Like most Londoners we really, really like Bermondsey Street, whether it’s cocktails at The Hide, an espresso at the brilliantly named Fuckoffee or standing-room-only tapas at José (oh, and please don’t get us started on our love for nearby Maltby Street’s Ropewalk).
And the annual festival – now in its ninth year – is once again very much in its stride. From designers to artisan food specialists to live music, it’s well worth a wander this weekend, whatever part of (south) London you inhabit.
There are three stages, so take your pick from fancy dress, some obligatory maypole dancing and a too-cute dog show to throwing some shapes to salsa, African dancing and future dub (the Tanner Street stage looks particularly inviting).Elsewhere there are a ton of art exhibitions and fashion shows (well, Zandra Rhodes is patron after all), plus Vauxhall City Farm will be on hand with a kids’ area and children’s theatre.
Hungry? Simplicity restaurant has outposts across the festival with champagne bars and more, while Village East will be back with their popular hog roast, and Tanner and Co dishing up lamb and pomegranate wraps. And don’t miss Antico’s scallop stall, which last year saw people queuing around the block. On the booze front, there’s a whole host of craft beers and spirits including Southwark Brewing Co, Gosnells Mead and BTW (which makes a damn fine gin and tonic, if that’s your poison).Finally, our top tip? Follow the art trail. Turn up at midday at Arthouse1 (45 Grange Road SE1 3BH) for a special guided tour and a rare chance to meet artists in their working studios, as well as check out discussions, presentations and film screenings in SE1’s unique galleries, and creative spaces.
Phew. Still hungry at the end of the day? Head to Lobos, our favourite pork palace south of the river for some of their best ever Iberico presa.
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