In true Summer Garden Party style, the sun blessed the opening day of the Artillery Island and Walthamstow Garden Party with heat and summer smiles. Perfect weather for a picnic with friends and family.
Sheltered from the intense heat on an island in the middle of the Lloyd Park medieval moat under a white canopy lay an arc of Walthamstow and local area’s finest food creators sharing their summer selections.
I sussed out those who were there for one day only and made a beeline for them before they all sold out/melted – that’s food or the people!
Seriously Italian, award winners and regulars at the Walthamstow Farmers’ Market had both their colourful fresh pastas on sale and their homemade pestos out for testing.
I liked the green vibrancy of the basil pesto and the nutty flavour of the walnut pesto.
Eat 17 were back with their bacon and chorizo jam, this time partnering up with The East London Cheese Board for canapés. So popular, even as they were packing up they were inundated with requests for samples. I wrote a piece about them when I visited them during the 2014 E17 Art Trail earlier this year here: http://e17arttrail.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/following-my-nose-in-walthamstow-village.html; http://eat17.co.uk/; http://www.bacon-jam.co.uk/.
Babooca (pronounced Ba-boo-car as it stands for Bakes, booze and cakes!) brought another element into the stalls of homemade sweet and savoury pastries with a global theme. Limited edition French inspired ginger and almond sweets and Moroccan sesame giant cookies, through to the Greek feta and spinach parcels and fiery “Dragon Samosas.” When asked, Selina from Babooca said that the Dragon Samosas with Scotch bonnet chilli heat are her signature savoury along with her Five Root cake. The cake sadly wasn’t available but I was been told it got its name from containing carrot, beetroot, parsnip, sweet potato and ginger along with a host of complementing spices including cinnamon. You can hunt Babooca down at various festivals and you can learn more here: http://www.babooca.co.uk/
|Heed the Scotch bonnet chilli warning!|
|Mix and Match boxset including vegetable samosas, sweet potato rolls, spinach & feta borek & dragon samosas.|
|Moroccan sesame cookie giving it a light slightly chewy texture|
|Ginger and almond macaroon style bites|
Stepping Lightly Foods are all about locally sourced and fairly traded, using Fairtrade where they can including sugar, bananas and chocolate home-made food by Gill Moody. Gill was showcasing her broad array of preserves on this occasion, including my favourite the pear and chocolate spread with real chunks of locally sourced (from her neighbours if I understand correctly!) sweet pear.
Her favourite currently is the Seville Orange Marmalade. In fact you can find the recipe to it on her website: http://www.steppinglightlyfoods.co.uk/#!recipes/c3zk.
Finally, Potcy Cold Store: an interesting concept and much appreciated on a roasting hot day like Saturday! An enterprise set up by Michelle to introduce some more novel flavours into the frozen yoghurt and popsicle market. On offer were creamy yoghurt with unlimited choices from: fruity compotes including peach and rhubarb, home-made butter caramel (like Dulce de Leche), home-made toasted oats to add a bit of crunch, intriguingly chocolate mint (a chocolate tasting mint plant rather than mint coated in chocolate), and vibrant purple basil along with borage honey.
Popsicles also adopted the experimental edge with cucumber and chocolate mint which was very refreshing, even if due to freezer malfunctions it was more on the slushy side than the push out popsicle.
Watch these guys for some interesting additions to your summer sundaes. Their website reveals where the name Potcy comes from. Visit it to find out more: http://potcycoldstore.com/
Along with Artillery Island there are craft stalls, live music and another larger food stalls towards the back. Do come along and support those who work so passionately with pride for their products!
My top tip for if you’re going on Sunday (and you should!)… get there early, bring the suncream and cash and if there’s a queue bear with it as it goes quickly. The Victoria line being down shouldn’t cause too much of a problem as the replacement buses are free and frequent from Seven Sisters to Walthamstow Central.
Hope to see you there!