minutes just trying to find the place; and with my hayfever acting up it was like a big pollen filled hell hole for me! Anyways with that rant done I do have to say that the event was certainly pretty sweet!

I was excited to see a number of restaurants I was planning to go visit attending the event, none more so than Benares which thankfully was as good as I had hoped. I made a beeline there for my first bit of food for the event. All in all I made good use of my 30 crowns (there rather naff form of currency) and only needed to buy an additional 10 to take me through the final hour or so. I felt that I should plan out my actions otherwise I would have had some food from every single tent and spent a shit load of money – so my menu for the day was:

  • Marinated baby squid with fennel and roasted tomato from Al Duca – unfortunatly this was RANK and tasted like it had come out of a tin, easily done when squid is overcooked! It also ended up down my front
  • Chicken Tikka with Naan bread and mint raita from Benares – fantastic, really nice though rather difficult to eat due to the weight of the chicken (don’t worry i did managed in the end) – I will be going there for my birthday next month!
  • Chilean seabass dumplings wrapped in Chinese spinach with yuzu soy from Cocoon – very nice and tatsy, my renaissance in using chopsticks also continues as I managed not to drop any on the floor!
  • Chicken in a smoked tomato and fenugreek sauce served with rice from Imli – basically a chicken curry, but very nice and also a bargain as they sold it to for for my remaining two crowns!
  • Saltmarsh lamb chop with white bean and a ‘green sauce’ from Inn the Park – I had some many people tell me I should try this I just had to. It certainly was sweet!
  • Smoked chicken and foie gras terrine with lentals and truffle vinegrette from La Gavroche – probably the best flavours of the day in one dish, which is lucky for them as they put the prices up!! I also noted that the old git who won Masterchef is now working there; seemed not to be doing any cooking though…
  • Lobster ravioli and lobster sauce from Zili Fish – very rich, also very tasty!

With it being the last day of the event a few dishes had unfortunatly sold out but really I think that this turned out to be a good point as it meant I instead went to a few of the beer tasting events! While I had drunk all the beers on show before (made me feel an expert) I learnt a number of sweet tricks to try next time I go on a Belgium beer trip. You will hear about them when I get to test them – or you can ask in the comments and if I get a good enough asks I will tell all!

Being a VIP for the event was cool and well worth the extra money I think – after finding the place I could just swan up the private entrance and just bypass all the bods who had to cue (who said I wasen’t a snob!?!?). I then had access to the VIP lounge, a glass of free champagne and ALSO some extra little nibbles to munch on; I say nibbles but really they more sample courses. The problem I did have was my choice of clothes – DO NOT WEAR WHITE TO A FOOD SHOW – I did and managed to spill some of my very first course on my t-shirt! So that’d be my words of wisdom learnt from this particular event, it is always good to learn something from everything ya do!