Thursday, 3 June 2010

The Stokey LitFest Bar


So my wife decides to organise a literary festival, and in the main venue we can run our own bar, and I’m a beer writer… can you see where this is going?

The first ever Stokey LitFest has been organized with no start-up capital and only a tiny, cursory bit of funding.  In the worst-case scenario (which, thankfully, we’ve already left behind) we could have lost thousands on this.

So the fact that we’ve got our own bar is the difference between us making a massive loss and more or less breaking even.  So it’s absolutely wonderful that our drinks sponsors have been so kind to us.  Everyone I approached has donated stock, so I now hereby unveil Pete’s Litfest Bar!

Official LitFest gorgeous gin: Hendricks

Hendricks is a small batch-produced gin, infused with rose petals and cucumber, and served with a cucumber garnish rather than lime.  The Litfest G&T and the LitFest Gimlet will be our signature cocktails: fresh, cool and sophisticated, just like you wonderful people, the LitFest crowd.

Official LitFest local dark, malty ale: Redemption Urban Dusk

The Redemption Brewery opened in Tottenham, just up the road, in January this year.  Urban Dusk is a triumph: Chocolatey, malty, smooth and sensuous, it’s already turning heads at beer festivals around the capital.    

Official LitFest multi-award-winning, citrusy pale ale: Thornbridge Kipling

Longtime friends of the Stokey LitFest family, Thornbdrige have given us Kipling: a spritzy, refreshing yet flavoursome pale ale, brewed with Nelson Sauvin hops from New Zealand for an aroma any fan of Kiwi sauvignon blanc will love, fresh from being named Champion beer at last week’s Cambridge beer festival.

Official LitFest ultra-hip wheat beer: Otley O-Garden

Welsh brewer Otley believe real ale should have a much wider audience than it does, but for some people has an image that holds it back.  So their very cool brand that stands out wherever it goes.  O-Garden is – surprise – a wheat beer that bears a passing resemblance to a certain Belgian brand - a quenching wheat beer spiced with roasted orange peel, coriander and cloves.

Official LitFest quality imported Czech lager: Budweiser Budvar

Not to be confused with the American megabrand, this classic lager is imported direct from its home in Bohemia.  It does everything you want a lager to do with its crisp, refreshing bite, but in addition it has a wonderful grassy aroma, and hints of citrus and toast on the palate.

Official LitFest wonderfully flavourful Scottish redefinition of lager: Harviestoun Schiehallion

This lager from a small craft brewery in Scotland is so lovely that ale snobs who hate lager pretend it’s an ale so they can justify drinking it.  Crisp, dry and airy with a smooth, soft body and a beautifully fresh, grapefruity taste.

Official LitFest feelgood fruity cider drink of the summer: Koppaberg

Some people think cider should taste of apples.  Swedish cider maker Koppaberg like to break the rules.  It looks like being a hot weekend, so their Pear, Elderflower and Lime and Mixed fruit varieties should go down a treat!  

And finally… Offical LitFest Snack: Homemade sausage rolls from the Alma at Newington Green!

The Alma’s a lovely gastropub and their homemade organic pork and fresh thyme rolls are to die for.

We’ll also be stocking red, white and rosé wine, vodka and a range of soft drinks.  Anyone who makes or sells any of these who wants to give us some next year, please get in touch! 

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Calling all photographers

If you are the sort of person who likes to snap away with your camera as your wander round  the festival,  we'd love for you to share your best shots with us on our Litfest flickr photogroup. We've already put up some of the things we saw while we were out posting festival fliers and organising venues. Even if you don't take any photos we will be posting more pictures throughout the festival so come along and have a look

Feeling Peckish: where to eat at the Litfest.

Amongst the many great things about Stokey is its excellent farmers market held weekly in the grounds of William Patten Primary school every Saturday. This Saturday morning Elisa Benyon will be doing a seasonal cookery demo as part of festival at the farmers market.
 After Elisa has signed copies of her new book the “The Vicar’s Wife cook book” she will popping round the corner to the White Hart Pub to take part in our Eat Your Words: event with food and drink writers Niki Segnit, Pete Brown and Ian Kelly who will be discussing the tricky task of describing flavours in their work!

We hope these and all our events at the festival will provide food for thought but you may also need some sustenance of a more literal form. Well N16 is blessed with some of the widest range and highest quality eating places in London. The variety is so great it would be harsh to single out individual places (and everyone has their own favourites) but starting at the Assembly Halls at the eastern end of Church street you’ll find excellent places for coffee and cakes, followed by vegetarian specialities, pizza and excellent pasta. Church Street has a number of really good bakers if you want to have a picnic in Clissold Park (which also has places for tea and lollies!). Stokey is also much blessed with excellent international food particular good are the Indian, Bangladesh, Mexican and Thai places closer to the High Street end of Church Street. The food doesn’t end there; the High Street has a string of Turkish bakers who do wonderful things with spinach and pastry as well as having some excellent “Ocakbasi” char grill restaurants (one with a famous speciality!).

All this and we haven’t mentioned the great Chinese, sushi, noodles and the Chip shops! Oh and you can pick up some beigels (some say bagels) anytime or day NIGHT from the end of the high street.

Please ask one of our local festival volunteers for their own recommendations of places to go.

Great Local Coverage

Excellent full page article in this weeks Stoke Newington Gazette about the Literary festival. Click on the image to read a bigger version. Book tickets for Phill Jupitus' music event here