An ‘Underground Farmers’ Market’ and ‘Food Rave’. Could anything sound more wonderful? Not really. And it turned out to be about eight times more wonderful than it sounded.
It was held on the evening of Friday the 4th November (and on the Saturday afternoon!), in the brilliant food blogger and author Kerstin Rodgers’ house and garden, in Kilburn. The whole vibe was very secretive – no address was given until the ticket had been bought, and that just added to the excitement of it all.
‘Incredibly cool’ seems to be the most appropriate way of describing the whole evening. Names were taken at the gate, and then in you walked, past an alternative ice cream van (wonderful pumpkin sorbet!) and other exciting food stalls, down an alley past ‘the bar’ (served through grates in the window), past a herb stall, and into the long garden. The garden was a typical London garden – long and quite narrow. A marquee had been erected over about 3/4 of it, with a vast array of food stalls run by all sorts of producers lining both sides. At the end was a big bonfire circled by benches, more stalls (amazing raclette sandwiches!), and a gypsy van selling jewellery and chocolate. The smells were obviously sensational – meat meets cheese, meets mulled wine…
And there was more! On the terrace was a live band playing lots of happy clappy music, and then inside the house (in the drawing room) were still more stalls – cherry wines, chocolates, puddings, and other scrumptiotioties. Kerstin’s room was filled with lots of vintage clothes and jewellery, and there were people lounged across her bed, and standing around drinking wine and making friends. Then you walked on through into the lovely kitchen, where the demos were happening. They were just incredible! Bread demos, how to make piccalilli, a talk on bees and honey, and so many more demos by other producers who had stalls in the garden. It was a case of ‘absorb-as-much-information-as-possible-from-these-brilliantly-knowlegable-people’, really.
But the best part of it was the people who filled the house and garden. They were all ‘foodies’ (of course!), and everyone was incredibly chatty and friendly. It was basically a big house party – a ‘food rave’!
I’m keeping a lookout for the next secret market and supper-club, and will keep you all posted, because I’ve decided that undercover or ’underground’ London life (not in the dodgy sense) is certainly the most exciting and rejuvenating. And other people need to be converted!