Given that (standard) tickets cost £23.50 each for this event, my boyfriend Luke and I did feel a bit ripped off on Saturday night, when we paid a visit to Regents Park in the pouring rain (no fault of the event organiser I know), only to discover limited facilities for those who do not wish to purchase crowns (the non- refundable currency accepted instead of pounds at Taste events).
After 30 minutes or so of walking around, our boots squelching uncomfortably, we were considering calling it a day, and going to find a nice pub for some (reasonably priced) drinks and dinner. That was until we discovered two features that perked up our evening a little bit…
The first was the Estrella beer and tapas masterclass, where we were each given a free beer and a tapas dish (we enjoyed the chicory with blue cheese and walnut mousse), while leading Tapas chef Omar Allibhoy gave us a short talk on how Estrella Damm compliments many Spanish tapas dishes. While I wouldn’t exactly have called it a ‘masterclass’, with a refreshing cold beer in hand, some tasty food, and a dry perch, it was pretty enjoyable.
The second feature we stumbled across was the S. Pellegrino Trilogy Masterclass. Surprisingly this was not fully booked; unlike the first come first served wine tastings and cookery demonstrations (I guess people are not as interested in free water). This 30- minute masterclass consisted of Wine & Water Matching with Andreas Larson. We were presented with 3 different wines; one white, one red and one tawny port, to sample alongside 3 bite- sized morsels of crab, parmesan, and chocolate tart (not altogether I hasten to add).
Interestingly, the focus was on the water, something which I for one do not consider in as much depth as the wine accompanying my meal. It was, however, fascinating to discover how a sparkling water with a high mineral content such as the Acqua Panna acts to cleanse the palate after a rich port and dessert combination, while the S. Pellegrino still water retains the crisp acidity of the white wine and salty meat flavours of the crab.
Having indulged in a fair few samples by this point, both Luke and I were feeling a little tipsy (thank goodness for water!)
Despite the poor weather and overpriced entry fee, we did have a good time.
If you missed out on Taste of London, why not pay a visit to Tapas Fantasticas in Potters Field Park this weekend? Entry is free and as well as enjoying Spanish food and wine, we’ll be praying for some Spanish weather too!