A fab fifth Streatham Food Festival

What a brilliant four days of fun this year’s Streatham Food Festival was!

As director of the festival, there’s always that nerve-wracking feeling beforehand – wondering whether anyone will turn up, if people will enjoy themselves, if the sun will shine – but boy, did it shine!

And we certainly weren’t short of numbers. Anyone who attended the Sunday Food Fair will tell you Streatham Green was packed with people enjoying the wonderful variety of foods on offer, the laid-back sounds of the steel pan band, the range of cooking demos and, most importantly, the opportunity to connect and feel part of our Streatham community.

The second year of the Food Tour proved a big hit too, with at least 1000 Food Tourists taking up the challenge. The tour was designed as a way to encourage people to try restaurants for the first time, and it’s hugely gratifying to know that it works. Feedback is still coming in, but results so far show that over 80% of customers visited somewhere new and more than 90% will return – so not only did we all get to have some fun trying places out, but our local food businesses should benefit in the long-term too.

I loved all the festival events, but a personal highlight was attending Hitherfield School’s Herby Bread Session and the food-growing afternoon at St Andrew’s – both gave pupils the opportunity to get their hands dirty and learn about where our food comes from. This is a really important aspect of the festival and something we’re keen to develop in 2015.

For now, thanks to all who came, ate, drank, tweeted, sponsored, participated or supported this year’s festival in any way. And a huge well done to the deserving winner of the Streatham Food Tour 2014: Fish Tale!