Friday 26th November saw the opening of the newly-founded Long Table pop-up night time food market. A bit of a mouthful (literally and metaphorically), this weekly feast is being staged in the cultural cauldron that is Dalston, East London, to provide a winter warmer for those keen to ‘celebrate a rich cultural diversity by mixing foodies, chefs, artists and musicians’ – and for those who like the idea of being able to ‘eat and socialize around one very long table along with a fully stocked bar and live music.’
‘Expect log fires, toasted homemade marshmallows, mulled wine, beer, cocktails and quality food’ for the next two Fridays from 6pm until 1am. Staged on Abbot Street, the Long Table will:
‘offer a hand-picked selection of London’s finest street food, along with a fully stocked bar and live music. Featuring signature dishes from the likes of Nuno Mendes with the Loft Project, The Yum Buns, Hawksmoor, Moro and Big Apple Hot Dogs; we’re celebrating all types of food and tastes.
The best meals in life are about who you share them with.’
The Long Table fits nicely with the underground club trend that has swept London this year (even Dita Von Teese is opening a pop-up speakeasy in the Pigalle Club, Piccadilly at the end of November, in association with Cointreau Prive). It is the first and only one of its kind in the whole of London, and it is already proving a popular place for people to venture towards, cometh the start of the weekend. And with Christmas approaching, hearty jugs of beer, live music and some impressive sustenance is high on the agendas of many trying to get festive.
For those with a particularly gluttonous palate, keen on sampling a wide array of varying foods and treats, the Night Market looks like a pretty safe bet to satisfy your needs; ‘seating up to 200 people, sheltered from the weather by a Capri marquee, the Long Table will serve a variety of dishes, costing £3 to £6.’
People are clearly excited about it as well. London Pop-ups are enthusiastic about the whole thing, their only concern relating to the inevitably poor weather conditions at this time of year:
‘this is a great idea – a night market for food, full of some of the best street food vendors, plus a bar, and live music. Just pray that it stays dry…’
Similarly, Topshop’s Inside-Out are very keen on the social element associated with such a culinary extravaganza: ‘if you like the quote, ‘The best meals in life are about who you share them with’ then you’re going to love the idea behind The Longtable’, they say, adding that it’s ‘as much about amazing street food, as it is about who you find yourself drooling over it with.’
The Balcony Gardener couldn’t believe their ears when they heard of the Long Table launch:
‘we’re all foodies here at The Balcony Gardener so we were thrilled when we heard of the brilliant link up between Bootstrap and the Long Table creating a night-time outdoor food market.’
They added a lovely summary of what the market stands for: ‘the Long Table strives to bring people together through a love of food and emphasize the importance of local chefs, purveyors and producers.’
And this is what the ‘pop-up’ dining ethos stands for. As with cake clubs and supper clubs, the event revolves around the enjoyment of food in the presence of people, this time in close proximity to an old WW2 bunker!
In terms of finding your way there, we’ve been told to simply ‘just follow the sound of bands playing and the smell of great food.’
For those of you lacking such a ‘sensory-of-direction’ and are more reliant on transport, Dalston Kingsland station is just a stone’s throw away, as is Dalston Junction station (both on the Overground). Alternatively, Dalston is well-connected via bus, so there’s no excuses not to brave the cold in search of some delicious food and a great atmosphere.