Taste of London: Foodie Heaven
For any foodies out there – if there is one food festival you have to go to make sure it is Taste of London (www.london.tastefestivals.com). This is foodie heaven: there are pop-up five-star restaurants, famous chefs, entertainment and countless stalls giving away free samples of delicious food. So the best advice I can give to you is to arrive hungry!
I was lucky to have the weather on my side and went on a Friday evening after work to Regent’s Park, where the festival takes place. In 2015, it will be held from June 17th-21st so be sure to put this in your calendars for next year. It is worth waiting for special discount tickets closer to the date as some of the voucher sites like Living Social offers special discounts, saving you up to 30% off.
Taste of London operates on its own currency system in which you purchase a packet of ‘crowns’ to buy food or products at the festival. Each crown is worth £1 and they are only available in packs of 10 (which is slightly annoying in case you only want to spend a few). I unfortunately spent several pounds on sauces in the Korean section (they accept real money there) and drinks before even purchasing any crowns. It didn’t take long to realise that not many other stalls accepted real money and therefore had to purchase crowns.
Another tip worth noting is to wait to spend your crowns at the end of the night, when the restaurants are trying to sell the remainder of their tapas-sized dishes which they then mark down to 50-70% off. I didn’t purposely mean to do this, since I had already spent my cash on spices, sauces and drinks and then had a packet of crowns that didn’t really need to be purchased. However, I managed to buy several more products with my crowns and left happy.
The Taste ticket lasts four hours in which you have the chance to try tapas-sized dishes from 40 of London’s best restaurants so it’s a great chance to hit all of them at once. There are lots of masterclasses, cooking demos, tastings and competitions galore to enter as well. My highlights were winning the Voss water (www.vosswater.com) and Tenderstem broccoli (www.tenderstem.co.uk) competition as well as meeting Michael Roux, Michelin chef at Le Gavroche. The photobooth at House of Ho (www.houseofho.co.uk) was great as well!