More than 175 restaurants opened in the English capital last year, and the best of the city’s vibrant culinary scene – along with some standout international names – will feature on the stellar menu of new dining experiences at this year’s Taste of London festival, taking place in Regent’s Park on June 14-18 (tickets from £17).
A highlight will be the debut Taste Residence (£145, including fast-track festival entry and VIP Lounge access), a four-course tasting menu cooked in front of guests (and even served to them) by Michelin-starred chefs including Ollie Dabbous of the eponymous London restaurant and Alex Atala of São Paulo’s DOM. Another headline name taking part in the 24-cover experiences will be the winner of the World’s Best Female Chef Award 2017, Ana Ros of Slovenia’s Hiša Franko, and she and all the other cooks will field questions from diners at special sittings hosted by legendary London maître d’ Paulo de Tarso, patron of Margo in Covent Garden.
There will also be a Daily Special restaurant spot at this year’s festival run by rotating hosts, with Michelin-starred Portland taking over the space on Wednesday June 14, followed by Bao on Friday 16, Kricket on Saturday 17 and Perella on Sunday 18. And across the site as a whole, 40 restaurants will be creating tasters of their signature dishes, with new arrivals to Taste of London including Neil Rankin’s Temper, Duck & Waffle Local, Mayfair Indian Jamavar, Nordic-French restaurant Aster and French brasserie Les 1110 de Taillevent. Returnees this year will include Roka, Cinnamon Club and Club Gascon.
Notable drinks events will include Laurent-Perrier’s exclusive launching of its new La Cuvée champagne - alongside which a masterclass includes the tasting of Laurent-Perrier’s entire range (£72, including fast-track entry to the festival). The Balvenie Craftsmen’s Dinner Masterclass (£15), meanwhile, will offer the chance to sample the producer’s handcrafted single malts with small batch cheese and slow-fermented Suffolk sourdough, and the new Monkey Shoulder Whisky Den with its secret entrances will offer a more playful take on dram tasting.
For a more sober experience, Illy coffee will be in attendance for the first time, offering the chance to compare various single-origin roasts and blends, and an opportunity to learn the art of the barista.