On a beautiful September day not too long ago, I visited the BBC Good Food Feast at the Tower of London. The weather was glorious, and what better way to enjoy a slice of London’s regal history by also stuffing your face? I can hardly think of a better time.
BBC Good Food actually runs several shows and feasts at locations throughout the UK all year long. Its partnership with Historic Royal Palaces means that a couple of the Feast series are held at Hampton Court Palace and the Tower of London so that you can not only enjoy delicious food and cooking demonstrations, but you can also spend the day wandering around these glorious castles.
Most of the food offered at BBC Good Food Feast consists of tasting portions from food trucks and tent vendors peddling a wide variety of cuisines, from Thai curries to Indian street food to British cheese “toasties” (grilled cheese sandwiches). On the morning that I attended the event, I ate a modern twist on the English breakfast from The Game Bird at the Stafford London consisting of a braised pork belly bacon, tomato puree, wild mushroom veloute and poached Burford Brown eggs. Breaking into that fall-apart, fatty piece of pork swirled in a triple threat of tomato, mushroom and egg yolk was an excellent start to the day.
Tasting history at the BBC Good Food Feast isn’t just about the food itself. The event is also full of cooking demonstrations by well-known British chefs such as Barney Desmazery, the food editor of BBC Good Food and Sabrina Ghayour, cookbook author of Persiana and Feasts. The events are crowded with other like-minded foodies, but accessible enough that many attendees were able to wander up to the stage afterwards and ask one-on-one questions of the food presenters and chefs.
Another highlight of the three-day event are the numerous children’s activities available to food-loving families. Our kids delighted in decorating their own “emoji” cookies, which were made of digestive cookies and yellow fondant icing. Again, crowds were managed in such a way that our kids were able to wander right up to the craft tent and get started almost right away on making their own emoji cookie. Games and performance artists were also on hand to entertain little ones.
Of course, no taste of history is complete without actually visiting the Tower of London and the Tower Bridge, so we did that right after our bellies were too full to eat another bite. You can even meet a beefeater, one of the guards of the Tower of London; they’re very obliging when it comes to photos, as you can see.
The next BBC Good Food Feast happening at a Historic Royal Palace is the Festive Feast at Hampton Court Palace from December 8-10, 2017. Not only can you get in on the action, but the event will celebrate all that’s glorious about food during the festive holiday season. Tickets start at £8 for children and £15.90 for adults, and prices include admission to Hampton Court Palace. A VIP package that includes unlimited “fizz” (i.e., prosecco/champagne), front row seats to the demo FEAST kitchen, festive treats and more is also available starting at £54 for Historic Royal Palace members. You can book tickets online here.