Portions were large enough and prices just high enough that we could only sample a small proportion of the wealth of edibles available, most elegantly plated, despite the disposable eatingware on which it was served. Garnish, arrangement, and presentation all matter in addition to taste, especially when the purpose of the event is, in part, to sell the restaurants. And indeed, the one dish which most won me over will almost certainly bring me to the relevant restaurant sometime in the near future.
Big-name restaurants pulled in, as expected, a disproportionate percentage of the crowd. Jamie Oliver's Fifteen had a queue early on. Shortly before we left, the line for the Smith of Smithfields stall reached all the way into the heart of the tents opposite. Our four hour session sold out before the end. (I prebooked our tickets.) After all, how often does one have a chance to sample dishes from Le Gavroche or The Connaught for not much more than pocket change?
Tomorrow: Indian street food, prosecco granita, and the challenges of choosing what to eat.