Venues Of Excellence Members experience some of London’s top culinary destinations
As part of David Russell’s vibrant presentation at the Conference Centres of Excellence Conference on January 16, the delegates participated in a very competitive quiz between tables on the theme of Food trends. The winning team were rewarded with a foodie tour of London, led by Lawrence McCarthy from the Russell Partnership.
Here, Bronagh Bell from the Golden Jubilee Conference Hotel shares her experience of a foodie’s trip to London:
“All five winners myself and Stuart plus Nigel, Robbie and Nancy from Roffey Park (we called ourselves the Foodie Crew) met Russell Partnership Director, Lawrence McCarthy at London Bridge Station. Not knowing what to expect, the intrepid crew were delighted when Lawrence kicked off the day with breakfast on the 31st floor of the Shard at Aqua Shard.
This was my first trip up the Shard so was a real treat with spectacular views over London. The breakfast was equally spectacular and the Foodie Crew selected a varied choice of tantalising dishes including Aberdeenshire stone ground oatmeal porridge with mixed berry compote and Vegetarian English Breakfast which included their own baked beans and avocado on brown toast.
Next stop was the Citizen M, Bankside near the Tate Modern. The Citizen M chain is a personal favourite of mine. Their simple laid back boutique concept is ideal for business travellers who are looking for the essentials of a good sleep, fast wifi, informal friendly public areas to work or eat ‘together alone’. Their meeting spaces are funky and ideal for creative group get-togethers.
Next stop was Borough Market, foodie heave! In case you think this was all about indulgence, you are probably right but Lawrence ensured the educational element was to the fore, pointing out and exploring food trends and food outlets and concepts. From Itsu to the City version of LA’s Food Trucks in Broadgate Circle’s artisan market we travelled from the South Bank to the heart of the City, sniffing, sampling, smiling and chewing the fat over the potential of boxed lunches for delegates to harnessing the passion for street food in a venue of excellence. Haggis toasties, hot subs, Thai noodles, Indian wraps, the ultimate bacon butty ‘Le Swine’ an amazing array of global flavours that can only challenge the humble finger buffet.
After all this hard work we were obviously really hungry. Time for lunch in Yauatcha City and an innovative and extensive dim sum feast. With a table overlooking the culinary market below, the Foodie Crew enjoying the most amazing Chinese cuisine. A sudden and violent thunderstorm extended the lunch which meant we had to miss out on some of the afternoon activities but when the skies had cleared we headed to the final stop at Spitalfields market. More trucks and introducing good, fresh, nutritious and ethical fast food from the Leon chain, Spitalfields provided a great example of how food taste and demand has evolved in recent years. A lot of learning, a lot of eating and lots of new ideas and a lot of questions for Venues of Excellence. How can we embrace the trends of the streets of London to the buffet stations of our conference venues!
A very big thank you to Lawrence McCarthy and the Russell Partnership for providing so much food for thought and a wonderful prize.”