All posts in Tasting Events/Shows

Cocktails in the City

cocktails-in-the-cityCocktails in the City returns to Leeds on April 10th, for one night only, in the stunning surroundings of Leeds Town Hall where cocktail lovers and Leeds finest bars will gather together for an evening dedicated to the art of cocktail making.

Without doubt Cocktails in the City is the UK’s greatest cocktail night, showcasing the greatest bars and the greatest cocktails with venues such as Harvey Nichols, The Maven, Jakes Bar and Still Room and The Alchemist with many more involved it is an event not to be missed!

Guests can enjoy amazing food from the highly respected Chaophraya Restaurant, music supplied by the show’s sponsor Capital FM and a host of live cocktail demonstrations on the main stage. With wandering magicians, complimentary massages from Oulton Hall and a beauty SOS area provided by Harvey Nichols, Cocktails in the City is an evening of sophisticated fun with friends and colleagues and one of the best nights out you will have in 2014.

Successfully launched in Leeds in 2013 every venue creates their own “pop up” bar where visitors can learn how to create a special signature cocktail created specifically for the show.

Other Cocktails in the City events for your diary include: Manchester, London and Edinburgh. Last year over 10,000 cocktails were poured throughout all Cocktails in the City’s UK events, and this year promises to be bigger and better.

A full list of participating bars and show experiences and demonstrations are being updated daily at

Cocktails in the City Leeds
Date: April 10th 2014
Place: Leeds Town Hall
Time: 18.00 – 23.00
Tickets: £10 Inc One Cocktail, Cocktail Book, Live Demonstrations. Additional cocktails and food are available for a discounted £6 on the night.
Group deals (10 or more) and a private bespoke experiences are available to companies and organisations (30 or more)

Participating bars include: Harvey Nichols / The Alchemist / The Maven / The Botanist / The Pit / Mojo Bar, plus many more.

Wood Fired Oven Outdoor Cooking Courses

wood_fired_ovenThe recently revamped, seriously stylish Deer Park Country House Hotel just outside Honiton in Devon has called on wood fired oven cooking expert, David Jones of Manna from Devon Cooking School, to add another exciting dimension to their utterly fabulous courses. A series of new, outdoor wood fired oven courses will start in April and run through until the end of September 2014.

During the varied range of exciting new courses, which will take place during the week, David will share his infectious passion and enthusiasm for cooking with The Bushman wood fired oven which has recently been installed at this hugely desirable hotel. What could be better than learning from wood fired oven specialists in the stunning gardens of a quintessential English country house?

A long standing tradition in many countries around the world, cooking with a wood fired oven has become extremely popular in recent years and is now one of the latest trends to take the UK by storm. Throughout David’s classes you’ll be taught all about wood fired ovens and how to prepare and cook with them. The five hands-on cooking classes (£95 per person per course) are ‘The Devon Larder’, ‘Grill like a Gaucho’, ‘Pizza and Flat Breads’, ‘From Coast to Countryside’ and finally a ‘Deer Park Tandoori’ experience.

Celebrating the county’s delicious local produce and wonderful artisan producers, The Devon Larder course will teach you how to create an array of tasty seasonal ‘Devonian’ dishes including a traditional Homity Pie and souffled crab frittata.

Grill like a Gaucho is the perfect course for meat lovers and those wanting to embrace the char and wood ash of the fire. Throughout the South American inspired course you’ll master how to char grill steaks, sear squid and create the South American chimmichurri steak sauce.

Situated in Kingswear overlooking the River Dart, Manna from Devon will bring their favourite flavours of the sea to the Deer Park Country Park House Hotel. Using whole lemon sole, mackerel and John Dory as well as many other tasty fish varieties, during the From Coast to Countryside course you’ll learn about each fish and how to prepare and cook it using a selection of mouth-watering recipes.

Keen to share his new found knowledge from Manna from Devon’s recent Indian adventure, the Deer Park Tandoori experience will see you grinding spices, marinating meat and cooking traditional Indian recipes including baked samosas, onion bhajis and naan breads.

Although synonymous with pizzas, wood fired ovens can of course be used to cook a variety of appetizing flat breads. During the Pizza and Flat Breads course David will show you how to make, shape and top dough whilst producing pizza, lavash, pita and pissaladiere (four delicious flat breads from across the world).

Set in 80 acres of magnificent grounds, the 18th Century Georgian mansion hotel in East Devon boasts beautiful boutique hotel bedrooms, a stunning Italian garden and desirable restaurant. Influenced by the best of British, the Deer Park Country House Hotel is the epitome of a quintessential English Country House. ‘Cooking with a wood fired oven’ is just one of the courses in the exciting new series of laid back, informal and fun outdoor courses on offer within the grounds of the recently renovated hotel. Open to both residents and non-residents, other mid-week courses include ‘An Introduction to Falconry’, ‘Apple Tree Pruning’, ‘An All Day Country Affair’, ‘Fish, Find and Flame’ and ‘Beekeeping’.

Established in 2005, Manna from Devon Cooking School is run by Holly and David Jones who teach cooking skills to small groups in the relaxed environment of their Victorian home overlooking the beautiful River Dart in South Devon. In addition to the main kitchen there is a second kitchen in the style of a bakery.

For further information on the Manna from Devon courses at the Deer Park Country House Hotel please visit or call 01404 41266. For further information on Manna from Devon Cooking School go to

Oxford Wine Festival 2014

oxford wine festivalOrganizers have announced plans for a major wine festival in the city of Oxford. The two day event will take place on the August Bank Holiday weekend (23rd and 24th August 2014) at the world-famous Oxford Union buildings.

The Oxford Wine Festival 2014 will present wines from over twenty different countries, including a wide selection of England’s best vineyards. Other sections of the festival will cover Old and New World wines and Emerging Regions. The festival will have tutored tasting sessions led by some of the world’s most respected wine authorities, as well as food and live music.

“Oxford has always been a unique and magical place,” says Chris Bowling, one of the Founders of the Oxford Wine Festival 2014. “We are creating a really ambitious event that will draw in people from both the city and from around the world. We want an event that reflects the host city – intelligent, fun, atmospheric, and renowned.”

“This will be an opportunity to meet new people, discover new wines, and enjoy this world famous location with a glass of wine in your hand. It is a chance for both tourists and locals to sample everything that is delicious and fascinating in today’s world of wine.”

Attendees can select from four different sessions over the weekend, with over 3000 attendees expected over the full two days. Further information can be found on the Oxford Wine Festival website, Enquiries from exhibitors are also welcome.

Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival 2014

Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival 2014The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival is set to raise a glass to Scotland’s national drink and open its doors to the people and passion behind some of the finest whiskies available.

Tickets are now on sale, which draws thousands of visitors from all over the globe. It will run this year from May 1st- 5th in the heart of the world’s best known whisky region.

And this year the festival has been chosen to kick off Whisky Month which is part of the Year of Homecoming Scotland programme. Whisky Month celebrates Scotland’s diverse food and drink offering and will include an array of activities including events, festivals, and unique tastings and tours throughout the month of May, emphasising the warm hospitality that Scotland is famed for.

Festival Chairman James Campbell says organisers are looking forward to welcoming back old festival friends, as well as those who will be attending the internationally renowned event for the first time.

He says,

“The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival is unique in offering visitors the chance to not only sample some of the best whiskies in the world but also learn about the passion and tradition that goes into producing them.
“More than 300 events are taking place over five days so whisky aficionados and novices alike will find something to suit them. Our partners have really pulled out all the stops and created an outstanding programme of events from tasting sessions and our world-class whisky school to canoe tours and ‘drambles’ between our famous distilleries.
“The Year of Homecoming Scotland also gives us the opportunity to celebrate our history and offer a warm Scottish welcome to international visitors. We are proud to have been chosen as the launch event for Whisky Month and it’s the perfect chance to raise a glass of our world famous malt whiskies.”

The Speyside region contains more than half of all Scotland’s malt whisky distilleries and each one produces a whisky with its own distinguished set of characteristics. During the Festival, a large number of distilleries will open their doors for public tours, nosings and tastings – some for the very first time in history.

Tickets will be available on the new look Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival website from 1900 GMT on 1st February. The new website offers quick and easy access to information about all of the festival’s events and partners, and aims to enhance the quality and availability of information to local and international visitors alike.

Tickets for all events in the 2014 Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival programme can be bought via the website –

Sussex Wine Bus Tour

sussex wine bus toursExplore two of Sussex’s finest vineyards on board the Sussex Wine Bus Tour, launching Saturday 24 May and running every fourth Saturday of the month until September 2014.

Hop aboard either our luxury coach or vintage Routemaster bus from Old Steine gardens in Brighton and be whisked to the award-winning Ridgeview Wine Estate at Ditchling for a vineyard and winery tour discovering why the South Downs are a world-class growing region for sparkling wine grapes.

Lunch will be taken amongst the vines courtesy of Brighton’s supper club queen Cantina, followed by a cheese tasting with David Deaves of La Cave á Fromage and a fun wine quiz with prizes to test your knowledge of English wines.

In the afternoon, the bus departs for Bolney Wine Estate where there will be a further tour of the vineyard and a closer look into still wine production, before a tasting of Bolney’s wide range of internationally acclaimed still and sparkling wines.

“The Sussex Gourmet Wine Bus Tour is a fantastic opportunity to visit a number of award winning local wineries with the added fun of wine tasting”, says Mardi Roberts of Ridgeview Wine Estate. “Visitors will be given an insight into the care and effort taken in our vineyards followed by an extensive tour of all the facilities of wine production including our underground cellars.”

Each of the tours finish back in Brighton for a complimentary cocktail at Be At One – the latest addition to the city’s burgeoning cocktail bar scene. With over 120 cocktails on their list, you’re sure to find the perfect seaside sundowner.

Launching as part of English Wine Week 2014, the wine tours are an extension of the Brighton & Hove Food and Drink Festival’s ever-popular Sussex Gourmet Bus Tours, and will run ever fourth Saturday of the month from May to September.

Tickets are £75 in advance, including all tastings and lunch, and are available in advance from