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Drink your way around the world at Mr Fogg’s Safari Camp at Taste of London

Johnny S photography

Mr Fogg’s Safari Camp comes to Taste Of London this summer
© Johnny S photography

This month sees the return of Taste of London, a celebration of food and drink at the capital’s Regent’s Park. The team behind Mr Fogg’s bars will be setting up camp, bringing their inventive drinks and a bit of 19th century chic to the festival.

Hakuna Ma-Tanq-a, Good Fellow! (Tanqueray No. TEN gin, fresh lemon, banana puree, cherry liqueur, pineapple juice and soda water)

Hakuna Ma-Tanq-a, Good Fellow! (Tanqueray No. TEN gin, fresh lemon, banana purée, cherry liqueur, pineapple juice and soda water)

Mr Fogg’s Safari Camp will recreate the nostalgia of Mr Phileas Fogg’s African adventures with British colonial-style tents and world-class drinks. Inside the tent will be an array of antiques, vintage maps, globes and taxidermy collected on Fogg’s voyage Around The World in 80 Days. Guests will be transported to the wilds of Africa with flora, fauna and botanicals. Outside the exotic camp, there will be alfresco drinking opportunities with parasols for those who wanted to sink a cocktail or two under the sun.

Among the cocktails on offer will be A’Frican Good Time (Don Julio Blanco tequila, fresh lime, pear purée and homemade lemon verbena tea syrup); Rum-bling Around the Serengeti (Zacapa 23, coffee cream, camel milk and vanilla syrup); Rye Brettania (Bulleit Bourbon Rye whiskey, ginger liqueur, fresh lemon, chilli honey, sprayed with Islay whiskey); and Hakuna Ma-Tanq-a, Good Fellow! (Tanqueray No. TEN gin, fresh lemon, banana purée, cherry liqueur, pineapple juice and soda water).

For those who like their tipples a bit simpler, there will also be a separate Gin & Tonic bar for the traditionalists. Fogg’s barmen will be giving lessons in how to mix the perfect G&Ts, with the choice of Tanqueray No. TEN or London Dry gins, several flavoured tonics and botanicals, including juniper, coriander, grapefruit, chamomile and lime.

  • Mr Fogg’s Safari Camp will be at the Taste of London from 15 – 19 June 2016. Tickets start from £16/£28. Regent’s Park, NW1 4NR. Nearest station: Regent’s Park. For tickets, visit the Taste Of London website or visit Mr Fogg’s website.

For a guide to what else is on in June, click here.

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A taste of cruise cuisine: Celebrity Cruises comes to Taste of London 2014

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2014

Deck Fourteen is a pop-up restaurant hosted by Celebrity Cruises at Taste Of London

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2014

Watch the chefs in action and ask them for tips

One of the most important aspects of choosing a holiday venue – whether it be a hotel or cruise ship – is the food. And with this in mind, the team behind Celebrity Cruises – who offer adventures all over the world – have created an opportunity for those considering one of their vessels to essentially ‘try before you buy’ – at least when it comes to the food and atmosphere.

On the opening night of this year’s Taste Of London festival, I was lucky enough to secure a seating at Celebrity Cruises’ Deck Fourteen – a pop-up restaurant inspired by their Lawn Club Grill. Chefs from their ships will be cooking in the alfresco kitchen so you can see how they prepare the dishes. To complement your food, there is also be a sommelier hosting a wine tasting, talking you through some new and up and coming movers and shakers on the vineyard scene.

Dining is a rather different affair as we were placed at stools overlooking the kitchen so could enjoy the full aromas wafting from the grill and speak to the chefs about the ingredients and cooking process. The sun was shining so the atmosphere was happy and relaxed as we sat watching the chefs preparing our tasting dishes and enjoyed the wine tasting.

One of the first dishes on offer was a Lamb Cutlet (Chargrilled with Za’atar and lemon, Brussels sprouts and bacon garnish), which was served alongside a lovely red – Cossetti Barbera ‘La Vigna Vecchia’ 2011 from Piedmont. I’m not a huge fan of reds usually, but I really enjoyed the soft, fruity flavour.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2014

Delicious: I really enjoyed the Prawn Tabbouleh served on a bed of cous cous

The second meat offering was a Chargrilled 35 Day Dry Aged Steak, which appeared to be particularly popular with the tasters. It was complemented by a glass of Maal ‘Biutiful’ Malbec 2013 from Mendoza, which is one of the rising stars from Argentina’s vineyards.

Finally, there was a Prawn Tabbouleh (Chargrilled with lemon yoghurt dressing) and served on a bed of cous cous, which was full of flavour. I could easily eaten more of them, they were delicious. Alongside we drank a Vignes De Joanny Macon Davaye 2012, a light white which I particularly liked.

  • Celebrity Cruises’ Deck Fourteen is on at Taste Of London from 18 – 22 June 2014. Entrance to Taste Of London – Standard Adults: £24, Standard Children: £12. Crowns are the currency used to purchase food and drink at Taste Of London (£1 = 1 crown). Regent’s Park. Chester Road, NW1 4NR. Nearest tube: Regent’s Park or Camden Town. For booking and more information, visit the Taste Of London website.
© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2014

Come prepared with a big appetite!

For more information about Taste Of London, click here.

Or for a guide of what else is on in London this month, click here,

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Taste Of London 2014: Festival for foodies returns to Regent’s Park

Taste Of London

© Taste Of London

With some of the top restaurants and chefs on the world located in London, the city is a big draw for foodies. In June, the hugely popular Taste Of London returns to Regent’s Park featuring a jam-packed bill of culinary delights.

Among some of the top chefs in attendance at this year’s event includes two Michelin starred chef Tom Kerridge, Massimo Bottura, chef patron of Osteria Francescana (three Michelin star restaurant in Modena, Italy, which is No.3 in The World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards list) and René Redzepi, of the world-famous Copenhagen restaurant Noma. Returning is Taste Of London co-founder Michel Roux Jnr and his fellow Le Gavroche chef Monica Galletti. Other big chefs include Bobby Chinn, Tom Sellers, Cyrus Todiwala, Alfred Prasad, Ben Tish, Pascal Aussignac, Theo Randall and Daniel Doherty.

© Taste of London

© Taste of London

As well as the chefs in attendance, some of London’s most popular restaurants will be hosting pop-ups and stalls, including Meat Liquor, House Of Ho, Assado, Duck & Waffles, SushiSamba, Salt Yard, Spice Market, Tamarind and much more.

Mayfair nightclub Mahiki will be hosting an-site bar, featuring cocktail masterclasses, complimentary cocktails, famous DJs, limbo dancing and more. Laurent-Perrier will also be hosting a champagne masterclass and blind tastings of their white champagnes.

As well as plenty of chances to stuff your face, there will also be opportunities for cooking lessons and making. Taste will include an Electrolux Taste Theatre, Gizzi Erskine hosting a Korean masterclass, Cook Skills Theatre hosted by Valentine Warner and sushi-making with Inamo.

For more information on the Celebrity Cruises’ pop-up restaurant Deck Fourteen at Taste Of London, read Metro Girl’s review here.

  • Taste Of London runs at Regent’s Park from 18-22 June 2014. Tickets – Standard Adults: £24, Standard Children: £12, Premium (Entry & £20 worth of crowns). Crowns are the currency used to purchase food and drink at Taste Of London (£1 = 1 crown). Regent’s Park. Chester Road, NW1 4NR. Nearest tube: Regent’s Park or Camden Town. For booking and more information, visit the Taste Of London website.

For a guide to what else is on in London this month, click here.

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Unleash your wild side | Child-free and alcohol at London Zoo Lates

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2012

Time to be a big kid: London Zoo Lates saw grown adults wearing masks, getting their faces painted and wearing animal costumes

Having grown up in London, the capital’s Zoo in Regent’s Park was an iconic destination during my childhood and holds many good memories. The bustling metropolis couldn’t be a less likely place to see tigers, lions, giraffes, etc. During adulthood, I only made one trip to London Zoo and was rather overwhelmed by the amount of families and school trips. As much as I love children, it was frustrating not being able to get anywhere near the animals due to the sheer volume of little people in between. So this is where London Zoo Lates comes in. The ZSL have clearly recognised this and every summer (June to July) for the past couple of years have opened their doors after-hours on Friday nights for adults only. There are limited tickets available, so make sure you snap them up early next summer.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2012

Merry-go-round: Perhaps BEFORE a visit to the Pimms bar…

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2012

Leggy ladies: Two beautiful giraffes at the 19th century Giraffe House

Two friends and I went one warm summer evening – the night of the Olympics Opening Ceremony actually – and the atmosphere was buzzing. London was pretty hyped up anyway, but the combination of world food, entertainment, wild animals and alcohol seemed to make for a winning combination, giving the evening a festival-like feeling.

I was pleasantly surprised by the affordable prices of the alcohol and soon after arrival my friends and I were strolling through the aquarium with a bottle of cider in hand – quite surreal at first I have to admit. Bars were dotted around the zoo, but also included a Pimms Bar and Real Ale Bar. For food, there was a huge selection of choices at the ‘International Street Food Festival’ – I opted for a falafel and halloumi wrap and crepe with chocolate and strawberry for afters – yummy!

As well as getting an opportunity to enjoy the zoo without screaming children, there is also plenty of opportunity for guests to actually revert to childhood. Masks and animal costumes were available to buy, while there was a huge queue for face-painting (I confess I couldn’t quite bring myself to ride the tube home painted like a tiger – wimp!).

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl

Under the sea: Two fish (including Dory from Finding Nemo, aka a blue tang) in the aquarium

Just like in normal zoo opening hours, there were talks on various animals, including the Komodo dragons, Birds of Prey and, arguably one of the most popular spots in the zoo, Penguin Beach. There was also live music, a silent disco and stand-up comedy as well. In fact, I found there was actually too much to squeeze into the four hours it was open. Think I may have to go back next year!

  • London Zoo Lates takes place every Friday night in June and July. Of course the zoo is open throughout the year as well. Located on Outer Circle (Regent’s Park), London NW1 4RY. Nearest tube: Camden Town (Northern Line) or Regent’s Park (Bakerloo Line).
© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2012

Going wild: Revellers at the Silent Disco