To Do in London: Taste of London 2012

Thanks to Joel’s co-worker, we had the opportunity to visit the Taste of London this year. Being that Joel and I love food and haven’t had the easiest time finding great food here in London, we were intrigued. We had tickets for a Friday, after work, which seemed perfect. The weather though, had a difference of opinions. It was a typical damp, chilly London day and being that the festival is outdoors, I knew I would need my rain boots!

Joel and I met outside the festival which is held in Regents Park. Getting in was fairly simple however, the layout was anything but. The layout was a maze of makeshift sidewalks built over swampy grass. Getting around wasn’t the easiest and took a lot of back-tracking, but we made it work. I would suggest to anyone that visits in the future to really map out the foods you want to try so you’re not weaving back and forth like a Chutes and Ladders game piece.

As for the food and booze, we tried many dishes but found a favorite at Bar Boulud –  Poulpe Rôtie: Grilled Octopus, Chorizo and Romesco. We loved it so much we got it 3 (!) times. Another winner for us was the  Roasted Cod with Malaysian Chilli Sauce, Thai Basil and Celery from Spice Market (Although I may be a bit partial, having worked for them). Our final favorite was the  Shrimp and haddock kedgeree from Cinnamon Soho. After trying that dish I think we discovered our new favorite London Indian restaurant.

Generally, I find that food festivals are not organized very well but this one was not terribly done. For example –

  • They use ‘crowns’ for currency so no one was fiddling around for cash (yes, you must buy a ticket and pay for each dish/treat/drink).
  • There were some truly great dishes being served to thousands, very quickly and flawlessly.
  • The British Airways Executive lounge set up was great and we spent a lot of our time drinking their champagne.

Some of the issues I had with the festival were –

  • That it is called “The Greatest Restaurant Festival in the World”. Pfft.
  • The muddy mazes that they called walkways.
  • The fact that the ‘bars’ of the festival quietly closed at 8:45, after most food was sold out and you had no where left to spend your crowns.

I’m quite happy we got to experience an English food festival because we loves us some food! Thanks to James and Nic for the tickets!

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