Taste of London

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!

www.winesfromrioja.co.uk

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