Taste of London 2013: a Celebration of Fine Food and Wine



Thousands of people converged on Regent’s Park in London for an annual summer event which showcases the vibrant food and culture of Britain and other parts of the world. Taste of London offers visitors the unique opportunity to dine from 40 of the capital’s top restaurants, sample and buy from 200 food and drink producers, enjoy wine tasting and watch some of the world’s greatest chefs demonstrate their skills live on stage.


As in previous years Thailand’s section seemed to attract the biggest crowds. There were long queues outside stalls offering dishes from the capital’s best known Thai restaurants such as Thai Square, Patara and Blue Elephant.  One could choose from a range of mouth-watering dishes - chicken, lamb, beef, fish, prawns, squid and vegetables cooked in delicate, spicy and fragrant sauces. Thai wines and beer were available to complement the food or, if you preferred, coconut water flavoured with lychee, mango or other tropical fruits.  As an extra treat one could book a massage and enjoy a performance by Thai dancers and immerse oneself in a total Thai experience.


Pakistan participated in the Taste of London for the first time by featuring its best known produce – mangoes. A Pakistani diplomat was delighted at the response. “The mangoes made our task very easy, we didn’t have to do any marketing.  The aroma is bringing people here to our stall.” He went on to extol the virtues of Pakistani mangoes which he said were healthy, organic and free from artificial flavours.  He promised that Pakistan would be back next year in a big way.


If you wanted a break after all the food and wine tasting you could drop in on cookery demonstrations by top chefs.  Performers like Jasmine Hill, Sadie and the Hotheads, London Gay Big Band and Lula were on hand to provide a musical backdrop.  


Taste of London is part of the Taste Festivals, where the host city’s most acclaimed restaurants and chefs present their signature dishes to thousands of ‘foodie’ visitors. Taste of London is described as the jewel in the Taste Festivals’ crown. Entry to the Taste of London is not cheap – the minimum price of a ticket is £28 at the door and then you have to pay for crowns, the official currency of the event; each crown is worth 50 pence. A VIP ticket for £70 includes fast track entry, access to the VIP lounge and complimentary glass of Laurent-Perrier, priority seating in the Taste Theatre plus £20 worth of crowns and a Taste 2013 Recipe Book featuring exclusive recipes from the chefs at Taste of London.  For the ultimate experience you can pay £90 for a Laurent-Perrier – ‘From Grape to Glass’ Masterclass.  This includes all the features of a VIP ticket with the addition of a ‘ multi-sensory experience, learning about the heritage of Champagne Laurent-Perrier, the journey it takes from grape to glass and the expertise behind each Laurent-Perrier champagne’. Booking online is slightly cheaper.

This year was the 10th anniversary of Taste of London.  Judging from the turnout there is every reason to believe that the annual event will still pull in thousands of food and drink connoisseurs another ten years from now.



Rita Payne, June 2013

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