Taste of London – Christmas 2015 

Here’s a super quick post on my trip to the Christmas edition of Taste of London at Tobacco Docks. In my post about the Summer festival I mentioned that we had bought tickets to this winter version to get us in the Christmas mood. But did it? Reader, it did!

Taste Christmas is held at Tobacco Dock, a short walk from Shadwell tube and overground stations. Approaching on a cold, dark November evening I thought this would be a brilliant location for something terrifyingly spooky. There’s a pirate ship and everything!

Although it was pretty quiet when we first stepped through, it soon started to fill up. I’m not a fan of large crowds but without a throng of people, the venue lacked a certain something. The huge rooms seemed to be too big for the smaller stalls and it felt a little disjointed, but pack in a few thousand hungry Londoners and it somehow works – go figure.

I thought it would be the best time to head over to Taste of HBO, a dedicated pop-up for the TV network that produces some of my absolute favourite TV shows of all time and had a major focus on Game of Thrones.  

There was a gingerbread Winterfell!

  

For I am Khaleesi, Mother of Cats…

I couldn’t resist a go in the Iron Throne – I am very comfortable in positions of power! – and had to contain myself from eating the beautiful gingerbread Winterfell. 

We had arrived with a huge rumble in our tummies and thought it was probably best to get our food first then wander about when our friends came along later. Crowns bought and menu perused, I decided I needed to head to Kurobuta STAT! 

Kurobuta’s steamed pork belly buns

Just six crowns bought me BBQ pork belly in a steamed bun and spicy peanut soy, with a sticky sauce that was determined to run down my chin and induce furious licking of fingers. Utterly delicious.

I needed something sweet to top it off and had espied a trio of doughnuts from Maze Grill. Four crowns later I was inhaling the delicious cinnamon covered doughnuts and dipping them in the tangily sweet clementine curd. I was so busy stuffing them in my face I nearly forgot to photograph them – a mark of a great bite!! 

Hot fried doughnuts with clementine curd

  

Wandering around, surrounded by Christmas trees and mulled everything, I felt quite bah-humbuggy because I felt like I was being force fed Christmas. When I heard the beautiful carol singers in the main atrium something slowly switched. There’s something about music soothing my savage and beastly side and voices in unison are so powerful. I was the Grinch no more!

Carol singers by the tree

 

 It was time to do some purchasing and sampling, and oh boy did I sample. Whiskies and vodkas and gins, oh my! And proseccos and more whiskies and ciders and I’m surprised I wasn’t squiffy.  

My shopping horde

I started off small and chose some delicious and fiery mini choriço from Somerset Charcuterie. £5 got us 5 little choriço, perfect for chopping into pasta sauces, soups or omelettes.

Salami and choriço galore from Somerset Charcuterie

  

We picked up some spicy choriço

  I’ll be protected from vampires forevermore with the pungent aroma coming from my pantry cupboard! I couldn’t help but notice The Garlic Farm at the show, my nose alerted me instantly. 3 huge heads of garlic for £5 and they’re not just your average garlic, oh no.

Amazing garlicky goodness from the Isle of Wight

  

Vampires be gone! Black, oak smoked and regular garlic.

  
Delicious and ginormous puffy marshmallows of joy from Campbell & Love – just £5 and worth every penny. Like Christmas in a sweet treat.

Deliciously huge mulled spice marshmallows

  
Another addition to our drinks shelf is this amazingly smooth vodka from 55 Above. Just £14 for the smaller size, which is a good thing because it really packs a strong kick. As I prefer to drink my spirits neat I’ll be v e r y careful with my measures!

56% proof vodka has a smooth but powerful kick

  
I’d sampled this at the Mokhado stand at the summer Taste festival and loved it but forgot to head back to purchase – I couldn’t make the same mistake and made sure I left with a bottle for £7. I personally love the taste of almonds and marzipan and this is it in an oil. I’ll happily mop it up with some great bread on its own. 

Tastes like marzipan which makes it a winner in my book


I also picked up some of these awesome jus from Just Jus. £10 for 4 super flavoursome jus (basically a gravy, right?!?) and perfect for meat dishes… Which brings me to my final purchase from the show: a meat box from Field & Flower who offer a delivery service for their grass fed meat. I’ll review them in a separate post as we don’t receive it until December, ready for Christmas. 

Just Jus are just delicious!

 
  All in all, I really enjoyed myself and would definitely recommend attending either the summer or Christmas shows. See you at the next one!

Chef Tom Kerridge cooks in front of an enraptured crowd

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