June has been an incredible non-stop flurry of foodie activity. It’s probably inspired by the good weather – everyone wants to leave their house and go out and eat. For my part, the lovely weather makes me feel a bit lazy: all I want to do is hang out on my couch and binge watch Ladies of London while munching on some homemade ice cream. But there’s been enough interesting events on that I’ve managed to peel myself away from my laptop and into the heat – want to see what I’ve been up to?
Taste of London
The Taste festivals are a series of international food festivals, highlighting the best stalls and foodie companies of each city it visits. Taste of London is in its tenth year and interestingly, the festival’s focus has really changed over time. This year, there was a strong emphasis on both wines and various alcohols, as well as food from other countries – there was a massive section devoted to the food and culture of Thailand. Could the Taste of London festival be migrating from a showcase of London foods to a slice of world foods in Regent’s Park?
But me being me, I gravitated towards the sweets! My first stop was the Green and Blacks stand, where they were showcasing some of their more unusual chocolate flavours.
Next stop was obviously the Primrose Bakery stall. One of London’s prominent American-style bakeries, it’s beloved of such celebrities as the discerning Goop. By favourites, by far, are their lavender and salted caramel cupcakes, so I couldn’t resist!
I love a little macaron pick me up, so I stopped by Ganache Macarons – one of their teeny macarons for £1.50 really hits the spot (I went for the salted caramel – look, I’m just a salted caramel person).
As part of their competition, we posed for a photo with macarons – if you like it on Facebook, we might win a macaron masterclass!
We tend to murder every plant that we get near (yes, it’s a skill – regardless of how hardy people claim it to be!), but The Little Kitchen Harvest promised us that the chili plants would be almost impossible to kill. This tiny little chili plant in its magnetic jar has so far been growing beautifully and I’m excited to try out its spice (stay tuned.)
And finally, my favourite thing ever: that’s right, mustard (a small obsession.) Our homemade baked chips almost always feature a coating of Maille wholegrain mustard (which is easily found in Sainsburys). But not all of their lesser-known mustards are so easy to find, which is why it’s so exciting that they’re opening a shop in London. I loved the truffle and white wine mustards and I’m dying to try the seasonal mustard (white wine and cherry – that’s a yes.)
I was lucky enough to be invited to the release of Market Deli. Created by Walkers, the company behind my favourite crisps, this is a more upscale and sophisticated range, offering a variety of flavours and chip textures: from the salt and pepper tortilla chips to the roasted garlic pita chips, to a wide variety of crisps made of gourmet flavors: aged balsamic vinegar, sun dried tomatoes and aged Cornish cheddar cheese. Market Deli thoughtfully provided the ingredients themselves to allow us to do a one to one comparison. My weakness in life is cheddar cheese and the crisps definitely captured that flavour – amazing.
Celebrity chef Tom Aikens was there, cooking with the ingredients which went into Market Deli – a delicious ham macaroni and cheese comes to mind – and it will be to no one’s surprise that those who pushed in to get the closest view were primarily female admirers!
One of my favourite restaurants, Outsider Tart, continues its cool project of focusing on a single American state at a time and is running the rear lap of the project they’ve been calling “Route 66.” This Saturday, I was at Vermont night (how can you not love a state which focuses on its delicious maple syrup?) After a brief pit stop for the most American of holidays, they’ll be finishing up the states in alphabetical order – I’d definitely recommend checking it out!