Well we may be part way through the month of October with the nights already drawing in all too quickly, but Vinopolis on the South Bank have a brace of special events to tickle the tastebuds and tantalize the tongue.
Saturday 10th will see TWO major events taking place starting with wine-expert and passionate supporter of all things 'grape', Oz Clarke. For decades, Clarke has brought wine to many household tables, metaphorically speaking, and will be giving London's wine-geeks a chance to 'Meet The Expert' during the day. Tickets cost £59 - this covers a tasting session of 5 secret wines from Oz's Top 50 Wines plus the 'Vinopolis Grapevine' tour afterwards. There are 2 programmes starting at 3pm and 5pm but there is also a VIP session starting exclusively at Midday for £99 (includes a 30 minute Q & A session and a signed Oz Clarke book).
The other event is a real treat - a food quiz called 'Starter For Ten' chaired by University Challenge quiz-master, Bamber Gascoigne. It's a face-saving battle between top-rated chefs and the critics who may (or may not) have acclaimed them. Chefs include Angela Hartnett, Richard Corrigan and Jeremy Lee while the critics are represented by Giles Coren and Tracey Macleod. It will be 4-a-side and no-holds barred foodie action, governed with dignity by the main-man Bamber G. Tickets will cost £25 which includes a complimentary drink/soft drink reception (6pm start) prior to the quiz which starts at 7.15pm (the quiz will last approx an hour).
Vinopolis also has a 'Wine Show' exhibition from 22nd until 25th October at a different venue - The Design Centre in Islington. As well as over 50 wine producers, there will also be another chance to see Oz Clarke in action as well as other experts and merchants from around the world including Tim Aiken and Susy Atkins. Tickets range from £12.50 to £15 for a standard entry ticket or £20 to £25 for a Wine Dime ticket (includes vouchers to spend at the show - there are also money-saving Double Wine Dimes). There are also tickets for exclusive entry to Coutts Private Cellar for tasting and appreciation of fine wines not available in the main exhibition - these cost £40. All tickets will cost a little more on the opening night (22nd).
Finally, back at the South Bank and Vinopolis will also be running a Halloween-flavoured tour ('The Ghost Tour' - 29th Oct to 1st Nov - £25), as well as another successful Laughter Lounge comedy night (30th - £12 to £15) featuring Anil Desai and Pete Jonas amongst others. A combined tour and comedy ticket is available for the 30th only for £35! Enjoy!