Taste of London and other food festivals

Today marks the start of the Taste of London festival in Regent Park, and I just happen to be hopping a train to London tomorrow. Of course, once I get there, I’m hopping a bus to Stonehenge for overnight early Summer Solstice celebrating. BUT I’ll be back in London for Saturday (though verrrry tired from a sleepless night, I’m sure) and Sunday fun.

I asked about getting free access as press, but I also asked pretty last minute (as in on Tuesday) since I only recently found out about it. If a press pass comes through, I’m totally there. If it doesn’t, I may splurge and cough up the 25 pound (~$50) entry fee anyway. After all, everything in England is expensive thanks to a terrible exchange rate. It’s reasonable England prices for what looks to be a fun event, and even though food isn’t included in the entry fee, it would still be way cheaper and easier than actually visiting the brick and mortar versions of the great restaurants serving food at the festival. And maybe some the exhibitors will have samples?

If I end up not going to the Taste of London, or even if I do, is there anything off the beaten path that I should see while I’m in London? I want to visit the Tate Modern and at least walk past Big Ben and Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace, but that’s about it.

In other food festival news, I had successfully registered as press for the BBC Good Food Show Summer, which was held in Birmingham last weekend, but I wasn’t able to make it because a friend came to visit me in Cambridge that weekend. It meant missing out on Gordan Ramsay and a long list of interesting looking exhibitors. Note the one called “Chocolates for Chocoholics”. But, instead of going to Birmingham all alone, I got to explore more of Cambridge and watch some of the May Bumps races with my friend, which was great fun.

Finally, I am for sure attending the New York City Wine and Food Festival in October this year. Fortunately, it was scheduled for one of the few fall weekends in which the football team is away and the band isn’t following, so I’m free to catch Anthony Bourdain interview Ferran Adria with my friend and former roommate, Jenny. Hooray!!! Jenny managed to book our tickets before they sold out. Hooray again!!!!!

It should be really good (and at $35 for an hour-long program, it better be), as Bourdain is awesome and Adria is the man. I’m excited just thinking about it! I sort of wish I hadn’t given my signed (by photographer Melanie Dunea) copy of My Last Supper to a foodie friend for her birthday, as the NYC Wine and Food Festival features a TON of big name chefs, many of whom are photographed in My Last Supper (like Adria and Bourdain). I may just have to buy another copy for myself and try to rush the stage at the end of the talk like a squealy fangirl.

Take a look through the full events list for the NYC Wine and Food Festival. Soooo much of it looks absolutely amazing, but on my college student budget, the only way I could afford to attend more events would be to scalp the ticket I already have. But I would never do that because it’s Bourdain and Adria on the same stage! Still, I bet at least some of you, dear readers, are real people with real sources of income who could buy tickets to festival without having to live off ramen (or, more realistically for me, stop splurging on nice chocolate) to be able to afford it.

If you do go, or if you happen to live in NYC and would want to go on a ZOMG, Candy! outing, let me know. We can visit Economy Candy or Jacques Torres or La Maison Du Chocolat. And Momofuku Ssam Bar, which has nothing to do with candy but is delicious nonetheless.