A taste of what’s what in recent and upcoming London food and drink news:
The Ship in Wandsworth (41 Jews Row, SW18 1TB) will host an evening with Henry Blofeld on 9 May. Drawing on more than fifty years' association with cricket, Blofeld will regale the Ship's audience of 40 guests with anecdotes and memories of great commentators like Brian Johnston, John Arlott and Jim Swanton. Blofeld, aka Blowers, will join guests at their table answering any questions they may have always wanted to ask him. At £100 per person, admission will include a welcome drink and a three-course meal with matching wines. Visit www.theship.co.uk for info and booking.
A sherry tasting and talk with Heston Blumenthal and FT wine correspondent, Jancis Robinson, is scheduled for 9 May at Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre. From 6pm (talk starts at 7.30), attendees can “explore the ritual of afternoon tea and how it has inspired Heston Blumenthal's celebrated and pioneering culinary style, and taste 24 sherries imported in the UK from eight top sherry houses”. The event is part of a wider series under the Festival of Britain umbrella. Tix range from £45-60 and can be purchased at the Southbank Centre's website.
First Polpo in 2009, then Polpetto in 2010 and Spuntino in March of this year, now da Polpo is coming to Maiden Lane near Covent Garden. This new venue from cicchetti entrepreneurs Russell Norman and Richard Beatty is to open in June and will seat 70 covers over two levels, a ground and lower ground floor, with an Aperol Bar, serving the signature Venetian Spritz and the full da Polpo menu. As well as the tables for two and four, the flexible space can accommodate groups of six and has a feature table for ten. Design details will include the Polpo signature carbon filament light bulbs, tin ceiling from New York, antique maps from Venice, zinc bar tops, church pews and old chemistry lab benches as tables. Group Head Chef Tom Oldroyd will oversee the kitchen.
The weekend sees Grand Designs Live return to ExCel, including the Live Kitchen Experience where Gary Lee of The Ivy and Simon Wadham of Rivington Grill, among others, will be cooking. Visitors to the show are also entitled to 25% off at Rivington Grill’s restaurants in both Shoreditch and Greenwich on presentation of their ticket.
And for royal wedding specific food and drink news, check out yesterday's round up post.
Chris Osburn and Ben Norum