Flavour Rainbow at Royal Docks Originals Festival

Have you ever wondered what a rainbow tasted and smelt like? Well, now’s your chance with the world’s first ever Flavour Rainbow one of the star attractions at the first Royal Docks Originals Festival which launched on 14 October.

The Royal Dock Rainbows were made by Bompas & Parr, multi-sensory experience designers who have engineered the first rainbow we can interact with. They paired with local schools who used flavoured paints to imagine the local area as edible caricatures, which then inspired the flavours experienced in the rainbow.

The rainbow is free but booking is needed. It’s a stream of water and you’ll be given clear umbrellas to avoid getting wet. It is encouraged to taste the rainbow- and we recommend you do. We had fun trying to work out the flavours. Was that some strawberry, or maybe a melon flavour? A hint of passionfruit? Lavender? We now know what the flavours were but don’t want to spoil your experience by revealing them here.

We were invited to contribute to the spirit of the event by dressing in a colour to make a collective human colour spectrum! This led to a discussion with some colleagues about whether pink is a colour of the rainbow. The well known mnemonic ROYGBIV suggests not, while the ‘sing a rainbow’ lyrics go ‘red and yellow and pink and green’.  Readers- help us settle this debate and let us know what you think on ONIN social media.

Coloured rum cocktails added to the colour display. We tried apple and pea, rhubarb and raspberry, and blueberry and mint. Adding to the sensory experience, local honey was available to sample; as was painting with flavoured paints.

If one rainbow isn’t enough, don’t worry as a second rainbow will illuminate the Royal Victoria Docks twice a day at 10am and 4pm (weather permitting). An arc of spray will span the sides of the docks, and looking through the spray you’ll see light transformed into symbols of hope and renewal.

The Royal Docks Originals Festival launch also served as the platform for the Mayor of Newham and the Mayor of London to announce the Royal Docks Cultural Strategy. This Strategy is a new vision for Royal Docks to be the cultural engine of London, where People, Program and Place are the central pillars of a welcoming, inclusive and creative community where everyone has the opportunity to participate in cultural events no matter where they live. The Royal Docks Originals Festival is part of this strategy and includes world premieres, free family activities, artwork by local and national artists, theatre, music and workshops. For a full program of events please see the Royal Docks website.

Flavour Rainbow runs until 31 October. It’s open on Wednesday, Thursdays and Sundays 10am to 6pm, and Friday and Saturdays 11am to 9pm. It is closed on Monday and Tuesdays. Entry is free but ticketed. Tickets are available at

Royal Victoria Dock Rainbow appears at 10am and 4pm any day the sun shines over the Royal Docks. There is no need to book. Follow their announcements on social media for updates to avoid disappointment.

Address: Royal Docks Flavour Rainbow, Silvertown Way Underpass (opposite Expressway), 1 Dock Road, E16 1AE. Public transport is by DLR to Royal Victoria or by the Emirates Cable Car to Royal Victoria Dock. To help with directions, there is a Thai restaurant opposite the entrance (Nakhon Thai)