Situated at the heart of one of London's most vibrant cultural quarters, the Southbank Centre is the world's biggest arts centre and incorporates famous venues like the Royal Festival Hall and Queen Elizabeth Hall.
Hosting an eclectic and exciting range of events that attract millions of visitors every year, the Southbank Centre is one of the capital's biggest tourist destinations. This weekend, those who enjoy the finer things in life should consider the trip as the Cheese and Wine Festival makes a welcome return.
The festival is held every spring and autumn, and showcases the very finest food and drink from some of the world's most important artisanal producers.
Kicking off today and running until Sunday evening (April 26th to 28th), this edition of the Cheese and Wine Festival welcomes a huge number of high-profile exhibitors who'll be offering visitors the chance to taste and purchase their world-class, ethically sourced wares.
These include local sellers like the Borough Cheese Company, which imports the french mountain cheese Comte, and Divine Wines, which supplies London and the UK with unique organic and biodynamic wines.
More than just cheeses and wines are represented, though, with a host of gourmet delights available to festival-goers. The Artisan Smokehouse sells just about any luxury smoked food, from salmon to mushrooms, while the Somerset Ploughman will be exhibiting authentic ciders and chutneys.
The sheer range might be a little intimidating, but visitors are assured there'll be no wine snobbery or "mumbo jumbo" – just "exciting new tastes to explore, fascinating facts to discover and passionate foodie people to meet".
Completing the weekend are a number of demonstrations and workshops, which are individually ticketed and admission prices range from £2 to £20. For example, festival-goers can participate in a two-hour, stilton-themed cookery course entitled Stilton with Everything, during which they'll learn to make a quick and easy blue cheese soda bread alongside being taught some more ambitious recipes.
The Southbank Centre is well worth a visit if you're staying in a luxury London hotel this spring, with an accessible central location served by a number of Underground stations.