food & drink

Love London Food Festival: A unique experience

The Love London Food Festival, held on the 13th July on Regent Street, featured more than fifty different independent restaurants and street food stalls.

The Love London Food Festival, held on the 13th July on Regent Street, featured more than fifty different independent restaurants and street food stalls. Having heard of it by chance from my friend, I was more than excited because I have the strong life philosophy of: “live to eat, not eat to live.”

Magic beans

Upon arriving we were told that we could not pay for food with cash or by card. You had to purchase a bean card load it up with beans (one bean being equal to one pound) and then use that.

Whilst unusual, it encapsulates the festival entirely-quirky, different and fun. In fact, imagine if the entire world used beans as currency. Doesn’t it sound much more manageable when you say that the UK national debt is increasing, approximately, by 107 billion beans per annum?

That sounds like we’re doing quite well, especially when you compare it to saying pounds. The food festival have definitely gotten this one right…I might even tweet that idea to George Osborne.

Magical too, was the atmosphere. The sun was shining in London and there was music and dancers entertaining as you walked onto Regent Street. All the ingredients were there…it was time to try and eat as many different things as possible.

Variety is definitely the spice of life

Armed with beans and an insatiable appetite, it was time to try out as many different cuisines as possible and this proved easy as the rows of stalls beckoned with beautiful smells and the bean currency. All  offered something different. Italian, Vietnamese, Indian, German…this was the Disneyland of food.

As well as independent restaurants having stalls, there were also street food vendors, so there was the chance to get some good old Indian street food, and then a dessert from the stall representing one of Jamie Oliver’s restaurants. Variety in terms of cuisine, restaurant style and price meant there was something for everyone.

Food, glorious food!

My one qualm, was that there was an overload of Indian food. Walking down Regent Street and finding seven Indian stalls selling similar food made it difficult to pick just one! However, having chosen Cinnamon Soho, we were not disappointed. Their samosa chaat was an explosion of flavour: crispy samosa, spicy cooked vegetables, crunchy Indian sev, a cool mint chutney and little surprises of pomegranate).

Following this came The Honest Burger, a Vegan and Vegetarian stall which we felt an affinity to, being vegetarians. We were not disappointed, the Honest Carrot Burger was a tasty mix of vegetables, which is not easy as vegetables can quite easily be bland and uninteresting, The sesame seeds and lemon juice was the Superhero in this equation, without which it would have been nothing special.

Next up was good old Mac and Cheese from Anna Mae’s, which was beautiful comfort food. There is little wrong with the world when you are eating hot and cheesy macaroni cheese. However, as beautiful as it was, it was incredibly heavy and filling, and when it is hot it is always difficult to stomach pasta.

Therefore, following this, it was time to venture to La Gelateria. They claimed to be serious about their gelato, which made me happy, because I feel the same way. Is there really any other way to be about gelato or even ice cream? 

With no additives or preservatives, it was my winner. Light, creamy and flavourful, I was unable to choose between flavours and so went for both salted caramel and also honey and rosemary. 

Honey and rosemary in particular was beautiful, a heady mix of rich honey and fragrant rosemary with the flavours working together.

Ending the festival with trying iced coffee I unfortunately found brown sugar does not dissolve easily into it (but at that point I had already added 3 heaped spoons).

I could easily conclude that it’s a good job there aren’t such brilliant food festivals everyday.

I’d be broke and be eating way too much,  although that’s not to say I’m not encouraging more frequent food festivals.

I’d be there faster than you could say “food.”

What do you think? Have your say in the comments section below.