Well this initiative by the “Popes of TW” is a really simple and great idea. Nick & Ingrid saw something similar whilst on holiday in the US and thought it would translate well to the their local community in Tunbridge Wells.
The have tirelessly put together a simple website where an “X” marks the sellers pitches and allowed now some 100 plus to easily sign up and take part. They have both leaflet dropped the town and distributed some 10,000 of them to spread the word and now with just a few days to go there is much excitement and anticipation.
I felt I somehow had to take part in this and am pleased to say I will be joining up with a couple of pals on their pitch at TN1 1JP where I will rock up with my paella kit and cook a fresh big pan of the stuff and serve up to anyone who fancies a refuel whilst they browse the assorted sellers stalls.
The pan holds circa 40 portions so it will be very much a first come first served situation and all profits from the sales will be donated to local charities. I will even take payment with a credit card if you have used up all your cash on other sellers stalls so no excuses on not selling out.
Lets hope the weather stays fine and warm and this will become very much an annual community event for the town. Well done to Ingrid & Nick for such sterling work… now just form an orderly queue for your paellas!
Hawker House Entrance
Chuck Burger & Fries
Inside Hawker House
White Men Can’t Jerk
It has a real buzz
So much to choose from
A sweet Yum Bun
Savoury Yum Buns
Hawker House – Canada Water
I had been made aware of Hawker House by fellow supper club operator Sprig of London who had recently attended the venue and was excited to know more about it.
Having just completed an outside event with “The Hands” Julia we got talking about taking our respective off spring up to London for the evening to see the Christmas lights and soak up some festive spirit.
I suggested a detour to take a look at this much talked about concept. Street Feast London – it is a street food concept that brings together a group of food retailers producing an eclectic mix of food under one roof. The parent company behind it all are London Union a partnership of Henry Dimbelby (of Leon Restaurants fame) and Jonathan Downey the initial instigator of the Street Feast concept.
Hawker House is an unassuming old warehouse located behind the Surrey Quays retail park close to Canada Water – it is marked by a fire brazier entrance area and an illuminated sign leading down to the security manned front doors that led you through some black curtains into a dimly lit walkway and opened into a buzzing cavernous warehouse.
Friendly cheerful hosts greet you and ask for your hand to then ink stamp you with the Hawker House logo and you enter into a wide open space filled with long trestle style tables and chairs in the middle and then round the edges of the space there are the assorted food vendors. The space is divided between two main areas and a staircase leads up to an area with assorted bar/drink vendors. It is a massive area and full of urban character with cleverly lit areas and graffiti clad walls. I could best describe it all as grunge chic and the vibrant atmosphere makes it all rather special .
It is however the food on offer here that is the star… the assorted traders are rotated among their other sites and I found the first visit here is really not enough to sample the full delights on offer and had to go back the following week as there were others I wanted to sample.
Highlights for me were Meat Hook – wood fired grilled beef topped with a fiery chimichurra sauce, a Chuck Burger freshly grilled burger knocks your average burger into the sidelines but for me the Yum Bun stall was one I kept going back to. The Smokestak was another concept that had me gravitating towards it… I am drooling just thinking about them again. White Men Can’t Jerk and Mother Clucker to name just another two of the traders could tempt you!
The food offer is what for me was so exciting – the place might be a bit trendy for the local hipsters and drinkers it is however the food that made me want to make the 60 mile round trip again the following week!
In fact when it all reopens at the end of this month I will be dreaming up an excuse to go again ! If you want to sample some amazing street food then I can thoroughly recommend it all. The excesses of the festive period will be forgotten by the time it all starts up again!