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Walking tour: Festive Lights, Feasts, & Mulled Wine (plus a visit to a pop-up cocktail bar & Vermouth Tasting)

Saturday December 14, 2013 at 17:00

 Walking tour: Festive Lights, Feasts, & Mulled Wine (plus a visit to a pop up cocktail bar & Vermouth Tasting)Map and Directions

Limited tickets available!!

Christmas is just around the corner (scary but true) It’s one of my favourite times of year! It’s an excuse (like you need one) to indulge!

As I love window shopping and looking at the holiday lights, so a few years ago, I asked our resident guide Jo, to put together this exclusive tour for us. It sells out every year, so don’t delay and buy your tickets here:

This year we’ll start our festive tour in Soho with a Vermouth Tasting and Signature cocktail to warm us up on the walk

 Walking tour: Festive Lights, Feasts, & Mulled Wine (plus a visit to a pop up cocktail bar & Vermouth Tasting)

About this event:

You’ll discover the hidden gastronomic delights away from the madness of Oxford Street. After peering into some of the worlds most highly decorative shop windows and learning the history of the capitals festive feasts you’ll warm up by the fire and sip mulled wine.

If you’re interested rsvp, yes and you can confirm with payment when you’re ready. However most of our events do sell out, so don’t delay!!!

Date: Saturday, 14th December

Time: Meet at 17:00 for a 18:15 departure

(Our Vermouth tasting/cocktail drinking will last around an hour and will include social time to enjoy a cocktail.  The guided walk will last around 2.5 hours.  There will be a place organised for drinks after the walk)

Location:Sent to paid attendees so that everyone can hear the guide (Near Soho)

Age: Not appropriate for children under 16

Dress: Smart casual, comfortable walking shoes



Non Members


£21, if pre-paid on-line before 1 week before event. £24 is the stanard ticket price.

Bon Vivant Members – Please log in to www.tastour.com for your discount


What’s included:

A sample of two homemade and exclusive Vermouth’s plus an interesting but brief explaination of the tasting, a cocktail, an Tastour exculsive guided walk, Commentary by a City of Westminster Guide, map and links of places mentioned.

Membership Information: Members receive up to 70% off pay-as-you-go events, in addition to attending the miniTASTINGS for free.  A total savings of over £500 per year.  Join here

Group discount: Purchase 4 tickets get 1 free (emailinfo@tastour.co.uk for details)

Website: www.tastour.com (Pre-booking is required)

For all Tastour award-winning events, pre-booking early on www.tastour.com is advised due to high demand.


‘Great day out!  I thought I knew a lot about London, but the excellent, knowledgeable guide proved me wrong.  It was a good mix of enjoyable people, learning about places I’ve already been and discovering a few hidden gems. Providing the map and links was a real bonus’ Tastourian, Janet

Weather alternative: If it rains, the meeting time and place will remain the same.  Please bring a brolly.
About Tastour

Tastour, UK Wine Educator of the Year*, makes meeting people and learning about food and drink fun, easy and engaging.  With a diverse range of events, priced from £5, there is really something for everyone – from epicurean tastings and exclusive dinners, recipe swaps and walking tours to day trips and social networking nights.  Our signature speedTASTING events, filled with one-liners and quirky facts, are all served alongside quality food and drink. Bring a date, your mates or come along on your own!

* Awarded by the International Wine Challenge 2010


To buy tickets or for more information about Tastour and our award-winning weekly epicurean events and private parties visit www.tastour.com or phone 07919053064


A Small World



The Best Wine Tasting in London


Attention, Tastorians! This is not your ordinary stuffy old tasting! Tastour’s fun night of learning is filled with     one-liners, anecdotes and eye-popping facts.

Most people say they want to learn about wine, but often they can’t find the time for a course or don’t want to get bogged down with the details.  This entertaining and educational guided tasting is all about having fun, teaching you to spot the bargains and developing relationships with clients and colleagues.

For more information, drop a line 07919053064 or email info@tastour.co.uk 

What is speedTASTING?

In just over 2.5 hours, 6 different learning themes will be introduced in rounds by your friendly and professional host who, by the way, is just bursting with entertaining and memorable wine facts and tips.  After each round, with carefully organized seat swaps, you’ll move onto a different table where you are greeted with new, friendly faces and another set of generous tasting samples. The unique samples are a superb talking point and will really get your tongues wagging!


Your Key Messages Delivered:

By sharing your desired outcomes for the event, we can create a bespoke presentation which connects your core message using the metaphor of wine. Do you want to instill your companies core values, motivate sales teams, or increase communication within teams?  Ask us how we can help you achieve your goals.


What’s Included:

Wine: Informative entertainment presented by award-winning Kelly Bayliffe. You will be poured 10 generous servings of fine wines, all retailing at £10-30 per bottle.  Total volume served is just over 2 large glasses of wine.

*price may vary for specialty tasting samples.

Food: Each table will be decorated with nibbles such as grapes, crackers and nuts.  For an additional charge, we can arrange for passed canapés at the start of the event as people arrive.  These are beautiful and really tasty.   Between the reds and the whites or at the end of the tasting, we can serve a gorgeous spread of Charcuterie and Artesian Cheese.    As well as vegetarian options like, grilled artichokes, an array of quiches and roasted red pepper spreads.

Also included: Your Tastour host will facilitate the seating arrangements, if required. Price includes, congestion charge, parking, glass hire, ice, spittoons, 4 additional staff members


Suggested Venues:

Corkage charge and room hire will vary based on the amount of food ordered and the day/time of your event.

If you accept this initial proposal, we will be able to suggest venues within your budget.



Award-winning Tastour offers exhilarating interactive tasting experiences, all revolving around food and drink.  If it has calories, we’ll excerise your palate.


To reach your companies desired outcomes, this proposal can be tailored to suit your needs.


Tasty Walking Tours of London

Tasty Walking Tours of London Whether you’re new in town or a local wanting to see the city through a fresh set of eyes, a Tastour Walk will reveal London’s highlights, whilst keeping you far away from the tourist traps and crowded streets.

Our walks are exclusively designed for Tastour.

What makes our walks different?

We don’t just focus on history…

You’ll  introduced to the places recently featured popular magazines like The Metro,  Evening Standard… and dare we say, The Sun.

We always meet inside a pub or restaurant…

If you arrive early, you’ll be warm, cozy and will have the option of enjoying a nice refreshment in comfort.  And more importantly, you won’t be left wondering if your standing in the right spot.

We keep the group small and intimate…

So that you can enjoy your guide’s presentation.  There’s nothing worse than a guided tour with more than 30 people.

Our walks usually end with a tasty bang!

Each walk ends with an optional special treat…. If may be an award-winning afternoon tea, or a drink on the 15th Floor, but rest assured, it will be something special and memorable.

Who leads our walks?

Our walks are led by a passionate and friendly Blue Badge or City of Westminster guide, who will share with you London’s fascinating and delicious food and drink history and hotspots.  With snippets of information, fun facts and top recommendations, as well as ample taste opportunities along the way, you’ll get to experience our gastronomic capital whilst meeting and mingling with a small group of like-minded people, during a fun, leisurely walk.

What areas of London do we cover?

We have seven fascinating walks in the Tastour series. All of which focuses on exploring famous pubs, restaurants, bars… and let’s not forget historical and modern day Bon Vivants.  Add in a few fantastic food related shops and a bit of Art History and this afternoon of discovery will give you a taste of an area you will surely want to return to!

Tasty Walking Tours of London

Afternoon Tea themed walking tour of Mayfair
28 Apr 2012 1:45 PM • £12 ● Mayfair – BUY TICKETS
Are you passionate about exploring tea and all of its wondrous varieties? Would you enjoy visiting and learning about famous pubs? Join us for ‘Afternoon Tea in Mayfair’ which focuses on tea, expensive hotels, famous pubs and other foodie hotspots in Mayfair.

Foodie shop and historical pub walking tour of Marylebone
12 May 2012 1:45 PM • £12 ● Marylebone – BUY TICKETS
Keen to explore the back streets and mews with their well-known residents and historic pubs?
How about trying the famous cheese that launched La Formorgerie Cheese Shop? This fascinating walk focuses on visiting famous pubs, exploring interesting people and some great food and drink related places you’ll definitely want to return to!

Culinary St James and the revolution of Gentleman’s clubs
09 Jun 2012 1:45 PM • £12 ● St James – BUY TICKETS
Be intrigued by the ‘secret world of the wealthy’. Be fascinated by the exclusive ‘men only’ clubs from the 1800’s. Be delighted by the posh eateries and foodie delights along the way.
Join us for this fascinating, leisurely guided walk.

Famous pubs and hidden foodie delights of Belgravia
17 Nov 2012 1:45 PM • £12 ● Belgravia –BUY TICKETS
Explore some of the most historically fascinating pubs in London. Visit pubs associated with The Beatles, the disappearance of Lord Lucan and ‘The Great Train Robbery’.

Festive Feasts & Mulled Wine Walking Tour
8th or the 15th Dec 2012 5:30 PM • £15 ● Oxford Circus ● To Be Confirmed
Discover the hidden gastronomic delights away from the madness of Oxford Street Finish of by warming up by the fire and sipping mulled wine, with other interesting, like-minded Tastourians!

Liverpool Street – coffee, curry, clothes, cheese and claret
TBC 2013 1:45 PM • £12 ● Brick Lane
Are you enticed by East London’s vibrant and culturally diverse atmosphere?
Do thoughts of Monmouth coffee, curry, zucchini and fine claret wine get your mouth watering?
Fancy a taste of life in the bohemian East End? Then join us for a leisurely stroll and experience the sights, the sounds, and the tantalizing flavors unique to Brick Lane.

Details of our Soho walk coming soon!

Walks presented by Kelly Bayliffe, an award-winning wine writer and presenter.

Ice cream & Liqueur Pairing: A walk, garden party and lunch 14 Jul 2012 1:00 PM • £35 ● Hammersmith – BUY TICKETS
Do you enjoy rich, creamy, delicious ice cream? Do you relish the thought of a leisurely walk alongside the River Thames, ending with lunch in the garden of an old, quaint pub? Discover the delights of pairing sweet flavored liqueurs and luxury ice cream.

Chocolate in Epping Forest                                                                                                                                                                                                                    30 Sep 2012 1:00 PM • £25 ● North East London – BUY TICKETS
Explore all five of your senses!If you love chocolate, and enjoy the simple pleasure of a leisurely stroll & picnic surrounded by nature’s beauty, then join us as we walk Epping Forest and savour over 15 tasting samples of delicious chocolate, including luxury truffles from www.ramallos.co.uk

Walk the Oxford/Cambrigde Boat Race Course
2013 TBC 1:00PM ● £3 ● Putney
Keen to learn more about this prestigious 187 year-old event? Would you like to experience the wonderful, social atmosphere and array of exquisite food and drink on offer? Then come and soak up the sun with us!

Footing it though Hampstead                                                                                                                                                                                                        2013 TBC 10:00PM ● £3 ● Highgate                                                                                                                                                                                                         Fancy a walk through the quaint and beautiful village of Highgate? Soak up the sun and beautiful surroundings of Hampstead Heath! Enjoy a tour of Kenwood House & finish off with a drink and a delicious Sunday Lunch.

The Floating Classroom

Check out the video!!! 

About the Event:   Who says learning can’t be fun? Your floating classroom will explore wine and make fascinating new London discoveries along the way.  It’s New World Camden vs Old World Little Venice –  This is one boat ride you don’t want to miss.

About the Venue:   The Grand Canal is an extensive network stretching over 130 miles. The section between Little Venice and Camden is one of the most scenic and historic. The floating Classroom is a charitable vessel. There is an outside viewing deck and inside seating for your comfort.

Cost:   Priced from £60 per person. Limited to 40 people.

 Tastour’s Floating Classroom YouTube video


Welcome to Tastour’s Floating Classroom!!!

The Floating Classroom

Classroom setup

The Floating Classroom

The Floating Classroom

Cheesey Teamwork

The Floating Classroom

The Floating Classroom


Drink and Draw: Wine Glass Painting Class, Wine Tasting and 6 Course Dinner

Saturday November 10, 2012 at 16:45

Drink and Draw: Wine Glass Painting Class, Wine Tasting and 6 Course DinnerMap and Directions

Hand painted wine glasses have created a frenzy in the shops and command a price tag of up to£30 each! Join us in this new craze and create your own personalised, unique set of glasses at this exclusive event. It’s easy and incredibly therapeutic!

During your 2 hour painting class, you’ll enjoy a guided wine tasting of 4 fine artisan wines.  While waiting for your completed your masterpieces to dry,  you will enjoy a colourful and artistically presented 6 course meal at one of London’s leading secret supper clubs.

Join us to celebrate the art of wine and food!



The Glasses make excellent birthday and wedding presents – perfect for Christmas too!!!

Location:  The venue is the chef’s Home, it is not a public restaurant. The Supper Club is located minutes from the City – near Old Street and Angel Tube.  It is also close to various bus routes. Due to the secret nature of secret supper clubs, the address is sent in the payment confirmation email.


Food and Drink: (Valued at £75)

Cocktail and Canapés on arrival

Presentation on Art and Food

4 Fine Wines paired with 6 course dinner

Drink and Draw: (valued at £50)

Guided tasting of 4 high quality, artesian wines

Tutorial: How to Paint your glass

Paints, stencils and all art material

2 glasses – 1 white, 1 red (additional glasses available for small charge, or bring your own.  Vases and bowls may also be painted – anything glass!!)


£125 – Only £100, when booked online 1 week in advance

Bon Vivant Members save an additional £15

Note on Quality of Wine:  Wines served will be rare artesian wines, many will cost around £40-60 per bottle on a restaurants wine list.   I have tried to keep the cost low, however, as this is an artistic tasting I thought it best to serve fine wines, which you may not be able to taste any where else!

Note on price: I understand this is a lot of money, especially if you’re new to the group.  Please phone me if you have any questions.

Note on creativity/artistic ability: No art skills are required.  I have purchased stencils for the glasses and even the most shaky hands can produce beautiful hand painted glasses.

Note on food: The ingredients are as far as possible locally sourced: fish comes from Steve Hatt, meat from McKenna Meat and most of the fruit and veggies from the stalls at Chapel Market.  The main course is a choice of Marinated Cod or Poussin (baby Chicken) Please state if you have any diet restrictions when booking and your request will be accommodated.


Itinerary for the night: (End time is an estimate)

Arrive for 4:45 – Presentation on Wine

5:15 – Introduction to Drink and Draw

7:30 – Presentation on Food Art & Dinner begins.

10:00 – Dinner ends – coffee and petit fours served.

Guest can either stay or leave.


More photos of the Drink and Draw:

Drink and Draw: Wine Glass Painting Class, Wine Tasting and 6 Course Dinner

Drink and Draw: Wine Glass Painting Class, Wine Tasting and 6 Course Dinner

Drink and Draw: Wine Glass Painting Class, Wine Tasting and 6 Course Dinner


Drink and Draw: Wine Glass Painting Class, Wine Tasting and 6 Course Dinner

Drink and Draw: Wine Glass Painting Class, Wine Tasting and 6 Course Dinner

Drink and Draw: Wine Glass Painting Class, Wine Tasting and 6 Course Dinner

Drink and Draw: Wine Glass Painting Class, Wine Tasting and 6 Course Dinner

Drink and Draw: Wine Glass Painting Class, Wine Tasting and 6 Course Dinner


Heavy on Flavour… Light on the pocketbook

One of the wonderful things about Prosecco is that you don’t have to sacrifice flavour for price. You can pick up a bottle of bubbles for at least half the price of Champagne.  And your friends will even thank you for it!  In our Introduction to Champagne and Sparkling wine speedTASTING, nearly everyone prefers Prosecco. Whilst only half of people preferred Champagne.

If you thought all Prosecco was sweet, think again. Although it is characteristically fruiter than Champagne, it is mainly sold with a dry dosage!  Dosage rhymes with massage, and it a whole ‘nother blog post, so I’ll just leave you with… read the label.  Yep, just one little word will let you in on the bottle’s secret – the sweetness of the wine…. BRUT (means it will be dry!)

At whatever price point, there are two key words to look for on the label to ensure you are buying a quality prosecco:

The code word on the label that you want to be sure to look for is DOCG.  What is this, you ask?  Well, I shall tell you!  DOCG or ‘Controlled Designation of Origin Guaranteed’ is  a quality assurance label.  The DOCG came about after the DOC (‘Designation of Origin’) was considered to be handed out far too liberally.  The main difference between the two (besides price!) is that DOCG-labeled wines are tested by government-licensed personnel, approved, then bottled and stamped with a government number.  What does this mean for consumers?  You’re guaranteed to be getting top-notch quality.

And the third word to seek out is Valdobbiadene.  This is the only region where Prosecco is legally allowed to be made.  It’s just like Cava or Champagne, it now has a ‘trademark’ protecting it’s name.

My favourite recommendation comes from one of Italy’s top producers of this well-known sparkling wine.   Nino Franco, is located in the heart of the Prosecco DOC, has been making wine since 1919. They are considered to be one of the oldest Prosecco producers and  unlike many of their peers, the Franco family owns their own vineyards.  This means that all decisions on viticulture are solely theirs to make: the fruit can be picked, transported and crushed at their own discretion.  A they focus on lower yeilds their Italian competitors, the quality is undeniably higher.  I recently had the pleasure of meeting Anthony Franco, and I must say, is was tastefully charming!  And I look forward to taking him up on the offer to stay at their vineyards, sounds like an excellent Tastour!


My top pick for the summer:

Nino Frano Rustico DOC Brut: Start with a scent of white flowers and lemon zest, but fall into the pleasantly complex flavour.  Though a dry bottle, this wine offers tiny bubbles and a green apple taste that lingers on the tongue, making it impossible not to think of summer.  Redolent of white peach, mint and pear, this wonderfully popular wine is one to try!

Price = £18 but on offer for £14 here

The winner of the free magnum is Katie Mineherat, Congrats Katie


Day trip: Olive Oil tasting & 6 Course Supper in an Historical Market Town

Thursday January 3, 2013 at 09:30

Day trip: Olive Oil tasting & 6 Course Supper in an Historical Market TownMap and Directions


The Olive Oil tasting on our Bath trip was loved so much, I thought it would be worth sneaking over for a Sunday afternoon on the train.  This exclusive experience, at the ‘by appointment only’ Tasting Room (of Dragon Den star Mike North) is down a small lane, in the middle of know where… it’s a travellers dream.


Plan for the day:

We’ll catch the 9:57 train from Paddington, arriving at Castle Cary at 11:30

On arrival we will take a senic 20 min walk to the Market House pass the ruins of one of England’s largest castles.


For lunch, I suggest a charming tea house.

Day trip: Olive Oil tasting & 6 Course Supper in an Historical Market Town

Here’s a review from Tripadvisor:  What a charming experience. So much thought has gone into the detail of this lovely little tea room, from the decor to the music and uniform worn by the staff. Such a refreshing change from the bland coffee houses of today. I would highly recommend this establishment and intend to return on a regular basisat the Old Bake House, a charming cafe run with somerset Love.

Our carriages will drive us to Shepton Mallet, where we will have around 2 hours of free time to explore before we arrive at the home of the Olive Oil Tasting Room.  Here we will have 3-4 hours to eat, drink and learn from two wonderfully inspiring individuals, each with their own passion, Mike, who loves olive oil and his wife Sharron, the Queen of Basalmic Vinegar.  – It’s a perfect marriage for any salad.  And learn how to use these two ingredients to change the way you cook for ever.

We’ll return to London around 10pm


How to reserve your spot:

Payment via Bank Transfer only.  Please contact me for a booking form. info@tastour.co.uk

If you do not have access to your paypal account, please contact me.


Price £92, if booked before 1st Feb, £100 after

*Booking fee is waived for Bon Vivant Members


Cost breakdown:

Transport £40 (includes return train from London & taxi to and from Shepton Mallet)

Olive Oil & Basalmic Tasting £20

6 Course Supper with wine £30

Booking fee* (Buying a glass of Champange for the organsier) £10

Paypal fee £2


Limited to 12 people.


We’ll have a few hours of free time in Shepton Mallet, here are some suggestions that we could do:


Day trip: Olive Oil tasting & 6 Course Supper in an Historical Market Town

Shepton Mallet is a historic Market Town

It’s charming and there is quite a bit to see and do. Although I tend to go for farm shops before designer shops – this town has them both.  We can take tea or go for a walk.  There will be 3 hours and the group can split up or stay together.  It’s all within walking distance to the tasting at 3pm.


Kilver Court and Gardens

Day trip: Olive Oil tasting & 6 Course Supper in an Historical Market Town

Mulberry Factory Outlet

Cool British design label Mulberry has its factory shop just a few steps from the main Kilver Court buildings and farm shop. This is Somerset’s most indulgent hotspot, brimming with glamour and urban chic. Day trip: Olive Oil tasting & 6 Course Supper in an Historical Market Town

Famous for beautifully hand crafted leatherwork, Mulberry has set an industry standard in the UK since the early 1970’s and has a long history at Kilver Court through its creator Roger Saul.

Male and female Mulberry aficionados will both enjoy some serious shopping in the peaceful environment of Somerset, where Mulberry’s past and present lie.

Tea at Bannatyne’s Charlton House Spa Hotel

You could also book a spa visit, and enjoy a 2 course lunch and all the spa toppings.   You will need to book this directly with the hotel.

The Olive Oil Tasting is a 5 minute walk from the Hotel.

This really was a great tasting and super supper!  Here’s the menu – veggie options available



“Tapas” are small portions of food so as not to distract from conversation.

We the family, Michael, Sharran & Emma will take you on a tasty tapas style journey through seasonal fresh olive oils and the wonderful world of Black Gold Balsamic Vinegars of Modena.

Your hosts will match seasonal fresh olive oils and Black Gold balsamic vinegars to compliment these wonderful dishes


Homemade Soup of Season


Seasonal Fresh Olive Oil & Black Gold “66” Dipping Pool

(Served with fresh white bread)

Garlic & Oregano Toast

Roasted Sweet Peppers & Olives

Brussels Pâté

Sharran’s Specials Salads

Grated Carrot & Salted Roast Peanuts

Pearl Barley & Celery

Mixed Green Leaves, Tomatoes & Feta


Irish Champ & Parmesan Cheese


Greek Style Roast Leg of Lamb with Garlic & Thyme

Vegetarian option available upon advanced request


Decadent Chocolate Mousse