I spent yesterday afternoon at Taste of London, the restaurant festival in Regents Park which runs through to Sunday. For those not familiar with it, there are about 30 tents occupied by top London restaurants, each of which serves up a number of signature dishes (on paper plates!) for around £4-£7 per plate. There are also a large number of niche food and drink retailers dotted around, a theatre doing cookery demos and other bits and pieces.
The link with this blog is that BA is the main sponsor (and has been since the first year in 2007-ish) and puts up a big tent just for BAEC Gold and Silver members. This is always impeccably run, and today was no exception. I had a ticket for the 12pm-4pm session, and was in the BA tent at about 12.03 (!) to avoid a downpour. Champagne was freely served throughout the session, a wide selection of hot canapes were brought round at regular intervals, and there was a wine and cheese tasting of the products currently being served in J and F. It really was an excellent spread. I also met up with a number of Flyertalk posters and other BA regulars – if you go on the Saturday, they tend to take over the entire tent!
BA also sponsors a stand called Height Cuisine, where some of the niche producers who supply in-flight cakes and ice cream were exhibiting. There was also a tasting every hour (sign up as soon as you arrive or you won’t get in) – I was at the 2.30 Tea Tasting, where a man from Twinings let us all sample various teas, with each table of four also being given a full afternoon tea selection of sandwiches and cakes.
Taste of London can be an expensive day out, with entry at £15+ depending on whatever discount code you use when you book, and then extra for all the restaurant stands. However, as I proved today, you can have a very pleasant afternoon by sticking to BA freebies (although had I not had to leave at 3pm, I’m sure I would have got around to some of the restaurant stalls!).
BA is very likely to continue its sponsorship next year, so if you have a Silver or Gold BAEC card (you can bring one guest per card into the BA tent with you) it is worth a visit. 50 / 50 chance it will chuck it down, though, based on my experience over the last five years!