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.