One of the things I loved most about the Street Food Festival at the weekend wasn’t just the vast array of foods on offer but also the combination of this with the great drinks producers also selling their wares. There were smoothies and juices and, of course, some alcohol-based treats such as locally brewed beer and English sparkling wine. This, combined with the seating area in the middle gave the event a real festival atmosphere, with everyone ignoring the grey clouds and making the most of their extra long weekend.
I make no secret of the fact that one of my other great loves in life is red wine and although I was initially wary, I made a great new discovery while at the festival. Wines of Uruguay had a tasting stall, showcasing the delicious wine that is coming out of this South American country, which isn’t usually recognised as a great wine producer. In fact, the wineries in Uruguay are still small and family-run; you won’t find any mass-produced wine from the area and it’s highly unlikely you’ll be able to pick it up in the supermarket.
I’ll leave it to you to read up the rest of the details if this takes your fancy (http://www.winesofuruguay.co.uk/) but what I can vouch for is that the all three wines I tasted were delicious, ranging from a heavy, oaky red that would perfectly compliment a steak to a much lighter blend that can easily be drunk in volume on it’s own…not that you’d ever catch me doing such a thing, of course! If you ever get the chance to have a taste of some wine from Uruguay, I highly reccommend it.
Moving back on to the food, I managed to devour one more savoury treat, which was a colourful Bruschetta with the addition of some chilli paste from Breadtree. (http://www.breadtree.co.uk/) Their stall easily took the prize for one of the most visually attractive, with rows of bruschetta lined up ready to be eaten. Obviously in the mood for spice that day, I opted to add some chilli paste to mine for an extra 50p and you definitely can’t say they conned us out of value for money on the paste. In fact, although the bruschetta itself was flavoursome, just the right mix of the crunchy bread and the sweet, fresh tomatoes, the y were slightly over-generous on the paste and the heat of the chilli was overpowering. I’m certainly not afraid of a good bit of spice and the paste tasted great but there was so much of it that I found myself trying to scrape some of it off, to stop my mouth from burning quite so intensely. Nonetheless, if I could have afforded it, I’d definitely have been in the market for some of their chili paste but at £6 a jar, sadly it wasn’t to be this time. You can find Breadtree at the Real Food Festival on the Southbank every weekend, so if you’re looking for some great pastes to stock your cupboards with, they are definitely worth paying a visit.
Of course, that just left room for something sweet and there were certainly plenty of options. As a child, we used to regularly go on holiday to Brittany (home of the crepe, for those that haven’t been lucky enough to go for a visit) and so the second I saw Creperie Nicolas ( http://www.creperie-nicolas.com/) and their beautiful blue Citroen van, my mind was made up. Being a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to my crepes, I opted for the classic Butter and Sugar option and it was everything I’d hoped for; crispy on the edges, lovely and soft in the middle with just the right amount of butter and sugar to take me straight back to Brittany. It was also great to see a crepe stall using traditional recipies, with buckwheat flour for their savoury galettes and the traditional vanilla flavour batter for the sweet treats. I wasn’t the only one appreciating the treats from Creperie Nicolas, the queue was one of the longest at the festival and quite rightly so.
I had a great day at the festival and left feeling enthused and happy, if very full! I saw so many other fantastic looking stalls to look out for at future events or dotted around London- even if you don’t get to try a full dish of everything, a full festival like this gives a great opportunity to see what a wide range of dishes are available on the streets of London.
You can find Creperie Nicolas on Twitter: @creperienicolas