One thing that the British are very good at is making the most of the summer. Even with a whisper of good weather, most of us would rather stay put than drift to farther shores. We’ve been known to stick out the rain in our gumboots and macs just to catch one more glimpse of sunshine on the picnic rug. One can’t guarantee a straight stretch of dry weather, but there is nothing quite like England when the sun comes from behind the clouds.
But it’s not just the forecast that drums up the patriots in us. We have groaning markets with summer vegetables to thank too, speeding past the midway awkwardness of late spring produce and loading us with artichokes, samphire, courgettes and sweetcorn, our eyes peeled for early elderflower. There’s no denying that we’re all pretty excited.
Often though, for us that stay city-side during the warmer months, dreaming of green meadows and British seaside can get the better of us. This doesn’t have to be a summer of longing and lust, though. London is buzzing away as ever, there is a lot lined up and it’s starting now.
Golden tickets for the gastro events of the summer are on sale and running out. Our culinary diaries are always itching to be filled; we want to know what’s on and where, but often it’s a case of missing the boat. Real Food, and Brick Lane Curry Festival have just swept passed us, but for those of us that didn’t make it, don’t panic! There’s plenty more to come. From picnics to pop-ups to fighting for fish, we’re in for a delicious summer. And we wouldn’t have it any other way. Now, go get booking.
Hix at Selfridges: 11 May -12 June 2011, Oxford Street
Mark Hix is popping up. For one month only Hix is cooking the menu from his Lyme Regis Oyster & Fish House restaurant to help promote Selfridge’s Project Ocean campaign. Here’s the moment to show your approval for this year’s Fish Fight and learn that there really are plenty more sustainable fish in the sea. Don’t miss the Sustainable Fish Supper on the 25th May with Valentine Warner and Mitch Tonks. £60pp for 3 courses and half a bottle of wine.
Address: Selfridges,400 Oxford Street, London, W1A 1AB
Telephone: 020 7499 5400
Hugh’s Fish Fight: www.fishfight.net
How To Start And Run A Supper Club @ The Underground Restaurant: 21 May 2011, ‘Somewhere in Kilburn’
Cookbook author, supper club proprietor and once rock music photographer, Kerstin Rogers, is opening up her doors to the inspired public for a introduction on how to run your very own supper club. For those of you who have had the pleasure of being cooked for by a supper-clubber, the thought of holding your own has no doubt crossed your mind. If it has, buy your seat to hear James Ramsden of the Secret Larder, Secret Tea room owner, Lynn, small business advisor Linda Williams and PR man Andre Dang letting in on the secrets behind underground dining. Location is released just before the event.
Tickets are £100 per person.
Booking details: www. wegottickets.com/event/108906
Foodies Festival: 28-30 May 2011, Hampton Court
If you haven’t got plans for the May Bank Holiday, you have now. Set in the beautiful grounds of Hampton Court foodies join cookbook authors, chefs, and home cooks for a weekend of food-filled fun. Take part in food and drink masterclasses by the people who know how, and nibble away with local producers at Great Taste Market and Restaurant Tents. They’ll be running one in Battersea Park at the end of July too, so you’ve no excuse not to.
Website: www. foodiesfestival.com/hampton-court
Telephone: 0871 230 5573
Taste of London: 16 -19 June 2011, Regent’s Park
Another of London’s summer festivals for food – how we love them. Crowned ‘The World’s Best Restaurant Festival’, 40 of the best London restaurants plate up scrumptious tasters; eat at miniature versions of Le Gavroche and The Cinnamon Club, Bocca di Lupo, and Barrafina, before putting up a deckchair or rolling out a rug under a tree as you picnic on your pickings from the 200 choice food stalls.
Tickets from £22.
Website: www. tastefestivals.com/london
Supper club at Books For Cooks: 16 June & 7 July 2011, Blenheim Crescent
Tables are shifted, books re-arranged but the till stays open. Eat amongst bookworms and food lovers as Books for Cooks Eric and Clara cook a beautiful menu inspired by the food and wines of the South West of France. Shuffle in beside the bookshelves and feast on the flavours of Burgundy, the Loire and rose wines for perhaps the most apposite set-up for a summer pop-up. Tickets to pop-ups are gold dust this summer so book your cooks now. Seats £50.
Addres: 4, Blenheim Crescent, London, W11 1NN
Telephone: 0207 221 1992
E-mail: [email protected]
The Big Feastival: 1-3 July 2011, Clapham Common.
Food stops at summer music festivals are welcomed with open arms – eating off paper plates has never tasted so good. But wouldn’t it be lovely to have as big a line-up for food as for music? If you’re keen on the two then this is your festival for the season. ‘One big village fete’ is what they’re calling it, set in the middle of London’s Clapham Common. Watch Athlete strum while you scoff on your Wahacan enchiladas, munch on a GBK burger to Mystery Jets and be cooked for by Jamie’s Fifteen under the big top as The Charlatans pump out sounds for the summer. Wander past cook-offs in the Big Kitchen, pick basil in the Kitchen Garden and play bingo in the WI tent. All proceeds go to The Prince’s Trust and The Jamie Oliver Foundation. Tickets from £50.
Website: www. jamieoliver.com/thebigfeastival
Now that should keep you all busy for a bit…
Rosie Hogg’s food Blog: www.rosecottage-rosie.blogspot.com
Follow Rose on Twitter: @ROrosecottage
E-mail address for Rosie Hogg: [email protected]
E-mail Rosie at Eat Me Magazine: [email protected]
E-mail Books for Cooks: [email protected]oksforcooks.com