“Fabulicious. I don’t know what to make of it, actually. You’re frightened, you’re terrified but at the same time you’re having the time of your life. It’s exciting, it’s jaw-dropping, your heart is pumping. One of the best 90 seconds I’ve ever spent.”
~ Levi Roots
The best things come in pairs: sherbert and lollies; The Two Ronnies; thunder and lightning. And mega-slides and Caribbean food.
We’ve put together The Slide at the ArcelorMittal Orbit and Taste of the Caribbean for Two. Set in the futuristic Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Anish Kapoor’s eye-popping structure offers riders panoramic views of the capital and a curving descent at speeds of up to 15 miles an hour. Standing at 178 metres, it claims the title of the world’s longest and tallest tunnel slide. A mere nine minutes’ walk away is the Caribbean Smokehouse, the latest venture from the inimitable and multi-talented Levi Roots. Together, these two entities offer a grand day out for anybody aged 8 and over that’s just the right ratio of adrenaline and indulgence.
It was only right that the man himself – Levi – had a go at The Slide at the ArcelorMittal Orbit, and we were lucky enough to be there when it happened. You can share the twisty, turny journey with him via the video below.
Levi Roots is a man with many strings to his bow. Musician, chef and businessman, he found fame on Dragon’s Den which allowed him to bring his jerk-barbecue Reggae Reggae sauce to the mainstream. Since then he’s hosted his own TV show, published several recipe books, been invited by Prime Ministers to No. 10 and been given the keys to Brixton Market.
Levi Roots Caribbean Smokehouse stands a short stroll away from the ArcelorMittal. The ‘rastaurant’ is all about Carribean favourites such as Jerk Chicken and smoked meats which have been finished on a real jerk pit. There are exotic-sounding cocktails like Ting-Aling-Aling (white rum, grapefruit and strawberries) and White Sands (white and coconut rums, lychee juice, lime juice).
After his trip down the fiendishly fast The Slide at the Arcelormittal Orbit, we caught up with Levi to find out a bit more about his Caribbean Smokehouse, his new compilation album and the things he misses most from Jamaica.
If you had to pick, what’s your favourite flavour combination?
“It’s a sort of mixture of sweet and sour. With most ingredients, it’s either one or the other. If you can get a balance of both within your particular cuisine – whether it’s meat or fish or a dessert – there has to be an element of those two for it to be exciting.”
“Which one cocktail best complements the menu?”
Levi: “The Reggae Reggae Rum Punch. It’s the reason we have soft seats, guys. So once you’ve had a few of them your bum’s gonna be comfortable, because you won’t be moving for a while.”
Congratulations on the release of your compilation album, Levi Roots Presents- Reggae Reggae Hits. What feedback have you had from your kids?
“The album has been fantastic and everyone loves it. They’re continually proud to see me doing different things. They know how much I love the music and how the music has inspired their father. When they’ve asked me, “Dad, can you take us to the park?” and I’ve said, “10 minutes” because I’ve got my guitar, then it’s more like an hour and 10 minutes! Doing this album is perfect as I got to choose my 60 favourite songs. I’m really hoping that everybody goes and buys it and has a great time this summer with some fantastic reggae.
The Slide at the ArcelorMittal Orbit and Taste of the Caribbean for Two is just one of thousands of ways you can start #MakingMemories.
IMAGES: Red Letter Days’ own.