In bright sunshine, I make my way through Regent’s Park to the Taste of London Festival, my nose pointing the way as the scents of the kitchen fill the air. As one of the best food festivals in the capital, it is all the more appreciated after a year of uncertainty, lockdowns and night-long suffering from my own homemade food. The festival has over thirty of London’s hippest restaurants and chefs serving you a treat, with plenty of lovely areas to relax and pamper your taste buds. We make our way to the VIP area, which is located in the far left area of the festival. These tickets cost £ 59 and allow you to skip the lines with fast track entry, access to the Diners Club VIP lounge, a glass of Laurent-Perrier La Cuvé Champagne, two signature dishes, access to exclusive master classes and more. We think if there is something you want to do, you can get it right too and the VIP tickets allow you to do just that.
We pick up our champagne at the entrance to the site and sit at a nearby picnic bench. The champagne is cold and delicious, the air warm and when we sit next to The Fire Pit, the delicious smell of grilled food wafts through the air.
While we are seated, we try different dishes of the festival, including squid risotto and vegetable paella, and wonder at which of the many stands we will be giving out our meal vouchers. There are the most popular hoppers from Sri Lanka, the most delicious biscuit crème in town or maybe a pizza from Napoli Gang. The delicious Crispy Sticky Bites by Indo-Chinese Fatt Pundit come highly recommended, while Gaucho is on hand with his delicious steak. Glad I skipped lunch today because as we stroll around I know it would be impossible to choose just one.
In addition to the many dining options, the Taste of London Festival also offers a range of master classes and special events. We were booked for the Laurent-Perrier Prêt-à-Portea Experience, where Laurent-Perrier and The Berkeley are offering a champagne edition of their legendary Fashion Afternoon Tea. This was one of the first stops on our trip and we sipped three delicious cakes while sipping a glass of Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé and learning more about the making of the pastry. The event is informative and engaging, in a stunning setting.
The cakes on offer included: Pistachio Bavarois with Amarena cherry, on a pistachio brittle and topped off with a Valentino-inspired sugar lily Almond biscuit with a beriolette jelly core, glazed in glittering purple and topped with a chocolate ribbon as homage to Isabel Marant Coconut Dacquoise and mango confit, coated in an exotic fruit mousse and topped with a shimmering sugar starch that represents Versace
Back in the summer evening, the sun is slowly blurring in the sky, but the festival is still in full swing. It is such a relief to feel a sense of normalcy and Taste of London puts it into practice perfectly. The whole event is brilliantly laid out, with so many rooms to relax in and soak up the atmosphere.
In addition to the Laurent Perrier experience, you can opt for an Aspall picnic in the meadow, take part in a craft beer trail, hot chop in the Taste Kitchen and enjoy many other master classes. Whether you’re a budding chef, want to learn a little more about your favorite beverage, or just want to try something different, Taste of London has that and much more. Sip French wine with Taste France, enjoy a variety of dishes and sit on swings or seesaws with Just-Eat, or drop on a nearby lounge chair and listen to the live entertainment.
Taste of London really has something for everyone. You can enjoy some of the best food and drink the capital has to offer while soaking up the atmosphere. Let the drinks flow, the delicious smells and sounds of cooking food in the air and just relax. In a year more stressful than most, Taste of London is a great reminder of the joy the little things can bring in life. So eat, drink and be happy. (And then you do it all over again.)
Taste of London Festival
The Regent Park