30 April 2012

Seeking the Southbank Centre - Cheese and Wine Festival

Now that I've been doing a better job of keeping up with my Google Reader I've had the chance to catch some cool things happening in London.

I read that London was hosting a Cheese and Wine festival over the weekend and immediately cleansed my palate so I could savour some delicious cheese and drink amazing wine.  The festival took place just outside of the Southbank Centre and appears to be part of the same festival branding as the Chocolate Festival that my bud Ashley blogged about in Brighton. Being allergic to chocolate and all meant I couldn't enjoy that festival, so I was really excited to have a few samples of cheese. I did the best I could, but unfortunately the weather got the best of us - London rain and outdoor festivals do NOT mix - even though the organiser of the event tried to stay optimistic.

Rainy London Cheese and Wine Festival

I managed to properly visit two stalls that were near and dear to my heart.  If Manchester is my 2nd home in England, then Somerset is my divorced home - you get two homes in a divorce and I've spent a decent amount of time in Wells since moving to England! On a cold and rainy London day, The Somerset Plough Man serving hot cider was a perfect pick-me-up.  We also managed to sample some 'real' cheddar according to Rob.

The Somerset Plough Man - Cider, Cheese and Chutney

Burrow Hill Cider

Just across the way, as recommended to me by fellow London lover and Queen of Underground knowledge Annie Mole, the amazing Flavours of Spain stall was serving plates of cheese to sample for £4.  While Spanish cheese isn't always something to rave about, it should be of no surprise that I spent most of my time hovering near their stall as I love all things Spain and seem to make a yearly pilgrimage to the area.  After enjoying the samples, - 1 of which was a cider cured cheese (!!?!) I went for two types of goat's cheese of varying intensities and some quince.  I have no idea where quince came from, why it exists and how it's so delicious, but man I love that stuff!

Gorgeous cheese and other things from Flavours of Spain

After waiting 30 minutes under the covered area for the rain to stop we finally gave up on trying to see more of the festival. Being cold and wet doesn't make for a happy cheese experience. To dry off, we popped inside the Southbank Centre to find a really weird mix of people enjoying the free space.

In one corner there was a group of teens with one leading the pack and playing songs on his guitar for a mass sing-a-long. In another corner, toddlers without a care in the world were rolling on the slick wooden floor and seeing how far they could slide themselves across the room. And finally, there's me and Rob, lowering the tone with our pints purchased from the bar in the area.  I'm not sure this scene would work so well in the States!

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