By Laura Lynott
TASTE Dublin landed in the capital today and will be open at Iveagh Gardens until Sunday with delicacies from across the globe tantalising the tastebuds and more than the occasional glass of Prosecco being quaffed – but just what is the foodie festival like for the uninitiated?
With food from across the world and alcoholic beverages you may never have heard of before, the array of delights at the festival is really very impressive.
There’s cooking demos from celebrity chefs, including Rachel Allen and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, gin-making classes and live music that will help you relax those bones while sipping a Prosecco or two.
But more than the delicious treats on offer, it has to be said that the crowd makes Taste a genuinely appealing affair. And if you’re lucky, the sun will shine and the festival vibe will well and truly capture your senses.
There’s an enduring sense that all our troubles – the miserable winter weather that just didn’t seem to want to relent – and the woes of the seemingly never ending downturn – are all behind us. Has the party started once again? Well, who knows how long it will last but for now, perhaps make hay and enjoy a cupcake or two and a glass of wine, while the positive energy entrances us.
For the newcomers, the best advice for Taste is to get there early – the event starts at 12pm until 4pm tomorrow (Friday) and from 5.30pm until 10.30pm. The festival is open at the same times on Saturday also but on Sunday, the final day, it closes a little earlier, at 9.30pm.
The festival theme this year is the ‘Food Lover’s Playground’ and pop up restaurants offering meals from Thailand, Spain, Japan, China, Korea and India, are available to sample. Most samples cost around €7 – or 7 Florins – Taste’s very own currency. To buy the currency, watch out for little Florin stalls where the server will happily take your cash for the Monopoly type paper money.
An entry ticket entitles each customer to four hours in Iveagh Gardens. And we can say, an afternoon or evening at the festival, will make the perfect mini break in the city.
We recommend trying butter curry at the Pickle Indian pop up; a sugary treat at the Cupcake Bloke because his cakes are amazing and the service was very good, Gino’s Gelato, again because the gelato is lovely, as most of us know already and the staff are fantastic; Ketel One Vodka – again who have some great staff and we loved the espresso vodka. And when you’re winding down, try a mini cake for just 1 Florin at Apple Green (yes, the petrol station) but here it’s all about the coffee and cakes and of course sneak a little Prosecco in at O’Briens.
Tickets start at €17.50 and €69.50 for VIP access which entitles you to hanging out at the cool Laurent-Perrier Champagne VIP Suite in association with Sony Xperia, a complimentary glass of Laurent-Perrier bubbly and a glass of Asashi Super Dry beer. Child Tickets for 10-16 year-olds are € 14 and under 10s are free. And a family: two adults and two children under 10 (Sat and Sun lunch only) is €43.
For more information log onto Taste here. And let us know how you enjoyed the festival by tweeting @irelandtoday_ or posting your pics to our Facebook. Have fun!