Taste of London Summer Edition rolled back into town like it never left after it was cancelled last year thanks to C-19. But is it still one of the best foodie events of the year?
Once again sprawled across the lush green surrounding of London’s Regent’s Park, Taste of London Summer Edition is back with a bang. Just a few minutes’ walk from the station, bright signage directs visitors to the venue and first glance shows the familiar tents and marquees housing popups of some of the most exclusive restaurants in London, but here and available for foodies to try their offerings.
We visited Taste on Friday the 9th and still mindful of protecting ourselves from C-19, it was good to see that the venue was not even a little bit crowded. The outside venue allowed ample space for people to wander around and even the queues were short with people respectful of keeping a good distance from each other.
The atmosphere is jovial and fun, with many people wandering around and visibly exuberant at the opportunity to finally start taking the first few steps toward normality. In fact, the biggest problem we seemed to have was agreeing what dishes to try! We decided to have a quick recce to see what was on offer and circled the venue and came back to the same spot after having managed to munch on a number of samples including some cronuts with deliciously unusual toppings (flower petals and popcorn anyone!) from Baked by Delice, a tequila and grape shot from Café Pacifico and a yummy cashew nut butter on bread nibbles from Mergulo.
This sampling and discovery is one of the things that Taste does so well. It offers a wonderful opportunity to learn about up-and-coming artisanal produce from independent brands and the chance to try them.
In and amongst the many trendy restaurant and drinks popups and chefs was the Chop It Like It’s Hot marquee’s where Joseph-Benjamin Cumberbatch, winner of Netflix’s Crazy Delicious, was hosting a class of eager foodies on how to make his chicken and plantain [yes, you read that right] burger, which they got to eat afterward. Other recognisable names are planned to host this slot over the duration of the festival. Tip: get there early and sign up for your place as spaces are very limited.
Our Loaded Cronut samples are ready to enjoy, get yourself over to @tasteoflondon – Stand C9#croissant #cronuts #food #foodie #yummy #yum #yummyfood #yumyum #delicious #deliciousfood #sweet #tasteoflondon #tasteoflondon2021 #taste #loadedrange #cronut #goldencronut #croissants pic.twitter.com/gA0zMOLpeW
— Baked by Delice (@BakedbyDelice) July 9, 2021
Our press pass gave us a complimentary dish voucher each which we could redeem at any of the restaurants for one of their ‘signature dishes’. We decided to redeem our voucher at Gaucho and ordered the Steak and Chips and Chimichurri (£10 each) but was told that it was one of their ‘Exclusive’ dishes, which means that it has been created especially for the Taste festival and so we couldn’t redeem our voucher on that. We ordered it anyway and Beef Empanadas (£8 for 2) which were redeemable.
The chips, with the skin left on were well seasoned and crispy and the flavour complemented the mature taste of our medium rare steak. The meal came with a shot-glass-sized wine, so we opted for a nice Rosé.
The Beef Empanadas were tasty but would have been better without the watery tomato sauce that it came with.
We ate at one of the many seating areas and people-watched with the sun shining. Our tickets offered a four-hour time slot, from noon to 4pm and we mused that the festival would be an ideal occasion to come along with friends and family, making a wonderful day out.
After another wander around, chatting and learning more about the foodie brands displayed, we decided to round of our lunch with Freezecakes from the cheesecake wizards at Pleesecakes. Yes, you’ve guessed it, Freezecakes are scoop-able frozen cheesecake served in a tub! Delicious, but extremely naughty!
Overall, we had a fantastic day at Taste of London Summer Edition, and yes, it totally deserves its title as one of the best foodie events of the year. In fact, we’re already looking forward to seeing how Taste of London Winter Edition [in November] compares. Bring it on!
As of 9 July, a limited number of tickets for Taste of London Summer Edition are still available.
Taste of London Summer Edition details:
Where is it? Regent’s Park, London NW1 4NR
When? Wednesday – Sunday 7-11, 14-18 July 2021