The summer’s annual Taste festival that sees 30 odd of London’s best restaurants pop up in Regent’s Park for the weekend has become a foodie institution. Sister show (and spin-off) Taste of Christmas hasn’t yet acquired such a status.
There’s no pretending that its setting at the end of the known universe the ExCel Centre is a patch as glamorous as the Royal Park venue but unless you want a crust of rain/snow/frost on your Vietnamese Style Duke of Berkshire Pork Belly (courtesy of The Modern Pantry), then the location change is probably wise.
This weekend Taste of Christmas is pulling no punches, returning with a bigger and better show. Stuffing ExCel fuller than the capon which Club Gascon will be serving, there’ll be wine tastings, chocolate tastings, cookery demonstrations, food producers, and Christmas gifts galore alongside the centrepiece of restaurants.
Just some of the other restaurants taking part include Amico Bio, Malmaison, Iberica, Benares and Acorn House. Heston Blumenthal will be taking to the stage for some recipe demonstrations, but whether or not they’ll include his Waitrose Hidden Orange Christmas Pudding that sold out so quickly it’s now on Ebay for as much as £150 is unconfirmed.
Also look out for wine tastings from LBC regular Neil Phillips. His masterclasses and food matching sessions may well be the wittiest wine talks you’ll ever see. Check out his blog The Wine Tipster (a mix of horse racing and wine tasting) for a taste of what to expect.
Tickets cost around £20 in advance and £22 on the door, with family deals and concessions available. The show runs from 10am – 6pm this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. You can see all the details and buy tickets on the website.