Hello my lovelies
Festival -2 days…19:00pm… More revision? TV? Check phone…ooh it’s dead I really ought to charge that, I might turn it on and have a hundred pressing messages to tend to…then again I might not. Ah well Instagram’s always worth checking right? Ping An email. I’m now halfway between the ground floor and the first floor (Aka. On the stairs) and my Mac’s basically yelling at me that I have an email (For the purpose of the background info, I have been waiting for a particular email all day, naturally all the ones that have come through are so far not ‘The one’). I back track and check…gahh still irrelevant (It’s from an event company I signed up for ages ago), ooh hang on…Festival…London…Coffee. Fire up Chrome.
Let us summarise here: I could apply to work at this intriguing event OR (better option) I could attend it. Well that hardly required a coin flip did it. I’m feeling mildly sweet that I now qualify as a ‘trade’ guest… (Ah I haven’t actually done a post about my café…Right that’s coming up guys). They’re open this weekend and this weekend only, and their ‘trade’ days were today (Thursday) and tomorrow. I had exams this week…bummer I know and after 8+ hours of driving, consecutive early starts and late nights, you can imagine how much I’m looking forward to a lazy Friday. Alas I’m a foodie and well is ‘drinkie’ a thing? Sounds weird, but you get the deal. London coffee festival tomorrow it is!
07:00am – Nah I’m not ready for this
09:00am – Damn it! This is the time I aimed to leave! Shower, faff, my eyebrows are not playing ball today…more faff, food? No time! Leave the house guys!
Our trade ticket today is valid between 10-17:00pm which seems to be a crazy amount of time but I’m already anticipating I may need to re-attend tomorrow. I’m 2 lovely companions in tow. Fast-forward the bore. Oh this wee side street, the bustle, the sun and the smell…I’m inspired already! Let’s get to it! Fortunately, we were given a longer time frame (Than the 3hr public ticketed time slots), but the truth of it is, we only needed about 2/2.5 hours in there and the remaining half hour would most likely have been spent in the cocktail bar anyway!
They insisted on this high visibility wrist tag for my lil bro (school closed, so I dragged him with us) with our number on it. Point 1: Their security was on point, no flaws (A few roaming security guys approached on occasion throughout to check his wrist tag and that he was ok).
So for those of you who don’t know…I’m actually not a coffee lover. I’ll pause for your gasp/silence/horror/”why are you at this thing” thoughts. Nevertheless I do smell and taste (< operative word here) coffee and can appreciate the differences.
Upon entry we’re bombarded with stands, smells, people…it really is crazy.
Overview? They must have the heating on or something because it’s roasting, but touché they have a full on festival vibe with live music, grass (Astroturf), food and drinks and heat. It’s amazing and at this point I’ve only done a 360, no footwork required.
Having approached various stands, it quickly becomes clear those who are passionate about their product and those that are there for their pay. I won’t name either way; we were discouraged from some of the coffee utensils, but on other stands met some lovely people and made some amazing contacts! The food? Aranchini brothers saved my life with a burger that not even the inevitable shameful mess could prevent me having. Those of you that know me, know I’m nearing the conclusion of my best burger in London hunt and this one will definitely make it on the list… where? You’ll have to wait to find out.
This brewery had it all and it makes sense it would reside in London’s East. Bag? I wouldn’t fuss too much, as you get given one upon entry for the countless cards, wee posters/leaflets, samples and just about anything you can fit in there. (YES you need it…trust me. You my lovely are no one without this bag).
There are so many big companies to test, question and purchase from perhaps? Truth of it is, I am personally attracted to the small, specialist and passionate stands (Note: Frequently, in the corners, or off the main path, or down that row you know wasn’t the way you came). That’s just me and that’s exactly what you can expect from ‘Munch’ (We found 2 of our soul-brands here).
I do not need to stress how far I am from a ‘Coffee drinker’ but if you are one of the caffeine fuelled few, then a brewery of perfect roasts and crema await you. I tasted a fair share of coffee, but it wasn’t an overwhelming experience despite the assumption and whether you’re a ‘novice’ or a ‘well-seasoned’ drinker, this festival is well suited!
Don’t be put off by the ‘coffee’ title…I adored the event. Tea? Brownies? Chocolate … Even hot chocolate? Ice-cream/Frozen yoghurt? Street food? Cocktails? Technology? Clothing? Are you sold yet? Get yourself down here! Now or next year… this is somewhere you need to be.
- Cash is king
- Drivers stop now! Parking = Nightmare!
- Don’t layer up (It’s a sauna in there)
- It may be a wee maze but for your dignity and mine DO NOT open that A+ floor map
- Non-coffee lovers allowed
- You’re going to need time on your side but if you’re not ‘overly’ keen, 2/2.5 hours will be enough.
- The ‘Hyde Park’ section…befriend it (Many thanks to the guys that gave up their sacred seat btw), sit in it and just let the event wash over you…preferably with a glass of * Martini/ Bavarian beer/ Beverage of choice *
- Eat approx. 60<120 mins pre-attendance, ensuring a taste of their mouth-watering street food offerings before you go (We went pretty hungry and it’s really hard to get to the food stall [waaaay in the depths] without at least 2 of the troop being distracted by EVERY other stand.
* Beards and tattoos galore * 😉
P.s. I realise I ramble… want more info? Let me know.