Saturday 17th May saw Matt and I attend the second whisky festival of the year, this time in the big smoke at the London Whisky Weekender, hosted by the Whisky Lounge.
Being just at the other end of the Great Western line, Matt and I decided that we could easily make it to the Oval and back in a day, a decision that saw us getting the first bus to Cardiff train station some crazy hour of a Saturday morning.
We spent the train journey discussing the upcoming Whisky tasting, plans for future events and generally sorting out the world. The best part of the trip was when Matt asked how confident I’d be about getting so many people to join us on a Tuesday night. ‘Thursday’, I corrected him. ‘No, Tuesday! You’ve been putting the 17th in all the emails’…… Doh! Quick email to Chris at the Urban Tap House to confirm I’d booked the right day and all sorted. I had put the wrong date, but had booked the right day! Crisis over (but at least the journey up was productive).
So we decided in a ‘lessons learned’ from the previous festival, this time we would not only pace ourselves better and we would also get a proper breakfast/brunch/lunch before we started. So just before the Oval Space, we stopped at the redundantly named Canteen Cafe on Hackney Road, and I must say it was one of the best priced cafes I’ve ever eaten in. The food was really good too – although I did confuse them with Cheesy Chips – I don’t think the recipe has reached London yet!. As if the food and price wasn’t good enough to entice you, it also has a celebrity following, as half way through the meal in walks Griff Rhys Jones. The comedian, not the guy from Super Furry Animals.
After lunch we wandered over to the Oval spend the next few hours having a great time sampling some new favourites, some truly disgusting stuff (a Apple pie moonshine), meeting some great people for the first time, and meeting the worst whisky ambassador (….in the world) for the last time. I’m not sure whether to write about this yet, but ultimately after giving someone several times to redeem themselves, I CANNOT DRINK TALISKER AGAIN! This has to be an achievement, as I quite like Talisker – so he’s the first ambassador that’s swayed a fan, the other way!
Selection of photos from the day
Thanks to the guys at Whisky Lounge for putting on the festival, it was well run, had lots of water and lots of whisky. A highlight, despite the fact we weren’t a fan of the new offering, was the Laphroaig tasting, as the guy taking it was quite informative and put up with our sarcastic comments! Although, it was a little disappointing to find out that they were giving away most of the offerings at the Laphroaig stall anyway! Overall, there’s a lot of whisky that I know will be making my way to my shelf in the future and sadly some that I know won’t be arriving ever again.
Find thoughts, you know it’s a good day when you get the first and the last bus home on the same day