Taste Festivals

The quality of the food in the UK has long been the butt of other countries' jokes.

The British Empire, it is sometimes said, was formed as a result of armies of Englishmen roaming the world looking for a decent meal.
But things have changed dramatically over the past few years - as witnessed by the number of TV cooking shows, farmers' markets and the success of the Taste festivals.

This weekend it's the Taste Of London festival, next weekend is the turn of Taste of Bath and the weekend after that is Taste of Birmingham. Edinburgh and Dublin have already been.

And if you like food, you really should try to get along to the one closest to you.

The festivals are essentially a celebration of local cooking, with the opportunity not only to buy fine foods and wine but also to sample signature dishes from the best restaurants in the area.

The problem as always is not what to eat, but what not to.

I'm supposed to be on a diet as part of an attempt to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight, but even that's not going to stop me making the trip up to Regent's Park this weekend.

After all, when else will I get the chance to eat at Le Gavroche, The Savoy Grill and The Connaught all in the same day?