Why we feel that we can’t go to Street Feast again.
The highlight of last Saturday was Street Feast at Model Market in Lewisham. A brilliant hidden gem behind the dullness that is Lewisham High Street. It’s achingly cool and a clever use of a long derelict market. Unlike the previous Street Feast I’d been to in Dalston, the vendors all have individual roofed pitches with seating, making it easier to find a spot to enjoy the food.
Sat atop their grassed version of the New York High Line, sipping slushy cocktails in the sun we couldn’t have been happier. A bunch of children next to us played with actual toys (not phones), newborn babies added cuteness and everyone was having a good time.
But then the following morning I saw a tweet from @DowneyJD – one of the organisers saying: ‘There is nowhere else like #ModelMarket and it’s the Lewisham locals that make it such a great and special place’.
We agreed with the first part but thought how hidden Street Feast is, it’s even fenced off from the high street – you can’t even get in here, you have to walk around to the other side. The people we saw in the shops and surrounding area on our walk from and back to the car were (mostly) NOT the same people we saw inside Street Feast. It was like someone had plonked a little bit of Dalston in the middle of Lewisham and not told anyone.
So I said: ‘@DowneyJD @StreetFeastLDN it is indeed special, but we’re not sure Lewisham locals actually know it’s there?’
To which @DowneyJD replied ‘What a strange and unnecessary thing to say. I’m certain they know but perhaps you know better?’
We don’t claim to know better than anyone, but wrote: ‘@DowneyJD just seems like a secret world on the other side of the high street! Just wonder if people are travelling in/out for it.’
We were shot down with: ‘@WeLoveFoodTweet Wonder away but in the knowledge that you are wrong.’
So I tweeted a few London restaurant industry types who I knew were there the same night as asking ‘So who went to @StreetFeastLDN Lewisham last night and are you a local? ?
The winking emoji was a poor attempt to show this was lighthearted. It obviously didn’t work because he said. ‘Now you’re just being a dick. Good for you. We interview and survey our guests and know the postcode they live and work in.’
I’m being a dick? Charming.
Anyway, this ended with Ade getting involved saying he doesn’t appreciate his wife being called a dick and with @DowneyJD blocking us. That’s fine, no biggie but what did bother us is that we were also blocked from the Street Feast account for which we were supporters and fans. In fact we’re even running a competition in conjunction with them. Awkward.
I tried to not let something so petty rile me but when messages of support came in from our followers it made it into something bigger. And when I find myself wide awake at 1.30 am the following Monday night drafting this post in my head, I thought perhaps I should write it all down.
I surprised myself by feeling upset about this, the ‘dick’ comment really stuck. Totally uncalled for and odd. I’m sure if we had the same conversation in real life and not behind the security of social media, I certainly would not have been called that.
We care about our ‘brand’ and would never ever want to look or sound unprofessional, we were merely pointing out something which we believe to be true, we live pretty close to Lewisham and so know what a Lewisham local is. We couldn’t have been happier that something like Street Feast had come this close to our home, there’s hardly anywhere decent to eat around here. We WANT the locals to go there to sample the food and atmosphere for themselves. It just didn’t look like many were…
Oh and by the way, when we went to Street Feast no one asked us our postcode or where we work.
It’s just a shame that we feel that we can’t go there again. Plans for summer visits with family and friends are now scrapped. We won’t be trying SmokeStak‘s delicious looking ribs or having another gorgeous Yum Bun ice-cream bao.
Not that we’ve been barred (as far as I know) but the enjoyment factor would go from a 9 to a 1. For us, eating out is about so much more than the food, it’s about who’s part of it, behind it and their love and passion for what they do.