Not all that long ago, London, and the rest of the UK, had a reputation, as having some of the worst food in the world.
Having spent most of my life here in London in the world of food and drink, I know that this was
In the eighties I worked in restaurants that were offering up delicious food and fine wines, and cocktails to boot. My social life back then involved a lot of eating and drinking and my friends and I would always try to be first to visit whatever new bar or restaurant we could find.
With the likes of Jeremy King, Chris Corbin, Terence Conran, and my own boss for many years, Richard Polo, blazing the trail for new restaurateurs, the eighties set the scene for the future of the British restaurant scene.
Unfortunately, I think we are still the butt of jokes worldwide about the quality of our food.
Fortunately, however, the joke is on those who still believe in our musty old reputation.
Those of us lucky enough to experience the wide gastronomic selection available here in the UK, know better.
With the cultural melting pot always on the boil here, every day there is likely to be the introduction of some new and exotic flavour from some far flung corner of the world.
As the pot gets stirred some very exciting unions occur. We are lucky here, to enjoy these new food trends, often at the time of conception.
We have truly become a foodie nation.
Have a look at our TV schedules. There are endless programmes to show us how to cook, eat, host and, generally, just appreciate good food and drink.
Look beyond the TV and you will see this enthusiasm carry through to our very social lives.
A glimpse into the amount of events taking place here in the Capital shows you just how mad we are for all things gastronomical.
In the londontown.com listings here is what I’ve discovered we can all do to satisfy our culinary cravings in October. Bear in mind, this is just one month in a whole year of gourmet pursuits available.
1.The London Restaurant Festival. Dabble in some restaurant hopping and sample what some of London's top chefs are up to. Over 350 venues are involved.
2. London Cocktail Week. Pop up events, including pop up bars and masterclasses, will be springing up across the city with at least 250 bars taking part.
3. Oktoberfest. Bringing us a touch of beer, sausage and good old fashioned oompapa for four days in East London.
4. Cake and Bake Show. Bringing to life, the excitement of our favourite baking show, the Excel Centre hosts some of the country's best bakers and some of our favourite contestants, too.
5. Oysterfest. A seafood festival hosted by the Newman Street Tavern, bringing a touch of Whitstable to the West End. Expect to see some well known chefs taking part in the shuck off.
6. The Chocolate Show. Yes, that’s right. A three day exhibition at Olympia devoted to that
glorious foodstuff. Watch, learn,taste and buy. Some people's idea of heaven, I'm sure.
7. London Porridge Championships. Yes, there is such a thing. Taking place at Whole Food Market in Kensington a competition to seek out the best porridge maker in the country.
7. Scotch Egg Challenge. Competitors from restaurants across London participate in a blind taste contest to find our finest scotch egg. Hosted by the Canonbury Tavern in Islington, go along and judge for yourself,free.
This is just a list of organised food events you can enjoy here in town. All across the country there are daily and weekly events taking place. You would be hard pressed not to stumble across a church fair or farmers market in most towns on most days not offering some delectable delights to tempt you.
Just look online at www.londontown.com or www.timeout.com if you’re looking for something to nourish you. Details of dates and venues can be found there.
So, let those who don't really know, mock our wealth of food and drink expertise.
We know better.
A rare Queen Anne Britannia Standard Chocolate Pot hallmarked in 1712.
Available on our website.