Tobacco Dock, a golden bike and taking it slow

It's been a while since I told you about the madeleines we made at A Taste of London, but as it was a festive food festival I thought I'd better share some more of what we got up to, before we're all done with the festiveness. Besides the cookery class there was lots to do, it was my first time at Tobacco Dock, so I couldn't help myself but look at the building, or its structure.

admiring the structure of tobacco dock in london

I hadn't realised that it's a Grade I listed warehouse, or built around 1811. But by its name I guessed that its purpose was linked to imported tobacco, and it primarily served as a store for this. It's comprised of brick buildings, and lots of ironwork, but the roof is pretty special too.

Tobacco dock in London is a large grade i listed warehouse

And of course, with it being a food festival, at the bottom of this ironwork dome was a barbecue.

An ironwork dome at Tobacco Dock in London
Where else would you put a barbecue in London's Tobacco Dock, under the ironwork dome of course

As we wandered around there was so much to see, and lots of food and drink to try. We may have done several rounds of our favourite stalls. This bag, made me smile...



I mean, what an awful mistake to make!

And then before I knew it, I was snapping this golden bike almost as I was past it.  The golden tyre's are pretty special.

And who wouldn't want a golden bike?

We found the most beautifully decorated cakes. And not only that they came in the most gorgeous tin. They looked so bright, colourful and gorgeous that it would *almost* be a shame to cut them, almost!  But they'd certainly make a great centrepiece to any occasion.

Jewelled and highly decorated cakes by Sari Cakes

We ate at Bubbledogs and Cafe Spice Namaste, and while the food was tasty the portion sizes were small. We shared three plates but we could have easily eaten three plates each. I think that's partly why we headed over to the Big Easy at Canary Wharf for an early dinner as we left here. I think if you want good food then A Taste of London is a good place to get that, and to get a wide variety too, but it's not somewhere to go for a feast, as each small plate cost £5/£6 a piece, unless you're feeling rather flush.

a table top of champagne corks

The exception that we found was the small shop  - or bar - serving Yeni Raki. We were enticed in by the promise of somewhere to sit, as walking around tasting and eating and drinking had been pretty tiring work. Once inside we discovered that Yeni Raki was an aniseed flavoured drink. With memories of Pernod flooding back, we weren't too sure, but then again there were huge bean bags and places to sit. 

We had a glass of Yeni Raki and a plate of meze each and were pleasantly surprised, not only by the amount of food served up but by the price too. We both felt that this was more reasonable than the small plates we'd tried up until now.

Unrushing our life with Yeni Raki an aniseed flavoured drink
The four steps Yeni Raki advise for unrushing your life
Unrush your world with Yeni Raki

And plonking ourselves down on the bean bags brought lots of photo opportunities too. And giving that their tagline was "unrush your world" we certainly weren't in any hurry to leave. But then again the longer we were on those bean bags, the harder it was to actually get up.

Summoning the will to leave we wandered around some more, bought some Cornish Gouda, yes I didn't know that was a thing either but it is, and very nice it is too. We spent some time choosing just the right maturity, and as always happens, I kept forgetting what the previous cheese had tasted like so had to try it all over again...

With the cheese bought and managing to i) avoid eating all the samples and ii) being thrown out of the cheese area, we headed over to check out the Ginvent calendars. Clearly the calendars weren't giving too much away, but I'd be happy opening each window to find a bottle of gin. Who wouldn't?

A look at the ginvent calendars

Next up we headed over to the craft beer trail, which wasn't too much of a trail more of a shuffle along with fellow ale drinkers around the L-shaped room. After the first route through we nipped back to the first stall, who'd appeared the most friendly and whose beers appealed most too. And who knew that Billericay had it's own brewery?  And if you're ever that way, I recommend the Billericay Dickie - partly for the name, but mostly for the taste!

Tasting some of the brews from the Billericay Brewery

There was quite a party atmosphere building, and I'm sure that it's a great place to go with a group of friends. I liked the cookery class and I liked the space, I liked discovering and trying some new food and drink, but I thought the small plates were expensive for what they were and while we had a great day, it's probably not somewhere I'd rush back to. I think the fact we went out for dinner on the way home speaks volumes, and even though we did end up with a doggy bag, that was due to the humongous portions at the restaurant!

But those aniseed drink people, I think they're onto something... 


* With thanks to AEG who gifted me entry into the show, as usual all views and opinions are my own.