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roganicIf there's one thing we learned from this year's Taste of London, it's that we should have brought wellies with us. It seemed that only the BA staff with their Union Jack wellies were the ones who were really prepared this year, so if you're going, be warned!

But that small hiccup didn't stop us checking out as many stands as possible throughout the day and we picked up a few tips along the way. The first was to try and put your names down for the free British Airways tasting menu if you can - one of the steals of the show. It's also worth keeping an eye out for a number of free wine tastings around the show and make sure you're in the right place or the right time when they start.

As for the food - we tried as much as we could but a few dishes really stood out. The Best in Taste Club Gascon's award winning Marmite Royale (foie gras, marmite and toast, served in a mini marmite jar) was well deserving of its win and a must-have. Also unmissable is the Iberico Pork and shell fish bread pudding from Nuno Mendes' The Corner room - a stunning dish that would make anyone happy. For 32 crowns you can book a table beside that stand and have a sit-down tasting menu too.

We also thought Ora's dishes were particularly good value for money (the Penang Kae (loin lamb in creamy panang curry sauce) dish sold out well before the end of Friday's session), as were the cocktails at the Chase Bar (try the smoked Cherry sling - it's fantastic). Chase's stonking £5 cocktails apparently helped to bring down the prices at the neighbouring Savoy bar - so everyone's a winner.

Down the lighter end of the spectrum, the crab salad with avocado purée and sweetcorn mousse from Pollen Street Social was a standout dish - really one of the best things we ate there all day. And Simon Rogan's Iced sweet cheese cream with compressed strawberries and sorrel at the Action against Hunger stand was a perfect way to round off the festival (but that was only available on Friday - there are other chefs manning this stall with their own menus on Saturday and Sunday). 

Finally, if you have any crowns left, drop by the Clonakilty stand and pick up some outstanding sausages and black pudding to take home with you - they've got some good deals on for Taste and all the food there we tried was great.

We've a full gallery of what we tried below - and don't forget you can also read our visitor's guide to Taste of London 2012.


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