Editor's Blog

The street feasts of London

From swinging Carnaby Street to Cool Britannia, there’s no denying that London has the edge over so many destinations by sheer dint of the fact that it is always at the cutting edge of trends, be these musical, cultural or fashion-related. I was reminded of this the other evening when I attended PR agency Triggerfish’s Street Feast event at Dinerama in Shoreditch. Now, I am not a Shoreditch regular (I’m pretty sure that, in a twist on regular door policy, the venues there ask for ID from anyone who looks like they might be over 25) but on this occasion it was a case of Eastward ho! as the lure of literally dozens of different tempting cuisines all under one roof was simply too tempting to resist. 

The Street Feast crew (they count among them some serious heavy hitters like Nigella Lawson, Jamie Oliver and Yotam Ottolenghi) has had the genius idea of taking abandoned industrial premises and transforming them into buzzing spaces serving up a riot of culinary options. From wood oven-fired pizza and oriental bao buns to Mexican nachos and juicy burgers by way of Tiki cocktails, this place is paradise for those who, like me, are sold on the whole notion of tapas/meze/cicchetti (choose your preferred turn of foreign phrase) and who like to graze rather than gorge.

With six sites across the capital and the capacity to host anything up to 3,000 guests at its Canada Water venue, this street food concept is as novel as it is ingenious, but then it’s fair to say that London has never been short of ideas for unique venues. Stalwarts such as the Cutty Sark and Madame Tussaud’s stand alongside new kids on the block like Covent Garden’s Icetank and the lofty Sky Garden, plus there are hidden gems such as the Queen Mary University in Whitechapel, whose library recently doubled for the set of the Harry Potter films for a group of JK Rowling-philes from the Far East, courtesy of Principal Global Events.

Of course, some corporate groups will always want to head to sunnier climes overseas, but the exotic, the exceptional and the extraordinary can all be found right here in our capital city, somewhere that is constantly reinventing itself; as Dr Johnson very nearly said, “when an event organiser is tired of London, he is tired of life”.

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