Another year, another Taste London.
Luckily this time we had free tickets thanks to an Eros Card competition, so only had to pay for the crowns - the festival's currency with which you buy food and drink.
On a glorious, sunny Sunday, the highlights were:
* lobster bisque from Le Gavroche
* free gin and tonics at the toptable hospitality tent
* parmesan custard with anchovy toast from Le Cafe Anglais
* foodie magazine freebies galore (delicious., Sainsbury's Magazine, Fortnum & Mason's Magazine...)
* grilled squid rolls from Le Crecle
* large and plentiful Cobra beer samples - very refreshing on a hot day
* yoghurt and strawberries samples from Onken
The disappointments were:
* Sainsbury's Taste Kitchen - a half hour of relentness upselling in exchange for samples of uninspiring cheese and flavourless beef (though the sample of Primitivo wine was nice)
* Surf'n'turf from Zilli - overdone lamb and not very nice tasting prawns, with nothing to bind the flavours of the two.
* lack of cheese stalls (there were lots last year, butthis time I found only one, offering mediocre flavoured cheddar for those too lazy to add pickle to their sarnies)
* less fun than last year, with no village fete games from Innocent smoothies, or wheel of fortune from Waitrose, or other such entertainments
* Rhodes 24 pedalling the same white tomato soup as last year
The purchases were:
* wild mushrooms from Fundamentally Fungus
* presticide free strawberies from Good Natured Fruit
* ginger and lemongrass presse from Bottle Green
My verdict: a good afternoon for £30 for two (what we spent), a rip off if you've also forked out £21 each for the entrance fee.
And, since I am a bit late writing this up, here's a small round up of what other food bloggers thought:
* Chris over at Cheese and Biscuits liked the Caipirinhas and the white tomato soup
* Niamh of Eat Like a Girl enjoyed keenly priced English wine and beetroot gazpacho
* Chris Osburn from The Londonist was impressed by the Madeleines but unimpressed by the cost of the tickets.
* Around Britain With A Paunch like the parmesan custard enough to dedicated an entire post to it alone.
(My review of last year's event is here.)