The people that brought you Dalston Street Feast have worked their charm on an area whose charm I once thought lay in the fact that it didn’t really have that much charm at all (and wasn’t trying to either) – Lewisham.
Hoping for a revolution something like that achieved in Brixton Village – now a thriving gentrified hotspot with gourmet delights galore – the Street Feast team have created an open air eating, drinking and dancing experience in another disused market, but this one's incongruously in the heart of Lewisham.
Lewisham Model Market closed its doors a few years ago and was even targeted for demolition by its owners, but hopefully now its fate has been sealed and its life reinvented by the arrival of the Street Feast. The opening night on Friday was a huge success judging by the huge queue to enter and the fact that some vendors sold out of their stock. It seems South East London was ready and raring to embrace a little slice of hipsterdom.
We arrived at 8pm, not really knowing what to expect. What we most certainly did not expect was the length of the queue already formed and a “one in one out” policy already in place. Luckily the line moved quickly and we entered to a scene of bustling excitement. Reggae pumping, craft beer and cider flowing, and a whole host of delectable smells moistening taste buds made for a delightful sensory experience. And luckily the food lived up to its aromas. The most difficult part was choosing what to eat as everywhere we looked people were tucking into intriguing looking dishes from all over the world.
In the mood for meat we opted for sticky ribs from Smokestak (tricky to eat but the meatiest and tastiest ribs I’ve had for a while) and a slow-cooked Creole brisket sandwich from local Lewisham vendors Hank’s Po Boys (beef that melts in the mouth topped off with homemade slaw and spicy New Orleans sauce). Judging by the quality of the food we tasted I will definitely be back to sample the rest of what the Model Market has to offer.
The music goes on until 1am and on a balmy summer’s evening I couldn’t think of anywhere I’d rather be than in the middle of Lewisham drinking frozen margaritas and dancing under the stars. Who needs Shoreditch now?!