21 September 2013

Best in Show: The Bermondsey Edition

This time last year, I was waiting to sign on the dotted line on my flat and, wanting to make the most of my last few weeks in Marylebone, I didn't visit the Bermondsey Street Festival, the cool and stylish "village fête" that takes over the always lovely Bermondsey Street for one Saturday each September.

Although the promised warm, sunny weather did not materialise, it wasn't too bad either, so after my SoLoDo Running Club outing, I wandered back down to Bermondsey Square. Alongside the usual Saturday farmers' market, was a coffee stand run by Fika & Folly. When they open up in Bermondsey Square, there will be a coffee shop and a training academy. It sounds pretty cool. Plus, their cups are so stylish and even the stand is made partly from recycled coffee grounds.

Bermondsey Street itself was, thankfully, closed to traffic, although not to bikes. If you didn't bring your own, you could buy a really stylish one from several stalls. Some of the other stalls were associated with the shops and restaurants on Bermondsey Street; others were run by local artists and craft-makers. Some things that caught my eye included: locally themed ceramics from Siân Jones (the Elephant & Castle design is great); Stephen Shillito's postcode prints; and Saddle and Spoke's fancy cycleware.

When I reached the London Bridge end of the street, I picked up a raspberry limeade from Tanner & Co's stall, and a trio of macarons from Casse-Croûte — the raspberry and chocolate was my favourite, but the passionfruit was also good.

Then it was time for the main event: the dog show, sponsored by Bermondsey Street canine lifestyle store, Holly & Lil. Now, regular readers will know that I am definitely a cat person, but I also loved Best in Show so I couldn't resist watching the first couple of events: best pedigree female and best pedigree male.

A lot of fun was had by all, and even I found a few dogs that I thought were quite cute.

After all of that excitement, it was time for some lunch. There were a number of street food stalls set up in one of the parks, and I was tempted by a roast chicken ciabatta, until I saw the stand offering burgers from the newly reopened and refurbished Village East. Unfortunately, the burger wasn't great. It was nice and meaty, but way over-cooked; they should have grilled them up to order, as The Woolpack were doing, rather than simply reheating on the grill. That aside, it was a fun day out — especially as it was only a ten-minute walk home again.

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