Warm your Christmas cockles at Taste of London
It seems that no sooner has winter swept its icy fingers across the country than we Brits like nothing more than to start counting down the days until Christmas. So, with mulled wines and ciders and decorations, and let’s not forget cheeseboards, all playing an important role in the festivities there really is no better event than Taste of London to get you in the mood for Christmas.
Take the opportunity to start packing on those winter pounds. There is a vast array of delights available from every corner of the globe and a great deal of it and some of which you won’t even have to pay for. In fact, if you stop for a chat and say nice things about the product you will find the spirit of goodwill alive and well, and might get away with a free second helping!
It must also be noted that there is no better venue in London to host this kind of event, the amazing Tobacco Dock building is open roofed in parts allowing cooking smells to emanate into the night sky. There is also the enchanting effect of the Christmas lighting strewn all around the building and along the waterside – it really lifts the old spirits, and if that doesn’t work then see the Mojito section below!
All of the food producers are either selling their wares or promoting them and this can prove somewhat of a dilemma. Everywhere you look there are treats and delights to catch your eye, and I found myself hoarding things I was sure I couldn’t do without – meringues for example! These pretty little dainties were available in every flavour imaginable, and I was thinking: how can I possibly survive the winter without them? Unfortunately, my panettone, mulled wine and gin and tonic meringues didn’t even last the train journey home let alone the winter.
There is of course some serious food available to ward of the cold. I’m talking chilli dogs, spicy chicken wings, Korean pork on a steamed bun, smoky lamb chops, mushroom burgers and crazy hot Argentinean empanadas: we tried them all at some stage and I would certainly say that it contributed to us surviving the chill winter night.
Now, myself and my lovely wife have been known to enjoy a tipple along with our amuse bouche and there was one particular drink that coming back for more. It was a spectacular ginger and vanilla Mojito, made with all the sophistication you would expect from an expert mixologist in the VIP bar. It was made with the usual mix of lime muddled with sugar and mint but then there were liberal sloshes of King’s Ginger liqueur and Pink Pigeon vanilla rum, which gave a lovely spicy warmness to the drink. A few of those would definitely help supercharge Christmas!
Amongst the purveyors of food and drink there is of course the opportunity to learn something; and why not? You can take part interactive cooking demos with your own station full of ingredients – or you could mix some cocktails yourself and get plastered on the house when no-one is looking. Alternatively just sit back and watch someone else do it and wait for the freebies to be handed out. Personally, I recommend combining all three for the best overall effect.
So much like the turkey, the mistletoe and the Coca Cola advert there is now one more element that Christmas won’t be the same without each year, and that my friends is the Taste festival. I highly recommend this event during the run up to the Christmas break and my advice would be to allow plenty of time to enjoy the huge array of awesome food and drink. Cheers.