While I’m definitely a city girl I’ve always wanted to go on safari; earlier this week I got to attend my first, without even having to leave the bright lights of London, when I was invited on Taste of London’s ‘restaurant safari’.
For those to whom the concept is new, as it was to me, a restaurant safari is this: you enjoy a starter at one restaurant, a main at another, and dessert at a third (if you’re feeling extra indulgent you have cocktails and/or coffee along the way too). I was incredibly lucky that my first experience was that of dreams!
Cocktail and starter at The Savoy
(I’m head-over-heels with The Savoy, it’s totally enchanting. If you ever get the opportunity you must go.)
We began with the specially-created “Taste of Savoy” cocktail. It’s heaven, made with Bacardi rum, Martini Extra Dry, homemade pineapple sherbet and lime juice: the perfect combination of sweet and sour and perfect for summer.
I’d happily have stayed in the Beaufort Bar for the rest of the evening however we moved on to the River Restaurant for delicious slow-cooked pork belly, prawn Carpaccio with citrus, washed down with San Pellegrino Acqua Panna. Taste of London’s wine ambassador Neil Philips selected a balanced Henri Martischang Pinot Gris from France as our starter’s accompanying wine.
We were completely spoiled by being driven to our next stop in The Savoy’s own Rolls Royce Phantoms; I can’t tell you how spectacularly glamorous I felt being chauffered down the Strand, past Trafalgar Square, towards Buckingham Palace and through Mayfair!
Main course at Gordon Ramsay’s Maze
Our destination was Grosvenor Square, where we were seated overlooking the kitchen (like Carrie Bradshaw all I make in the kitchen is a mess so I found this fascinating).
As Maze serves only taster portions they treated us to not one but three courses, two of which will be served at the Taste of London festival (lobster and pork dumplings with spring onion, lemongrass and ginger, plus soft-as-butter braised beef featherblade with togarashi spice), accompanied by a Uruguayan wine: Tannat Libero, De Lucca.
Dessert at Theo Randall at The Intercontinental
After a short taxi ride we arrived at our final destination, where Theo himself came over to introduce his dessert: soft chocolate cake with crema di mascarpone. Oh my.
If you like chocolate (and something tells me you might), you will adore this cake. As Theo said, the consistency is almost soufflé-like and it just melts in the mouth. I’m a big mascarpone fan so this dessert was perfection in my eyes.
Taste of London festival
Taste festivals combine fine dining, drinking and entertainment. This year 40 of London’s best restaurants (boasting a combined 11 Michelin stars) will hold pop-ups alongside a boutique food market, champagne masterclasses, and more from 21-24 June.
Taste of London, Regent’s Park, London (nearest tube Regent’s Park / Great Portland Street)