Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Thames River Festival

Saturday was such a beautiful day here in London that no one wanted to stay indoors. We headed out to the Thames River that divides London in half for the annual celebration of the Thames Festival. Up and down the river, there were all sorts of festivities, including entertainment, food, boat rides, a night parade, and a fabulous fireworks show that we saw from the terrace on top of our home later that night. We headed to the Southwark Bridge which spans the river at one of its more narrow points. The bridge was closed to motorists so that the Feast on the Bridge could be set up. Spanning the length of the bridge were two long tables, draped with cloths and decorated with flowers.

Food from local area restaurants was featured. You could choose from paella,

meatball sandwiches, grilled burgers,

sausage and onions on baps (buns) or a whole host of a variety of ethnic foods.

Those with a sweet tooth might have been tempted by the bowls of strawberries and cream,

the many flavors of brownies,

or little cakes with a London flair.

There was quite a party atmosphere, with the opportunity to tread grapes for wine,

bob for apples,

or watch apples being pressed into fresh juice.

One of the big hits was the Beast on the Bridge, an iced cake which was 6 meters long.

The children were encouraged to decorate the cupcakes to finish him out.

And if you were lucky enough to stay until 5 PM, you could participate in the slaying of the beast and then help yourself to a taste.

One of my favorite exhibits was the Flower Pot People who had created hats from flower pots.

Caught this photo of my husband trying one on. This doesn't make him a "pot-head" does it?
What a fun way to celebrate the final days of summer, as autumn has been teasing us since then with rain, wind and chillier weather. We're headed away for a couple of days to the beautiful villages in the Cotswolds. Hope we can find a little bit of good weather along the way. I'll post some photos soon.


  1. Loved the picture of Mike wearing the unique hat, but kept looking for one of him (or you) stomping grapes. Enjoy your trip.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. I love the brownie table! I saw your comment on Karen's blog about the children's books and I just had to comment back. When I went to Scotland I bought a set of Winnie the Pooh books. It was a UK exclusive edition and I just thought that it was neat to purchase them in the UK where they were originally written, even though I could have gotten similar ones at home. I also know that often times books that were originally British are often "Americanized" when they are published in America. For example, the Harry Potter books are a good example. In the American versions all of the British slang has been Americanized (Snog was changed to kiss). And finally, a children's author that I discovered while I was in Scotland is Kim Lewis. You can get her books in America, but they are very British (I think that she lives on a sheep farm in Northumberland). They are very sweet children's stories about small animals on British farms (lambs, sheep dogs, etc.) They would probably be fun to read with J. in another year or two. Have fun looking.

  4. Mindy,
    Thanks for the heads-up about the books. I think your ideas are great!