While there are those who stick with what they know, some of us have an unquenchable penchant for trying new things, be it rare food, fine spirits, or cups of coffee. Among our travels, TRULY have encountered some exquisite places to sample such delights, whether it be for the first time or the 100th. Here are a few ideas on what things you can taste and where you can go to taste them.
Coffee tasting, or coffee cupping as it’s known by the more in-tune, is perhaps the youngest tasting craze that were aware of. If you’re a coffee lover and you like the idea of getting your head around phrases such as ‘rubber-like’ smells and ‘animal-like’ aromas, then by all means, a coffee cupping session at Ozone is for you.
Ah, gin. Once Britain’s favourite beverage, now stereotypically reserved for those over the age of 45. The spirit may not as be as popular as it used to be, but there are some indications to suggest interest is seeing something of a resurgence. The Rib Room in Knightsbridge and 214 in Bermondsey remain high on the list for gin aficionados and newbies alike.
Another of Britain’s drinks that has somewhat fallen by the wayside, sherry has seen a renaissance of late. ‘A lot of younger people are now talking about sherry,’ says sherry expert Robert Witter. Market analysis seems to suggest that, while sales of mainstream sherry leave much to be desired, premium sherries are experiencing the brunt of the interest. At The Halkin, you’ll find nothing but the latter.
Caviar: one of the finer things in life that, let’s face it, is best enjoyed in moderation. Laura King, one of the country’s authorities on caviar, has been in the trade of ‘good eggs’ for more than two decades, and is on hand to tell you what’s what. Better still, she’ll travel to your own home in order to do it. Even if you haven’t tried caviar before, perhaps time is ripe to see what all the fuss is about.
Whether you’re a budding Godfather who seeks their first puff or a highroller who’s out for the night, No. Ten Manchester Street is arguably London’s home to cigar tasting. It possesses one of the city’s very few all-weather cigar terraces, allowing you to draw inside and out of the cold without smoking the place out. Meanwhile, experts are ready to tell you the history behind each and every cigar, as well as what flavours they possess.
South Africa has a fine set of reds, and Bouchard Finlayson’s Hannibal blend is cheif among them, with a score of 99/100 in the South African wine index. Bloomsbury’s Montague on the Gardens pairs these full bodied wines with an assortment of canapés – just the sort of pick me up one needs after a day in the office.
Bar manager Cesar is one of a handful of people that can all themselves members of the elite whisky association the Keepers of the Quaich. Granted, he must know one or two things about whisky, then. Indeed it is rare for a cynic to sit down at Cesar’s bar and not walk out at the end of the experience with a newfound passion for whisky.
If there was ever such a thing as the title ‘tea sommelier’, then Henrietta Lovell would be the first person to receive it. It might be difficult to accept, but one of the first tings Henrietta will tell you is that for the past 70 years, we have been drinking tea incorrectly. Simply put, teabags are a thing of the past.
Read: Where Drinking Tea in Britain Went Wrong