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When the summer sun stretches into those long balmy evenings, the city comes alive with al fresco pop-up restaurants, street food and bars to make sure you enjoy the best weather of the year in the best way possible – while filling your face.

Food fest Feast at Battersea Park this weekend is one such example. A gourmet extravaganza held over three days, it’s a ‘posh picnic’ on the grandest of scales, comprising restaurants, street food, barbecues, a ‘vineyard’, a ‘beach’ and more. 

“I came up with the format because I wanted visitors to enjoy a really fun day out with very different eating and drinking experiences,” says Feast event director Sue Hitchen. 

Feast is the first shindig the Foodies Festival team, who hold nationwide events, have hosted in Battersea Park. 

Vino with a view: sip samples and see the city

“We want people to discover new food, the best styles of cooking and leave feeling they’ve had a great British summer experience,” Hitchen adds.

To make sure Foodies’ Feast serves up this and more there’ll be a big beach where visitors can kick back on deckchairs and enjoy seafood as if they were down on the coast, plus there’s a barbecue arena (of course) and a farm with a tea tent. 

You can also learn some new culinary skills and get your hands dirty while stuffing your face. Lessons on offer include truffle- and sushi-making classes, and cocktail workshops that’ll equip you to pull off the finest mojito at your next party. There‘ll also be star chefs, including 2012 Masterchef champ Shelina Permalloo and Anna Kelly of Gordon Ramsay’s new venture London House, in the Chefs’ Arena. 

Cooking class: learn while you stuff your face

Hitchen tells us: “I wanted it to reflect the London dining scene [by] developing our street food theme and adding more pop-up restaurants, and the huge feasting tent which will give the event a really convivial posh picnic feel.”

If you want something a little more low-key than a whole park of food and hungry folk, then wine tasting and lunch event Wine On The Roof in east London offers something a little different – and also promises to make “al fresco sexy again”. 

“It looks at the lighter side of wine,” says organiser Simon Howland, with different weeks shaped around themes such as Wine Silliness, The Next Big Thing and Pretty In Pink. “The focus is not so much learning to show off but how to have more fun with wine.

Wine On The Roof: making "al fresco sexy again"

“We’ll spend Saturday afternoon on a roof in central London tasting – and drinking – a selection of unusual and interesting wines and then finish up with lunch at The Long Table on top of [East End pub] The Princess Alice.” 

There are also experienced wine gurus on hand to give you guidance as you sup, so you can learn all the tasty trivia you need to make Sideways-era Paul Giamatti look like a layman fool. 

“It’s chilled and everyone inevitably ends up hanging around afterwards for a drink,” Howland tells us. So get outside and give your taste buds a treat this summer – your belly will thank you. 

More al fresco eats ››


Feast at Battersea Park. Aug 16-18. £22.
11am-9pm  SW11 4NJ  
Tube | Battersea Park 

Wine On The Roof. Saturdays,
2pm-6pm. £35. Until Sep 7.  
The Princess Alice, 40 Commercial Street, E1 6LP  
Tube | Liverpool Street 


Tasty morsels: Your guide to al fresco dining and drinking in London this summer
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