For the past few two years I’ve been to the Moretti Gran Tour in London and I’ve written about it on here. The first in 2015 was in Hackney (which I wrote about here) and last year it was just off Brick Lane (more here). As you might have guessed by the name, it’s an event from Birra Moretti, a beautiful Italian beer which is all too easy to drink, especially on these warm summer evenings.
The Moretti Gran Tour has always been a celebration of Italian food and culture. The 2015 venue was enclosed and cosy, a real foodie’s delight. They also had a great little feature where you were given a ‘passport’ at the start of the night which you got stamped as you visited the various Italian food vendors – very appealing to geeks like me who like to ‘complete’ things!
Last year’s event was a bit bigger and outdoors, but with an even broader selection of excellent grub on offer, including some beautiful seafood in addition to the pizza and pasta. They also had a superb BBQ masterclass with the guys from Forza Win which we really enjoyed (and still use the things we learned for cooking steaks today!)
This year the event was part of the Barclaycard ‘British Summertime’ in Hyde Park. I went with my friend Kelly and thankfully the weather was just right for an evening tucking into good Italian grub washed down with some lovely beer.
Just as there had been a pasta class in 2015 and a BBQ class in 2016, this year’s event offered a ‘multi sensory’ Italian food experience which I’d asked to be booked onto. Unfortunately it turned out that I hadn’t been booked in, despite requesting on a couple of occasions, and there was no space on the night. A real shame, as I’d been looking forward to writing about it and sharing it with you all. So I can’t even tell you what it was about, I’m afraid, as I honestly have no idea.
There were much less food stalls available this year – just four. And because there were lots of people, the queues were pretty substantial. It was like the Evening Standard Night Market all over again.
We started at Cheeky Italian and were looking forward to tucking into some yummy meatballs (the website mentioned their Meatball Parm hero filled with fried chicken, pork & beef meatballs, mozzarella, marinara sauce in a toasted roll,which sounded insane!) We were kindly given food and beer vouchers upon arrival but we could only use the vouchers for one of their dishes – a ‘miniature’ version of their burger which included fried chicken and rather bizarrely just meatball sauce. Without the meatballs. All a bit odd considering this was a meatball vendor! Thankfully it was still very tasty!
We ate it while in the queue for a pizza to reduce the waiting time a bit, and we weren’t disappointed by Pizza Pilgrims – they dished up the food quickly and it was as good as always. You can’t beat a good Pizza Pilgrims pizza.
Arancini Brothers were there, who I’ve written about previously (and were also at the previous Moretti Gran Tours) but we weren’t really in the mood for risotto balls, so we headed to the fourth and final stand, The Cheese Wheel, a Camden-based team who serve Fettucine Alfredo (pasta dishes cooked inside a massive wheel of Parmigiano-Reggiano!)
The queue for this was quite long as well, but it was quite a spectacle to watch the fresh pasta being made and the food being prepared on the massive wheel of cheese. And it was worth the wait for some gorgeous pasta with truffle grated on top. A dream of a dish.
There was also live music playing and a cheese ‘rolling’ game, while people relaxed on picnic benches and out on the grass – a great summer evening!
That’s all I can really write for the Moretti Gran Tour this year, I’m afraid. I was really disappointed by the small number of food vendors this year and the long queues, as well as the fact I couldn’t attend the sensory experience. But that didn’t stop us having a fun evening, sipping beers in the sunshine.
You can find out more about Birra Moretti on their website here.
I was invited to review the Moretti Gran Tour by Birra Moretti and Cow PR but did not receive any payment. All views are my own.