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Events, Out and About, Persian and Middle-Eastern, World Foods

What’s cooking in London this summer? Five events and pop-ups not to miss

The other day, I received a pretty exciting email. I never thought I’d be calling an automated email newsletter “exciting”, but this one’s special. Remember when I told you about my visit to FEAST at Tobacco Dock last summer? Well, London’s leading street food event is heading West this year, and more specifically to Shepherd’s Bush Yard on Goldhawk Road, which is…just around the corner from where I live (20 minutes walk or 5 bus stops away is “around the corner” for Londoners, right?).

Little FEAST opens on 2 July, very close to my upcoming holiday, so I might have to push back my visit until I’m back from Italy. But with a lineup including world foods, Cornish fish, Bad Brownie’s much celebrated sweet treats, a summer garden, and a bar serving coffee and snacks from 7.30am every day (I smell weekend breakfast…), it would be silly not to go as often as I can until the market closes on 16 August. Will anything on offer beat the delicious cuttlefish paella I tried last year? Keep an eye on these pages, and soon enough you’ll find out.

Feast Food Festival - Tobacco Dock

Feast Food Festival - Cuttlefish Paella

Little FEAST isn’t the only London food event I’m excited about right now: the other highlight of my Summer of Food is Ceru’s pop-up at London Riviera. I’ll by writing more about it in coming weeks, as I’m planning to return and sample more of their dishes. For now, here’s the essential stuff you should know. Ceru is a 2015-born itinerant Levantine restaurant (I wouldn’t be surprised if you’d tried their first-ever residency in Soho this winter), serving seasonal menus made with ingredients sourced between the UK, Cyprus, Turkey, Lebanon and Israel. Right now, you can find them at More London – yes, the swanky business district a stone’s throw from London Bridge station – with a menu combining old favourites and new recipes by chef Tom Kime.

I attended its opening last month, and liked everything I saw and ate. Saw, because the view is spectacular all year round, but you’d be particularly short-sighted (pun not intended) to miss it in this season: think gazing at the City’s skyscrapers, glowing with setting sunlight and looking more glorious than ever, while sipping cocktails on a beach chair in the middle of yet more shiny glass buildings. If your employer has a remote working policy, I urge you to spend entire days there; it might be just the thing that offsets the sameness of typing away on your laptop for hours (not sure there’s wifi though!).

Ate, because the food has everything I look for in a meal: flavour, fulfilment, and a healthy kick. My favourites? Their highly addictive warm flatbread with houmous and red pepper dip, the heavenly soft and juicy lamb shoulder, and the cold cauliflower, pomegranate and walnut salad. I don’t even like cauliflower: I can barely stand it, but the pairing with walnuts takes it to another level entirely. Ceru, what have you done to me!

Ceru at London Riviera

Ceru at London Riviera

You’d think this is it, but no: my eyes are definitely as big as my huge stomach, and I’ve set them on many more new openings and summer events, which I’m scheming to fit between stints of travelling and jam-packed working days. Here are a few links for you to check out; hope they inspire you, too – and if you fancy trying them out with me, just give me a shout!

  • A little bird tells me Ice and Slice’s ice cream bar recently opened in Fulham. They experiment with Italian inspired alcoholic flavours such as Prosecco and Aperol Spritz, have a patisserie bar serving cakes and pastries, and apparently serve pizza, too. Enough said.
  • Travelling to East London’s a bit of a trek for me, but Dalston pub The Three Compasses is showing live screenings of True Detective’s season 2 on a massive projector every Monday. I’m itching to find out if the second season is as mindblowingly good as the first – plus, entry is free, there are 2-4-1 cocktails, and food is available from the pub’s all day menu. One to watch (this pun was intended).
  • I keep hearing great things about Asma Khan‘s Indian cooking, and keep watching out for an opportunity to attend her frequent residencies at Soho pub The Sun and 13 Cantons. I’ve been unsuccessful so far, as they mostly open at lunchtime on weekdays, but as the current residency has a Saturday dinner slot until 9pm, I’m hoping I can get a spot when I’m back from Italy.

What about you? Are there any restaurants, events or pop-ups you’ve tried or are keen to try this summer? Leave a comment below and let me know.

Ceru at London Riviera

Note: This post is a collaboration with Eventbrite, as part of their Trends in Food & Drink project; I’m not receiving any remuneration to write it, and none of these links are sponsored. However, I was invited to the opening of Ceru at More London; all opinions are my own.

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