Scary as it is, Christmas is just around the corner with less than 90 days to go (shocking)! But that means we are just weeks away from one of TB’s favourite foodie events of the year.
Taste of London puts on spectacular events, several times a year and all of which involve copious numbers of food stalls, food trends and cool foodie-type folk. But the Festive Edition has most definitely become my favourite. The event takes place from 17th-20th November at London’s Tobacco Dock – a short walk from Shadwell DLR and overground stations.
The style of the venue mirrors that of many of the German Christmas markets, with dark woods and small huts by a picturesque riverside so it’s easy to get drawn into festive spirit from the moment you step in. Once inside you’ll find an array of food stalls selling everything from cheeses to gins, sausages to vino – basically everything to make Christmas that bit more magical and your gifts that bit more spectacular. Most of the stallholders are happy to give out tasters so you can find just the right product for you.
As well as the stalls, Taste plays host to some of London’s top restaurants, where tasting portions of their best known dishes are on offer to purchase. This year the line up includes the likes of Tredwell’s, The Woodford, Hix and Bubbledogs Kurobuta. Take the opportunity to create your perfect menu by snapping up dishes from different providers and sitting down to a unique feast in the food hall.
If that wasn’t enough, the weekend also sees a number of cooking demonstrations, cooking classes, book signing, celebrity appearances, music popups, tastings, pairings … so much foodie goodness, I can’t relate it all to you in a single post.
So, now I’ve hooked your interest, here’s just a few top tips before you go:
- Wear layers – the venue is a mix of indoor and outdoor huts, hallways and hideaways. You can easily go from a snuggly pub-like atmosphere to being out in the elements in a matter of seconds, so layers can help you adapt.
- Take a bag, suitcase, shopping trolley or something to store your wares – most stalls will provide bags but by the time you try to balance 20 plastic carrier bag handles on your wrist, it causes some serious pain.
- Book classes or demos well in advance – this place gets packed and if you don’t book them before the day or as soon as you get there, you are likely to be bitterly disappointed.
- There is a cloakroom – I stupidly didn’t discover this until last year but for a small donation you can leave bags there all day while you browse, great for if you have suitcases for an overnight stay or if you’ve just got a little carried away with the shopping.
- Have a strategy – the event is pretty big but it’s easy to go round in circles. Create a rough plan of attack, but don’t stress if you go off-course, you never know what you might find!
- Take cash – a lot of the stallholders have card machines, but it’ll be typical that the one you like the most doesn’t or that their card machine has gone down or lost signal etc … so take ample cash to be on the safe side.
- Only buy crowns if you are buying from restaurants – the event has its own currency called crowns. You’ll need these if you are buying from the restaurants, but for most of the other stalls, cash is best.
- Go there hungry – most years I’ve been there from 11am-6pm (although it is open longer) and have had the most wonderful day of eating and drinking; don’t make the mistake of having a large breakfast or planning a meal out after, you won’t manage it.
So what are you waiting for … get your tickets now:
Taste of London: The Festive Edition will take over Tobacco Dock in Wapping from 17 – 20 November.
Tickets on sale now from £15: www.tasteoflondon.co.uk