The Stuff of Fantasy; a London Food-Filled Weekend

The weekend before last we spent basically the entire three days consumed with food.

For the weekend, which was surprisingly sunny after a welcome return from the yellow ball in the sky, we visited the #Feast London Foodies Festival in Battersea Park, the inaugural Streatham Food Festival and Street Feast in Dalston.

Street Feast London

Street Feast

On Friday night we took a welcome return to Street Feast, having visited on its first weekend in Dalston earlier this summer. The pop-up  food festival is set for roughly another three weekends of incredible food service for the fashionable masses for anyone interested who still hasn’t visited.

Street Feast, Dalston

Street Feast Dalston

The setting is an abandoned shell of a warehouse, where trucks, stalls and even bars have set up shop and taken over to bring a whole new life and energy into the area. Free in, there is a heap of unique stallholders selling all types of street food for the hungry punters. We’ve had ribs, fish, vegetarian wraps, ice cream, prawn burgers, pulled pork and even some cocktails on top.

Red Hot and Yummy's scallop dish

Nichola Smith

Nichola Smith, celebrity caterer and star of the Food Network UK series Red Hot and Yummy, and her team were on site serving some exceptionally delicious scallops, right from the shell, with herbs and bacon. Though steep enough at £4 a pop, they were absolutely heavenly and cooked to perfection.

Towards the end of the night, we headed over to Rola Wala, a naan specialist stall, who served us up two naan wraps. The coconut, beetroot and paneer dal wrap with ginger and mango dressing (V) was £6, while the chicken tikka with pear and tamarind dressing cost £6.50. Delicious flavours, though the queuing system to get the goods was a little chaotic.

Ice cream stand

We ended the night on a sugar high, after visiting the Sorbitium stand and choosing from their unique flavours on offer. We got a salted caramel scoop and a summer pudding scoop and happily lapped them up on the way back to the Overground to make our way home.

Summer pudding and salted caramel ice creams

For our first visit, we enjoyed some Yum Jungle prawn tempura burgers and a pulled pork bap, all washed down with Aperol Spritz cocktails – seemingly the spirit of the moment which is having somewhat of a revival across London this summer!

Feast Foodies Festival

We won tickets to ‘Feast’, a travelling festival under the umbrella brand of Foodies Festival, which has stopped off all across the UK this summer and returned to London’s Battersea Park for a weekend of fun just gone. Tickets were an extortionate £22 per person per day, with VIP packages even more, which is highly unjustifiable if you ask us. We balked and decided not to bother going unless we had gotten our hands on free tickets, which we managed to do! Lots of chatter and similar sentiments on Twitter about the ticket prices too, however, all of the demonstrations and talks were free (as long as you got your name down early on the list) so that’s some consolation towards cost and the setting is beautiful too.

Foodies Festival, Feast

Foodies Festival, Feast

We were left eating our words (until our bellies were at full capacity), as what lay within the park was sensational. Around a hundred stall holders stood dotted around a central circular seating area. Music blared from a stage at the entrance, while trucks and traders lay nearby providing punters with Pimms, Rum, Champagne and Prosecco to enjoy in the more-than-welcome sun.

Stall holders were bunched together within a chunk of blocks the other end of the entrance. The stalls varied from artists and producers to sponsors like Google, Jamie’s Magazine and Whole Foods, as well as any number of street food vendors. Some even gave off the cuff cookery demonstrations, like the one below at School of Wok.

School of Wok

School of Wok

We visited on the Sunday and it was a glorious day with dogs in abundance enjoying the festival as much as their owners. We ate French hot dogs; spiced pork sausages slathered in comté cheese and served in thick, crusty, mustard-basted baguettes, and whiled away a good hour or two with a jug of Jamaican Mule between us, sitting and enjoying the live music.

French hot dog!

foodies6

 

We arrived later than planned and unfortunately missed out on getting a space at any talks or demos, but we caught glimpses, tastes and chats with almost every stall so we would happily return next year – though we will still be baffled by that ticket cost this time next year…

Rum Bus at London Foodies Festival, Feast.

Jamaican Mule punch

 

Streatham Food Festival

We wanted to return to Streatham to support a great new food festival which ran throughout last weekend. We stayed down there for two weeks when we arrived (you can read all about it in last month’s blog posts, including reviews of Beyrouths and Bravi Ragazzi). Organised by Pauline Milligan and her team, Streatham played host to three days of great events for this new food festival on it’s very first outing on the scene.

Streatham Food Festival

We only managed to catch the food fair on Streatham Green which was on each day and culiminated in a jam-packed Sunday, which included lots of cookery demonstrations, a healthy amount of stalls selling wares and street food, as well as a raffle and some live music too. Other activities organised included a walking tour of all the best eateries around Streatham which seemed like a roaring success, as well as a waste food pop-up with the Brixton People’s Kitchen, which we were raging we missed!

Streatham Food Festival

Though Streatham is small and semi-awkward to get to, it’s prime example of the positivity and the opportunity which is delivered when a town or borough champions their talent and tastes. People can now feel far more satisfied by the offerings around Streatham and hopefully have experienced food and events they wouldn’t have ordinarily had the opportunity to on any given weekend.

brownies1

We also had to nip down to Streatham to celebrate with some family as it was Patrick’s sister’s boyfriend, Ian’s, birthday! We celebrated with some cupcakes and a few drinks at their local. As an honorary Gastro, here are Lauren’s birthday brownies, originally a Gordon Ramsay recipe. They were out of this world!

brownies2

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