To paraphrase Dorothy: 'There is no place like London.' I hope I can convince you of that here. Also check out my blog at damselwithadulcimer.wordpress.com and my theatre reviews at www.playstosee.com
Christmas may only come once a year, but for those who like to eat themselves silly at other times, why not take yourself to the World Street Food Festival at the Southbank Centre Square by the Royal Festival Hall? Actually weekend is a misnomer as this event will stretch to five whole days, so you will be able to return for more like Oliver Twist if you don't get the opportunity to try everything that you would like.
The organisers have promised that this second helping (the first course was last year over the Royal Wedding weekend) will be even bigger and better. Not only will it coincide with the Diamond Jubilee celebrations, but it will also launch the Southbank's 'Festival of the World', a three-month celebration of the arts that will counterbalance the Olympics. You won't need to travel the world in order to broaden your tastes as there will be an international flavour to this event. Food will be sourced from around the globe, and in many cases it will be served from vintage vehicles to enhance the atmosphere of this foodie festival.
The full range of exhibitors hasn't yet been finalised, but previous traders at South Bank Real Food Markets have included the European Creperie Nicolas, selling Breton crepes from a vintage Normandy van
Churros Garcia, whose yummy churros with a chocolate dipping sauce are amazingly moreish (I know I've been back for seconds and thirds)
Asian Bhangra Burger
American Barbeque food from Anna Mae's Smoke House
Anna Mae's Smoke House
and of course some quirky English food like Fish Finger Sandwiches served by Flying Ducks from their 1950s caravan.
The Flying Ducks
All the food served will be sourced from the UK, but the spices and extras will provide the additional flavourings to turn this venue into a world market. I hope your gastric juices are flowing in anticipation of this free event. Check back with the website for the definitive list of food stalls.
You can get to the RFH by train (rail and underground) to Waterloo, Waterloo East, Embankment and Charing Cross, by riverboat to Festival Pier and by buses to York Road, Belvedere Road, Stamford Street and Waterloo Bridge.