Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

If you’re heading to Taste of London this weekend

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Here are a few random photographs from Taste of London 2013, sponsored by British Airways, yesterday afternoon.  It wasn’t the sunniest afternoon ever in Regents Park, but at least the rain held off!

Here is my top tip.  Arrive in time for the opening and then head immediately for the British Airways Masterclass stand.  NOT the BA lounge, the BA Masterclass stand!

BA is organising 3-4 food and drink tastings each session, held inside a mock-up cabin interior!  One lets you taste the food and drink to be served in First Class on the A380 route to Hong Kong, and another lets you taste the food and drink to be served in First Class going out to Los Angeles on the A380.  Another tasting lets you try different Twinings teas …. that may not be your top choice!

TOL - plane interior

You can sign up immediately – and space is limited as you can see – and then wander back at the appropriate time.  If you sign up for this, do NOT buy too many tokens to buy food elsewhere in the park, because you get quite a bit here and quite a bit more in the BA tent!

(Here are some photos from Flyertalk with the food served at the Masterclass showcasing the Los Angeles food.  I was at the earlier Hong Kong session.)

Mark Tazzioli, who runs BA’s in-flight catering, leads the sessions.  I managed to have a quick word with him about the lounge catering, and he shares the concerns that many others have about the current dip in quality.  He assured me that things were being addressed ….

Once you’ve got your spot booked for the A380 First Class food and drink tasting, you can wander over to the British Airways Executive Club lounge (Silver and Gold BAEC cards only!).

This is the sight you want to see!

TOL - glasses

As well as copious amounts of alcohol, BA is (ironically) serving genuinely excellent food in the Executive Club tent.  This includes a version of the ‘frozen berries in white chocolate sauce’ dessert made famous by The Ivy and Le Caprice in London.  You will not go hungry here.

BA is also running free hourly wine tastings in the Executive Club tent, allowing you taste 3 red wines, 3 white wines and a dessert wine currently being served in First Class.  These are run by the wine merchants, Bibendum, who supply British Airways, and I did genuinely get the feeling that they are doing their best to supply top quality products.  BA, for example, is one of the few airlines which buys wine en primeur, a year before bottling and many years before drinking.

This is a shot of the set up for the wine tasting.  Someone in the tent can take your name for one of the sessions.

TOL - wine tasting

I apologise for the rather short report, but my head is a little fuzzy (!) and it is better to get this out on Friday morning than wait until Saturday when many people will already have gone!  Have fun if you are down there this weekend.

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (February 2024)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Run your own business?

We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review

You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

American Express Business Platinum

Crazy 120,000 points bonus (to 9th April) and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

Huge 60,000 points sign-up bonus (until 9th April) and free for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

Comments (12)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Squillion says:

    Sounds like a fantastic you-snooze-you-lose opportunity.

    Shame we’re a bit too far away to make it worthwhile but I shall try to emulate the TOL experience by ordering a few pints of Doombar and a pasty then sneak off without paying 😉

  • Rob says:

    Nice pictures, thanks for sharing

  • andy21 says:

    Do you know if other One World elite cards will be accepted for entrance to the Exec Club tent?

    • Rob says:

      I don’t think so, although obviously worth a try if you are there. If you are on your own, someone else might come in by themselves with a BA card whilst you are ‘discussing’ it with the door team, who might then guest you in out of sympathy!

      • andy21 says:

        Good plan – I’ll give it a try this evening and report back if they do accept OW cards.

  • avstar says:

    i have standard tickets for tonight, but being a vegetarian and having had a look at what’s on offer (, what do you think the best approach is? I don’t have sufficient BA status to make the most of it at the BA Lounge unfortunately, was even thinking of giving it a miss given the weather

    I went a few years ago and found it shockingly overpriced, to be honest streetfeast caught my eye more

    • Ed E says:

      If you have a spare ticket I am sure some kind Silver or Gold would go with you!

  • Squillion says:

    Great pics

  • Jens Moller says:

    Off topic
    Hilton 40% summersale now seems to have been released for London properties via the .com hilton site. However, the normal hilton booking system is not yet showing the 40% off rates.

    Happy hunting,

  • mrtibbs1999 says:

    The roll over video adverts are infuriating. Every time I load a page a new video starts playing. Pretty please change back to static ads

    • Rob says:

      It is totally out of my control. Google does not give you the option of running only static ads, unfortunately. Adblocker (for Firefox) or removing Adobe Flash will do it, alternatively use an ipad! Ipads don’t run Flash so no animated ads.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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