Taste of Christmas is taking over London's ExCel centre from 2-4 December, staging seasonal cooking demonstrations, hosting pop-up restaurants and offering Christmassy gift-buying opportunities. In advance of the show, we had the chance to put Taste's claim that this is the best year yet to the test...
A whistlestop tour round some of London's fabulous eateries saw us test drive a Tunapica starter in Asia de Cuba (a surprising concoction of tuna tartare, spanish olives, black currants, almonds and coconut which was as intriguing as it was more-ish):
Next we investigated a slow roast free range pork belly at Roast (the crackling on the pork was spot on - no mean feat - and the elderflower note of the Chapel Down Bacchus Reserve wine cut through the richness of the meat like a floral knife):
And concluded with a garam masala Christmas pudding with thandai custard at The Cinnamon Club (a lighter take on the traditional pud but with a seasonal warming mulled wine quality thanks to the spices):
All of the above will be available to buy (and eat, obv) at Taste of Christmas, and for those looking for a little savoury touch to end the meal, Neil Phillips and Jeremy Bowen will be leading classes at the Perfect Partners Talk & Taste Cheese and Wine Theatre to entice you into the world of fine wines and cheeseboards.
Tickets for Taste of Christmas are available from www.tasteofchristmas.com, or you can try your hand at bagging a pair of tickets with our fabulous Taste competition!