I went to Taste of Christmas at the Excel London today. No Christmas carol this year - I'm clearly slightly less highly strung than I was.
But here's my recommendations for a wonderful day if you're visiting too.
Go to the Campo Viejo stand W50. Watch the lovely Spanish Chef Jose Pizarro whip up wonderful tapas and then feast upon them.
Try some of the wines. Heckle Mark Lloyd who's ably assisting.
Go to the Club Gascon stand. Order the Foie Gras Popcorn - as wonderful as it was last time.
Even if I still don't see the point of the baby corn.
Order their Capon Mango Pumpkin too.
Beautiful, especially the pumpkin puree.
Guess how many meringues they have in their mountain to win a copy of cookbook Cuisinier Gascon by Pascal Aussignac.
Go to the Modern Pantry Stand. Order the Organic Salmon Sashimi, Truffled Umeboshi Dressing, Yuzu Tobiko, wolf it down and lick the plate. I did. I am a tramp.
Also order their Vietnamese style Duke of Berkshire pork belly, mash, pickled bean sprouts, crispy shallots. Lush.
Time for dessert. Go to Gelato Heaven on stand 520. Order one of everything. Seriously.
This is my friend Sulina's new business and her ice cream cakes are hand-made and divine.
They've got Limoncello and Amaretto, Double Chocolate Pudding, Strawberry and White Chocolate, Black Forest Gateau, and Apple and Cinnamon.
The Limoncello cake is my favourite. She also does gelato in cones and tubs including a Christmas Pudding one. Mmmm.
Gelato Heaven also sell Fabbri Amarena Cherries, which Heston Blumenthal adores and uses in his Black Forest Gateau.
Very hard to find, so I bought a jar. Obviously.
Go to Kooky Bakes at stand P122 and buy lots of cakes to eat there AND to take home.
There's Whoopie Pies and Cupcakes and Slab Cakes, all well packaged to take away.
You MUST buy a Chocotecture which is the BEST cupcake I have had in my life EVER - dark chocolate sponge, white chocolate ganache injection, white chocolate mouse, butter cream, milk chocolate mousse butter cream, chocolate sauce, milk chocolate disc on top. I wish I had another one RIGHT now.
Go to Yum Yum Tree Fudge at stand P23 to get beautiful home-made fudge in countless flavours from my cousin Lily. Brilliant for Christmas presents.
Don't just take my word for it - Georgia Bradford who won Junior MasterChef this year loves the fudge too. Seeeeee.
Go to Cacao Sampaka stand CH14 and buy slabs of turron. It's niiiiiice.
And their other stuff is pretty good too.
End by swinging by the King's Ginger stand 220 and buy a bottle or two of this Christmassy 41% abv spirit to drink neat or with lemon bitters. And sing carols to yourself.
If you're very lucky, they might even use you to advertise next year's show. And yes, that is my blog card in Heston's hand.