Thursday, 23 June 2011

Taste of London

Taste of London is held every year in London’s Regent’s Park, and is an opportunity to sample small taster plates of some of the best dishes from London’s finest restaurants. The Ritz Restaurant, Le Caprice, Le Gavroche, The Cinnamon Club and Launceston Place were among the over twenty restaurants represented.  It’s also a great chance to meet some of the chefs who create these dishes as well as discover new and exciting products. It’s extremely well attended, and very crowded, so it’s very hard to photograph the food you are sampling or make notes at the time, but we did try some lovely dishes.
Photo credit Taste of London
My favourites included a wonderful Crisp shoulder of Elwy Valley lamb served at The Street Kitchen. I don’t normally eat lamb, but this was incredibly delicious - real melt in your mouth stuff. I also don’t normally eat smoked salmon but the Farm smoked Loch Var Salmon served with lemon verbena jelly, pickled cucumber, sweet rye biscuit with pistachio from Skylon was beyond delicious. I was so taken with the lemon verbena jelly. Served in little cubes, scattered amongst the picked cucumber, it was just gorgeous. And although it may be a staple dessert, the Lemon tart with fresh strawberries at Rhodes 24 was anything but pedestrian. It was really piquant, gorgeous and fresh.  For me, the star dessert was the Sweet Brioche Doughnuts, rolled in Cinnamon Sugar and filled with Butterscotch Sauce, served with a Mojito Sorbet (yum!) from Asia de Cuba.

And speaking of stars, I had the opportunity to meet this lovely lady.
Photo credit Guy J Harris
Attending Taste of London to promote her book, My Father’s Daughter (published as Notes from My Kitchen Table here in the UK), Gwyneth Paltrow did a book signing in the public areas, and then came back to the VIP area with her husband Chris Martin and two gorgeous children. It was there I had a chance for a brief chat. She was so friendly and down to earth and seemed to be really enjoying herself. In fact, she was still in the VIP area chatting to folks as we took our leave about a half hour afterwards. (By the way, if you have never visited her website/blog GOOP, you really should!)

I was also introduced to former Formula One world champion Jody Schekter, who now owns Laverstoke Park Farm, an amazing biodynamic and organic farm. As well as other, more conventional meats, they also raise buffalo. I (gingerly) tasted some buffalo burger and was pleasantly surprised by how delicious it is. Next month, Laverstoke are launching a cooking school, to be headed up by Paul Blake, formerly of the Fine Food School in Dorset. Paul is an old friend of my husband’s and a wonderful chef, as well as being an all round nice chap. I am sure the cooking school will be a wonderful success - it’s definitely the best place to go to learn about cooking meat and game, or to find out more about organic, sustainable field to fork philosophy and cooking. Please click here to find out more about the courses on offer, and to book.

So despite the odd rain shower, we had a lovely day out at Taste of London. I enjoyed the champagne and food, learned about some great new products, and met some really interesting people. You can find out more about the Taste Festivals held round the world by clicking here.

Disclosure: The 21st Century Housewife has not been paid for this post.


  1. April, this sounds like such a wonderful event. And how lucky are you to have met those wonderful personalities, especially my favorite Gwyneth Paltrow. Awesome summary of the event.

    Maria @ A Platter of Figs


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