Category Archives: Events

The Big Lunch

Imagine a summer’s day on which millions of us, throughout the UK, sit down to have lunch together – in the middle of our streets, around our tower blocks and on every patch of common ground. The food, entertainment and decorations we will have grown, cooked or created ourselves. This will be a day to break bread with our neighbours and to put a smile on Britain’s face. It’s called The Big Lunch and this is your invitation!

dsc_0111

This morning in Covent Garden piazza, dozens of volunteers helped build this invitation out of 35,000 pieces of fruit and vegetable, including cauliflower, turnips, garlic bulbs, cabbage, carrots, oranges, lemons and apples. The boxes of veg were given away after these photoes were taken, so expect an awful lot of cauliflower cheese being eaten tonight across the UK.

Go to The Big Lunch website, which will go live tonight, and type in your postcode to find out about Big Lunches in your area. I will be hosting a Camden Town Big Lunch and if you would like to get involved, please do get in touch with me at abigail@yourlocallondon.com

I’m calling on local musical, theatrical, artistic, horticultural and culinary talents, to name but a few. Sharing a meal with neighbours is something rarely done in London, where many people don’t even know who their neighbours are. The Big Lunch is a brilliant excuse for introducing yourself to those people that you’ve seen on the street or in the shops for years, but never quite managed to speak to…

dsc_0119The idea was thought up by Tim Smit, co-founder and chief executive of the innovative Eden Project in Cornwall and resident of the bustling port town Fowey.

The seed for The Big Lunch was sown when Tim heard an inspiring story at a party in the Netherlands:

A man was walking along a notoriously rough street in Amsterdam and was mugged. In an effort to get revenge, the man decided to go on a hunt for his mugger, taking a video camera with him, hoping to confront him about the crime on film. He went to the house where the mugger was said to live, but found it was not the right place. Instead, he met the people that did live there and they offered to join in the search party. They ended up going from house to house, with people joining in the quest at each stage, until nearly everyone on the street knew each other through this unlikely and epic quest. This was turned into a program on Dutch community television and attracted a cult following. It got Tim thinking about how a shared aim can make it easier for neighbours to start talking to each other.

The Big Lunch is about “the symbolic power of breaking bread with your neighbours. Be brave – meeting new people is an act of will“, says Tim, “But there are good results and it makes streets safer.

For more photos and details see my Camden Town blog for YourLocal London.

7 Comments

Filed under Events

long pepper at longleat

dsc_0268

This felt like some sort of strange dream and I’m not entirely sure that it wasn’t, but last Sunday I found myself attending a garden party at Longleat. I think the pictures say it all really…

Well not quite. I sampled a couple of edible treats. One of which was called long pepper and was offered around the table for nibbling. These Indian catkins looked remarkably like the droppings of the ‘dangerous rutting deer’ that we saw at the safari park on the estate later that day: small, black and knobbly. They tasted of chilli, peppercorns, cloves and nutmeg and tingled on the tongue – a great wake-up call.

dsc_0269dsc_0271dsc_0273

I also tried some of the most delicious all natural chocolates made by Mike and Radek of Radek’s Chocolates. These dark and divine treats, which are supplied to The Hilton in London, had inventive fillings such as raspberry jam and hazelnut with maple syrup. Mmmm – I might have to have a go at making chocolates.

dsc_0275

I’d wanted to see the lions of Longleat all day, but the safari park was closed. I did see this one though…

dsc_02901

8 Comments

Filed under Events

scratch ‘n’ sniff valentine

On that almost always disastrous day of Saint Valentine (which is apparently named after a couple of rather unromantic early Christian martyrs) I thought it would be fun to try a different sort of date. The kind where you take your boyfriend to a small makeshift cinema in Soho to see a film about sex and death and eating… Yes, Peter Greenaway’s The Cook, The Thief, His Wife And Her Lover. It’s  one of my favourite films, alongside Delicatessen, but it’s so overpowering that I find it really hard to watch.

dsc00774-11This was a screening with a difference, put on by fantastic jelly men (perhaps the only jelly men) Bompas & Parr. It didn’t actually feature jelly, but was a feast for all the senses. It was also the UK’s first screening of a scratch ‘n’ sniff film. Not knowing quite what to expect we turned up to the Jotta Craft Fair, which is being held in a secret-looking sort of building on Foubert’s Place, just behind Oxford Street, from 14th to 28th February. It was a beautifully sunny day and guests were milling about with champagne flutes of a refreshing gin and dandelion drink. “It’s a Valentine’s colour,” said Sam Bompas, who was meeting and greeting in smart attire. I looked at it carefully and the lovely drink was distinctly brown. Maybe it could be a push to change Valentine’s traditional colour from the red blood of martyrs to something else. Personally I like yellow.

dsc_0137-12After being ushered in and taking our seats for the film, we were presented with the much awaited scratch ‘n’ sniff cards and at various points throughout the film were told to scratch ‘n’ sniff certain numbers. For those that haven’t seen The Cook, The Thief, His Wife And Her Lover, it’s an incredibly intense experience. Even before you add smell this film really stimulates the senses with exotic costumes by Jean Paul Gaultier, operatic stage sets, claustrophobic lighting, ear-piercingly high choirboy singing and mouthwatering scenes of cooking and eating. The smells that went with it that day included rotting meat, dusty books, flowers and faeces! By the end I felt a bit over-stimulated and dazed.

dsc007771During the interval, we were invited downstairs to share some edible delights: squishy aphrodisiac marshmallows, sherbert dip, popping candy and flavour trips (more on that at a later date…) Taking some of this stuff home in our pockets on the tube felt a bit illicit. Luckily the police sniffer dogs in Camden can tell the different between sweets and drugs.

I bought a real gold foil hotdog and made the mistake of smothering it in ketchup. So I still don’t know what gold tastes like. I have now eaten a tasty coconut cigarette though – are Rizlas good for digestion? We also stuffed ourselves with popcorn, taken from the popcorn machine pictured. All-in-all, a very fun day!dsc00775

4 Comments

Filed under Events

scratch 'n' sniff valentine

On that almost always disastrous day of Saint Valentine (which is apparently named after a couple of rather unromantic early Christian martyrs) I thought it would be fun to try a different sort of date. The kind where you take your boyfriend to a small makeshift cinema in Soho to see a film about sex and death and eating… Yes, Peter Greenaway’s The Cook, The Thief, His Wife And Her Lover. It’s  one of my favourite films, alongside Delicatessen, but it’s so overpowering that I find it really hard to watch.

dsc00774-11This was a screening with a difference, put on by fantastic jelly men (perhaps the only jelly men) Bompas & Parr. It didn’t actually feature jelly, but was a feast for all the senses. It was also the UK’s first screening of a scratch ‘n’ sniff film. Not knowing quite what to expect we turned up to the Jotta Craft Fair, which is being held in a secret-looking sort of building on Foubert’s Place, just behind Oxford Street, from 14th to 28th February. It was a beautifully sunny day and guests were milling about with champagne flutes of a refreshing gin and dandelion drink. “It’s a Valentine’s colour,” said Sam Bompas, who was meeting and greeting in smart attire. I looked at it carefully and the lovely drink was distinctly brown. Maybe it could be a push to change Valentine’s traditional colour from the red blood of martyrs to something else. Personally I like yellow.

dsc_0137-12After being ushered in and taking our seats for the film, we were presented with the much awaited scratch ‘n’ sniff cards and at various points throughout the film were told to scratch ‘n’ sniff certain numbers. For those that haven’t seen The Cook, The Thief, His Wife And Her Lover, it’s an incredibly intense experience. Even before you add smell this film really stimulates the senses with exotic costumes by Jean Paul Gaultier, operatic stage sets, claustrophobic lighting, ear-piercingly high choirboy singing and mouthwatering scenes of cooking and eating. The smells that went with it that day included rotting meat, dusty books, flowers and faeces! By the end I felt a bit over-stimulated and dazed.

dsc007771During the interval, we were invited downstairs to share some edible delights: squishy aphrodisiac marshmallows, sherbert dip, popping candy and flavour trips (more on that at a later date…) Taking some of this stuff home in our pockets on the tube felt a bit illicit. Luckily the police sniffer dogs in Camden can tell the different between sweets and drugs.

I bought a real gold foil hotdog and made the mistake of smothering it in ketchup. So I still don’t know what gold tastes like. I have now eaten a tasty coconut cigarette though – are Rizlas good for digestion? We also stuffed ourselves with popcorn, taken from the popcorn machine pictured. All-in-all, a very fun day!dsc00775

4 Comments

Filed under Events

menu for hope

menuforhope6a00d83451bc0669e201053666ba78970c-640wiMenu for Hope is an annual fundraising campaign hosted by Chez Pim and a revolving group of food bloggers around the world.  The idea was born five years ago, after the devastating tsunami in Southeast Asia and has become a yearly affair, raising funds to support worthy causes worldwide. In 2007, Menu for Hope raised nearly $100K to help the UN World Food Programme feed the hungry.

Each December, food bloggers from all over the world join the campaign by offering a delectable array of food-related prizes for the Menu for Hope raffle. Anyone – and that means you – can buy raffle tickets to bid on these prizes. For every $10 donated, you earn one virtual raffle ticket to bid on a prize of your choice. At the end of the two-week campaign, the raffle tickets are drawn and the results announced on Chez Pim. Whether you are a food lover, food blogger, blog reader, restaurateur, author or food producer/seller or all of the above, see here for details of how to get involved.

Leave a comment

Filed under Events

macarons in marylebone

dsc_0328Not to be confused with the humble, knobbly, coconutty macaroon, the real macaron is a traditional French pastry, made of egg whites, almond, icing sugar and sugar. Last Saturday, a gaggle of food bloggers (many of those from the blogroll on your right) and TrustedPlaces members, including organiser eat like a girl Niamh, gathered at L’atelier des Chefs in Marylebone to try our luck at making the infamously tricky treats. We were divided up into four tables, each making a separate experimental macaron: a divine salted butter caramel; a tangy lime and ginger that involved a complicated-looking sabayonne stage; a creatively sized raspberry and rose; and the somewhat easier but no less stunning port and foie gras mousse macaron with squid ink (watch this space for the recipe). Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under Events

green note

106 Parkway, Camden Town, London NW1 7AN

Tel: (020) 7485 9899

www.greennote.co.uk

Music nights are the main focus of this café, but there are a few other kinds of evening thrown in for good measure. On Monday 3rd November there’s a poetry slam event called Hammer & Tongue, so if you fancy getting up and spouting some poems, or simply watching other people be brave… They serve tasty, reasonably-priced, vegetarian tapas.

 

2 Comments

Filed under bars & pubs, cafes, Events