Feast London 2013, Tobacco Dock, 50 Porters Walk, Wapping, London E1W 2SF
Imagine some of London’s finest restaurants and street vendors, all under one roof. Long communal dining tables scattered with flickering candles, a band playing, fire pits to warm you and enough food to last a lifetime.
We went to Feast held at Tobacco Dock in Wapping last night for the first time, and absolutely loved it. It was so achingly cool (too cool for us), we managed to sample four places on our ever-growing-and-impossible-to-keep-up-with-list. Plenty of stalls to visit, from ‘a kind of Jewish deli’ Mishkin’s, Elliot’s Café in Borough Market, to smaller vendors such as Big Apple Hot Dogs and Pizza Pilgrims. The only downside, is that it’s not a taster event, most stalls offered only full portions, sharing optional. (See a full list of who was there at the bottom of this post.)
As we were standing in the queue for our beloved Dishoom stall, we heard a couple behind us chatting between themselves ‘Is this place an actual restaurant or do they only have a stall’. Tempted to turn around and tell them they have not one, but two wonderful restaurants, I resisted and left them to discover it for themselves.
The morning after Feast, I was gushing about it on Twitter and Facebook, bombarding my followers with pictures and praise. Saturday mornings seem to be the time for Twitter debates, so my joy was quickly taken away as I ended up in discussion with a food writer who felt Feast had no place for him. He doesn’t understand the need for such an event when you can just go to a restaurant any time. We do love restaurants and the whole experience that they bring, but having day jobs that don’t involve eating, it’s hard to find enough time (and money) to get to all these places, so Feast was ideal for us. I even bet him the £9 entry fee that he’d enjoy it if he went, but this was not a game he wanted to play.
Feast was great for us for the reasons stated earlier, but it’s also great for those who have no idea what London has to offer. A few years ago we had no clue, dining out at the same Thai restaurant on a regular basis, we rarely ventured out of SE1. Now, thanks to people such as Marina O’Loughlin, then Metro newspaper food critic, we have discovered an abundance of amazing restaurants with new ones opening all the time. Many who were at Feast, many who weren’t.
We, and the above mentioned food writer are lucky in that we know where to go, and where not to. We visit a lot of these places that others may not have heard of. Roll on the next one, as we will certainly be there to discover more restaurants from this great city.
Tobacco Dock, 50 Porters Walk,
Wapping, London E1W 2SF