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UK RumFest 2012 preview
By Dunstan Creavalle
United Kingdom
Photograph By Dunstan Creavalle
Tuesday 9 October 2012 : 9:00 GMT

Now in its sixth year, UK RumFest has moved from Olympia to the London Excel Centre, and promises to be bigger and better than ever when it takes place on Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th October. The annual event, which is unlike any other in the UK, prides itself on bringing together the finest rum, great food and a range of educating seminars and entertainment to make learning about rum both fun and stimulating.

There will be over 400 rums to sample, a tropical food area with food to buy and take away including rum cakes, chocolates, fresh coconuts with rum and many other tropical items. There will also be demonstrations on the tropical food stage. Chocolatier Paul Wayne Gregory and global rum ambassador Ian Burrell will launch a bespoke range of chocolates at the Tropical Food Market that have been crafted to compliment the flavours found in a number of selected rum brands.

For those seeking some in depth knowledge about rum during the festival, there will be a number of informative, educational and entertaining masterclasses conducted by master blenders, distillers and experts in the ‘Rum , so you can take a break, sit for a while, and learn about rums in depth. In this room you'll learn about the history of rum, and hear of rum cocktails from some of the best rum aficionados and rum presenters in the world. There will also be exclusive rum tastings conducted by international brand ambassadors and master blenders. These seminars and tastings will be limited and operate on a ‘first come, first served’ basis, so attendees will need to register for them at the main festival entrance.

To help promote RumFest to the wider Caribbean diaspora, a Carnival Rum Experience will be provided by mas band Bacchanalia, who have been at RumFest since its second year and last year created a street carnival within the walls of Olympia. This year, they are looking to create an even bigger one, and to bring a carnival atmosphere and vibe throughout the event with their costumed dancers and soca music.

In order to sample the rums, attendees will need rum sampling vouchers, five of which they will receive in a goody bag upon entry, along with the Rum Experience show guide and a rum tasting glass. Further vouchers will be available from the front desk during the show, at a cost of £1 each; the serving per voucher will be no more than 10ml.

By paying a VIP entrance fee, attendees can have red carpet access to the Rum Festival an hour earlier than the general public and access to the VIP room, where they will be given three cocktails.

When you add a very friendly, slightly intoxicated crowd to all of the above, the UK RumFest Rum Experience is definitely the place to be for an afternoon cocktail of true Caribbean spirit.

Click to see images from last years UKRumFest

For tickets and information visit

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