Monday 20 April 2015

Deptford Food Festival - third time lucky?

Two years ago it was the Deptford Food Court in Douglas Square - a weekly Saturday offering of street food traders and some entertainment, which was intended to be part of the high street re-invigoration and was paid for through the same funding source.

The regenerated high street - look familiar? Thought not.
When the initial buzz wore off and the severe lack of signposting or promotion had traders leaving in droves, it was relaunched a few months later as the Giffin Square Food Fair - a monthly gathering of food traders relocated to the square outside the Deptford Lounge. Similar format, new traders, more visible location but still didn't manage to endure.

But now it's back! Reborn as the Deptford Food Festival! Will this be third time lucky?

Let's hear the hype, such as it is:

The new Deptford Food Festival launches on Saturday 25 April as a weekly street food market in Giffin Square. This weekly culinary event runs from 9am to 5.30pm every Saturday (opposite the Deptford Lounge) and aims to bring together a collection of some of the diverse range of foods that are available throughout Lewisham. 

Some of our best street food traders will be showcasing a range of eclectic street food from across the globe from Ethiopia, Mexico, Poland and Italy. 

Those with a sweeter tooth can satisfy their cravings with French patisserie cakes and American-style cupcakes as they explore all that Deptford Market has to offer, whilst taking in the sounds of south-east London steel pan collective the Endurance Steel Orchestra. So whether you want a lunchtime treat or a take-home Saturday night dinner, come and taste your way through the street food stalls in and around Giffin Square every Saturday. 

Free parking is available in Frankham Street every Saturday after 1.30pm.

Same venue, but now on a weekly basis and a full day's presence required of the stallholders.

Clearly the markets department hasn't let past failures put them off - they are determined that Deptford shall have a foodie market whether it wants one or not!

I can't help but wonder why they keep flogging this idea in Deptford when there seems to be no great demand for it. As George of Manze's pointed out on my post about the Giffin Square Food Fair, Deptford already has plenty of eateries serving a wide range of different ethnic foods - from vegan burgers to meat pies, from jerk pasties to homemade lasagne, and from curry goat rotis to summer rolls. We've even got posh cheese sandwiches this weekend at the Job Centre.

I'm all for a bit of diversity and customer choice, but I'm not convinced that there's sufficient business for traders at the moment. Of course that could all change in the near future as new residential developments such as the Deptford Project become occupied, but at the moment I fear they will just be kicking their heels again.

Sunday 19 April 2015

New Cross & Deptford Free Film Festival

After a week away from the 'hood I was thrown into a panic this afternoon thinking that I'd missed the start of the awesome New Cross & Deptford Free Film Festival. Hell, I even started making plans to catch up with a couple of films later today and tomorrow.

So I was relieved to discover that I'd only got my dates wrong and the festival doesn't actually start for another five days - kicking off on Friday 24th April with a showing of Saturday Night Fever and a 70's disco at Number 3 Creekside. 

If you haven't got your (free) tickets for the Friday night launch, I'm afraid it's now sold out. But as usual, there are plenty of other great films to choose from at a wide range of venues throughout Deptford and New Cross over the ten-day festival.

Whether you want to sing along to blockbuster Frozen, watch a youthful Gary Kemp in a tank top riding a bike around the Deptford streets, or discuss inequality and corruption with film makers at New Cross Learning, there is something in the programme for you.

As we've come to expect from what's one of my favourite annual events, the range of venues is impressive too - alongside 'standard' cinema venues such as the Deptford Lounge and our own newly-created independent Deptford Cinema, there's the opportunity to watch bike-powered films in Fordham Park and Telegraph Hill, squeeze into the tiny Vinyl record shop in Tanner's Hill, get someone else to cook you dinner while you watch films in Deli X, or see cooperative living first-hand at the inspirational Sanford Housing Co-op, where the programme focuses on films offering alternatives to 'generic capitalism'.

Not-for-profit project The Field in New Cross and St James Hatcham Church are two of the more unusual venues for this year's festival but if you are fond of a bit of wordplay you might prefer to see Paddington, which is showing at the Bear (aka Shaftesbury Christian Centre)....

Some events do require you to book tickets online, but for most you can just show up. And best of all, don't forget it's all FREE!