It seems that I have fortuitously stumbled upon a glut of food festivals here in London of late, and I'm not complaining. I'm welcoming any opportunity to eat well and see London at the same time, and it appears to me that the food culture here is as lively as I had imagined.
And what shall I say about the weather? Even though today, London is at its typically rainy best, the past few days and weekends have been gloriously warm and sunny. I was quite the cynic and had scoffed incredulously at the prediction of sunshine and warm weather in the last few days, although have since been eating my words. An Indian summer seems like the perfect primer before the cold snap hits.
Weather aside, the Southbank Food Festival was held a couple of weeks ago although it's taken me some time to actually get my act together to write up a post. What's new- procrastination, it's the underlying motif of the blog. So, the Southbank Food Festival was an understated 3-day celebration of the Slow Food London movement, that championed the principles of sustainable living and farming, and basically sought to enlighten and challenge people to think more about the food they were eating.
There were about 40 different stalls set up around the Southbank, by the Thames, and there was a tent dedicated to cooking demonstrations throughout the day teaching people stuff like how to feed your family for under a fiver (£5) and how we can all use sustainable products more. My most favourite demo of course was by the lady who owned Choc Star who showed us how to make a chocolate, almond and orange terrine. The best part of the demo was of course the end, where we all got to have a taste.
As fast food encroaches upon most of eating habits it was more than encouraging to know that there is a movement to counter the insidious thing that fast food is doing to the culture of eating, farming and mostly our health. That's why farmer's markets are so great, you can meet and actually get to know the people rearing the animals and growing the vegetables that you are eating, and you know the food isn't stuffed with nasty hormones and preservatives that will one day turn you into a mutant.
So here are a few snaps of day 2 of the Southbank Festival. My recollection of the actual stalls are getting a bit foggy but I'll try my best to give you at least, somewhat vague descriptions.
Different varieties of apples from Franklins Food Emporium in Kenington; can't resist a cupcake shot wherever I go, can I? Beautiful pot of flowers, mushroom medley frying in a large pan.
Middle eastern spices and sauces; almond semolina mini cakes, simply divine; cheese, cheese and more cheese!
Slow food stall; cross-section of salami; hard cheeses.
One of my favourite stalls, Choc Star, the home of the most decadent chocolate terrine made with Valrhona chocolate, the van travels around the United Kingdom sharing the joys of eating chocolate with people, look out for the van it could be coming to your town; some sourdough breads.
The tiniest cafe I've seen, a quarter of the London Eye; espresso drip; beautiful crusty bread.
Artists making their mark on the pavement; French cheeses along the Thames sunset; frying up some Churros.
Crates of organic Worcester apples; squash to brighten up your day; more crates of apples; organic sparkling apple juice.
Artwork around the Southbank.
Textures and patterns around the Southbank; Rabbit pasta.