Events - Taste of London 2019
Since we have spoken about Taste a bit over the past week, it is time to sum up this year's event. We went on Saturday, the weather was great, the atmosphere really buzzing. Crowds were pleasing, entertaining and not overwhelming. So we have swayed from one tent to the other, peaking in, sampling, degustating. Years ago this festival was a bit different, it gave the chance of sampling fine dining in a relaxed picnic atmosphere. We remember the days when Michelin starred restaurant stalls stood agains kitchen teams of finest five star hotels. Now the festivals give you a chance to catch up with what is trendy if you missed out. For those who know London scene well, it allows a hipster feast to a picnic blanket without a need to chase from one side to London to the other. This year was heavy on things that were popular in 2018/2019. Taiwanese Bao Buns (from the veteran flesh and buns, and younger but more elaborate Bao), hoppers (from Hoppers), corn dogs and smoked meat balls (smoke&salt), lots of Asian flavors and lots of Indian (not surprisingly as so many excellent authentic and sophisticated curry places opened recently). Bars were a bit boring to be honest - lots of bubbly, lots of rose, g&ts in many faces, some vodka too. There were the novelties such as the canned wine (which wasn't as bad as you might think) and wine Popsicles (not a bad idea, but we prefer cocktail ones).
Craft beers are now a must so the selection was decent, maybe apart from experimental peach infused lagers (blaah, seriously). Non alcoholic offer did not dissapoint though, as you can see the market becoming bigger and bigger year on year. Nitrogen cold brewed coffee, kombuchas here and there, crafted lemonades, distilled non alcoholic spirit alternatives, low alcohol small batch craft brews. Good stuff! Taste is still quite a fun thing to go. The new thing - borrowed from south American Gauchos tradition - the massive open fire pit, with things crossed and hung all around it, lots of cast iron, wood logs, smoke and meat. Francis Mallmann would be proud. We loved it. Wolfgat in residence serving only tasting menu on pre-booked tables, also interesting idea. One thing to be kept in mind is the cost of a day out on Taste. It's not cheap. A fully hedonistic splurge, with enough plates to feed a hungry explorer, and enough refills in the reusable plastic pint cup, you can expect to spend over 100 quid.