Tag Archives: live music

Camden Market in the sunshine and the Urban Food Festival

123My weekend was so jam-packed with activities, fun and most importantly FOOD, that I simply had to split it across a few posts. So here is 2/3 and this is all about the time spent in Camden Market on Saturday, a gorgeously sunny day which we spent wandering around the stalls and enjoying delicious food. It was a beautiful day – lucky after a bit of rain in the morning and lots of storms elsewhere – and we headed straight for Camden so we could sit out by the river and relax. Now I love Camden Market, I feel like it is my spiritual home (jokes). I always say to myself that I need to explore more areas of London but I never get round to it because I can never resist visiting the Market. And as I’m sure you guys all know, once you are in, you’ll be stuck in there for hours looking at incredible stalls.

ssWe took a walk along the more peaceful end of the river, where families were sitting and dipping their feet in the water or eating food fresh from the stalls. It was so peaceful and the water was so calm, sitting in the sunshine, you could believe you were abroad it was so warm.

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After sharing a camel burger and a Turkish wrap, we walked back to the Tiki Bar which looked even prettier than it had the day before. We grabbed a table and a jug of Pimms to enjoy, and with live music and a DJ we stayed well entertained people-watching there for a few hours.


When it started getting closer to 6pm, we decided to start out on our tube journey to Shoreditch – which turned out to be a bit of a mission after we found out some of the tube lines were out of order. We ended up getting off at Bethnal Green and after a quick stop for a drink in the sweetest little park, we started on the ten-minute walk to Shoreditch. Our destination was the Urban Food Festival, which we soon discovered had taken over a small car park not far from the tube station. After stumbling across the website last week when looking for free things to do in London, we were so excited to go along and try some different dishes. Both big food lovers, we are always looking for new flavours from different countries and the food festival provided us with a fantastic opportunity to do just that.burgerFirst up for us to try was The Invincible Burger from the Korean stall, we spotted the huge queue and smelt the delicious combination of spice, marinade and meat and figured we couldn’t really go wrong! Everybody was tucking into these gorgeous burgers and I’m really not surprised, they were delicious with a beef burger that had been marinated in Korean spices before being stacked with equally flavoursome pulled pork on top. It packed a tasty punch and certainly had our mouths watering. It was easily the best savoury dish I tried and I wish I had another before I left! After trying this, we spotted the Italian stall and saw that they had several types of gnocchi on the menu. Now boyfriend and I have a long-held obsession with gnocchi despite neither of us having tried it before – it’s all thanks to Gavin and Stacey! Well I went straight over and picked up a gnocchi dish with a sage and pork ragu. Sorry to say but I was so disappointed, I have no real comparison when it comes to gnocchi, but I found the dish soggy and flavourless and I certainly would not bother to have it again. I really wished I had tried the semolina pasta instead.

Third up was pizza and after seeing lots of people tucking into wood-fired and crispy-based pizzas covered in chorizo, cheese, mushroom and more, we were looking forward to this one. Boyfriend went over and ordered the chorizo, cheese and jalapeno pizza which, although it took a while because there was a bit of a queue, was well worth the wait. I’m very particular about my pizza bases and yet I couldn’t have been happier with this one, just the right amount of crunch and softness. The toppings were the perfect combination and we wolfed the dish down, wishing we had more! We had a break after this and enjoyed the live music that had been playing throughout with a beer.1234After a while, the smells and sights coming from the Peruvian stall were just too much and I insisted we have one more savoury dish, just to try. I went over and ordered a steak wrap after studying the orders of those in front of me. I had been keen to order the ox heart dish, but it seemed a bit small for two people to really get the taste so I went for the steak wrap instead. Watching them prepare the food was fantastic, a show in itself. The head chef was so focused and calm despite flames flying everywhere and the orders pouring in like crazy. This was the busiest stall by the time I joined the queue but again, was most definitely worth the wait! The meat was so tender and the whole thing was just so brightly coloured and full of flavour. I can really compare the flavours as they were so unique. All I could say is that it is cooked similarly to peri-peri but the flavours taste completely different and you get the opportunity to add a variety of sauces including a cheese and chilli one, a red pepper and chilling one and another with lime, mint and yoghurt. I sloshed in all three and wow. It was incredible – kind of like eating a mojito-flavoured steak wrap – and if that doesn’t sound good, what does?!

Over on the drinks stalls they had the tasty Orchard Pig truffler and reveller ciders from Somerset and absolutely fantastic. You could taste the sweet apple flavour and it had a nice sparkle. I’d had a few people recommend the cider to me before but had never had the opportunity to try it before now. For those with a taste for ale, we also tried the brand new Indian Runner premium golden ale, which was only launched a couple of weeks ago. A perfect Shoreditch beer, their slogan is ‘refreshingly different’ and it certainly was!12345We sat for hours at the festival, watching people and their food choices, enjoying the beers and wines on offer. The live music was great and had the crowd singing along to all their favourites – the last act on, The Twelve Band, really had people dancing along and gave a great performance. The whole place was packed out from start to finish, and this really added to the atmosphere, it was lovely to see people of all ages enjoying the food, whether they had come straight from work or dropped in right before a night out. As the event was winding down, I made sure to pop by the SE Cakery & Brownie Bar where they had the most amazing cakes on sale. I had spotted and tried a tiny bit early and was determined to grab a bag of goodies to take home. We had six individual bites, a mixture of vanilla cheesecake brownie, oreo brownie, banoffee brownie and honeycomb brownie. All were just incredible – I can’t even describe how good these brownies were. I have to say, I am a baker myself and pride myself on how good my own brownies are but these just blew mine out of the water. If you get the chance, make sure you snap up some of these cakes!

It was a fantastic event, and although smaller than I expected, I have no doubt it will soon be growing in size. I was equally excited to find out that the free event is run weekly on Saturday nights from 5pm to midnight at Euro Car Parks on Shoreditch High Street. From the looks of things, the stalls change weekly so whenever you go you will get a taste of something delicious and new! If I were you, I’d make it my business to head down there often and discover some new foodie delights.

Have you been to the Urban Food Festival? What did you think and what was your favourite dish?

 

The songs that will make my summer soundtrack

1004604_10151480508882617_1052791188_nAfter last year’s incredible summer, I plan on hitting up a heck of a lot of festivals this year with good friends, a crate of warm cider and a muddy tent in tow. What more could a girl want over those summer months? With the first festival of the season taking place over this weekend – my birthday weekend – I’m so excited to get properly in the summer mood and get dancing. But what is it I’ll be dancing to this summer? Well, here are my top summery songs of the moment – these are the ones that have me dancing along in my car and singing along to with the radio.

Forest Fires by Fred V and Grafix is just one of those chilled out songs that instantly puts a smile on my face. It makes me think of summer drives with a car-full of friends and the sun beaming down on us, lots of cocktails and laughs. It’s a perfect summer warm-up song and I just know I’m going to be hearing it a lot this summer.

Another huge tune that I absolutely love has got to be Mr Probz – Waves which is my ultimate driving song of the moment. This song is the perfect length for my drive to work and when the sun is shining in the mornings, it is perfet for de-stressing me and chilling me out before the chaos starts.

Any song with a hefty dose of saxophone is always going to make me happy and Faul & Wad Ad vs. Pnau do exactly that with Changes. Although released a little while ago now, I’m still not bored of this and I can’t imagine it going away. This is the sort of song that is used as the soundtrack to festival videos and that’s why I love it.boom1 Hippie Sabotage – Stay High  is another of those really chilled out songs that I just love. It reminds me of being at BoomTown Fair last summer sunbathing and hanging out at the Shisha Tent with the boys or dancing in the woods.

Duke Dumont – I Got You is such a happy sound, the steel drums just scream summer and it just makes me want to dance around at a festival and pull silly faces in photos with my girls. When you listen to the lyrics, it is such a cute song and I love what it is about.

Again, like Duke Dumont, Sigma – Nobody To Love also puts a huge smile on my face and I love that everyone always sings along. It’s such a fun song and no-one can resist a teensy bit of Kanye thrown into the mix. If you haven’t heard this song, I’ll be shocked because it is everywhere at the moment.

What would summer be without Paolo Nutini to light up my life with his latest album? Pretty dark I’ll tell you. I love his soulful sound and it’s perfect for lazy summer days in the park. I would absolutely love to see him live at a festival but sadly he won’t be performing at any I go to this summer.

Let it be known that I heart Bastille. Last summer, I saw them perform their whole album in the gorgeous sunshine at Secret Garden Party and it was one of my favourite festival moments of the summer. They were amazing live and it cemented my love of them entirely. A year on and their album is still one of my automatic go-to playlists and I still know all the words.sgp1

What’s your summer anthem of the moment? Leave me recommendations below and I’ll add them to my playlist!

 

10 incredible music acts I have to see live before I die

Steve-Aoki-BannerIf you want to get a taste for my favourite artists and the music that gets me dancing and singing along, take a quick scroll down my Instagram feed for just some of the incredible acts I stalk for pictures of their latest incredible performances. After last year turned out to be such an incredible year for seeing so many of the acts I had been longing to see live for years, I am even more determined to get round more of my favourites in the next few years. I cannot describe my excitement at getting to see Fatboy Slim, Basement Jaxx, Major Lazer, Beyonce, Bastille, Of Monsters and Men, Julian Marley, Paloma Faith, Sub Focus, Chase and Status, Pendulum and so many others perform live in the last 12 months. But as I tick each off, I add even more acts to my list and it grows even longer. Here are just some of the incredible acts I am determined to see live in the next few years:

  1. Steve Aoki – The king of crazy. His performances are high-energy, complete chaos and simply ridiculous – everything I love about live shows and every time I see pictures of him leaping into the crowd or shooting off fire extinguishers or throwing cake at the crowd, I just wish I was there in the thick of it.
  2. The Prodigy – I just LOVE their music and have done for years but to be honest, I have seen live footage of the crowds at their gigs and I’m more than a little bit scared of leaping in there. Things often get a lot moshier than I am willing to go, and I’m not sure I want my face smashed in! Knife Party are another one that although I would love to see, I’m a bit scared! Ha.
  3. The Chemical Brothers – Like Fatboy, the sound of the nineties and my youth. It’s the music I grew up with and I just know it would be an incredible experience to hear live, plus I know how much those songs get the crowd going even now.
  4. Annie Mac – I missed out on seeing her at Parklife two summers ago because of the queue at the gate, but am still desperate to go to a club night or festival where she is DJing, her set lists fill my iPod and her Friday night sessions on Radio One always get me dancing and wanting to go out.
  5. Kanye West – See, it’s not all DJs! Love his music and know he would put on an awesome show. Would also be happy to see Drake or Pharrell live as well.
  6. Daft Punk – A bit like The Chemical Brothers, they are just an institution and I loved their new album, had it on repeat in my car, so I think it would be amazing to see them live.
  7. The Arctic Monkeys – Such good music, a bit of a different scene to all the dance music acts but just one of those ones you know all the words to. Their new stuff is great and although their attitude at the BRITs stank, I still would love to see them. To be in the crowd at a festival when they dropped bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor would be a fantastic experience.
  8. The XX – Their album was just stunning and is still my go-to album on my iPod, I never get bored of its stunning sound and I just know it would be such a magical experience to hear live. I would also like to see Chvrches and London Grammar.
  9. Cee-Lo Green/Gnarls Barkley – Do I even need to explain this one? That voice? Those songs! And that suit… Winner. Simple as.
  10. Paolo Nutini – He is just dreamy, and his music is beautiful. He’s a singer that I have liked for years now and often they don’t stick in my mind that long, or I don’t continue to like their music as their style changes. Paolo has changed his style but I still love it.

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I’m sure there are many more I could list and I could go on forever, but these are just some of those that immediately came to mind. He’s hoping I get the chance to see some of them live very soon!

Who would you love to see perform live and why? What was your favourite live act of last year?