Thursday, 19 July 2012

The Balham Fizz

I am one of the many people who walk around London with my " I heart Balham" shopping bag.  And so when I was asked to host The Balham Food Festival for the 2nd year in a row, I was delighted!
I heart Balham!
Presenting and in Balham, fantastic food & music, Balham Fizz & good community spirit, now that really is my Balham bag, Baby!

I have lived in Balham for 14 years.  Now, I know that you're probably thinking that I don't look old enough, but, sadly I am!       I moved to The Gateway of The South when I was just 18 and it has become my home from home.  I've lived on Terrapin Road, Ouseley Road, Oakmead road (where I believe that Julie Walters also once lived too) and I spent a short time on Hydethorpe Road, in between houses on a friends settee - ahh, we've all been there.....  So, I think that it's only fair to say that I really do mean what my bag says!  It really does hold a special place in my heart.

Food Stalls on Hildreth Street
Hildreth Street hosts the Balham Food festival and is the jewel to Balhams crown.  This fairly small cobbled, pedestrian street crams it all in for you.  You can get your fruit and veg from Mick, a manicure at Julies nail bar, drunk at the wine tasting shop (my kinda shop), a whole new expensive wardrobe from Balham Bou (or a cheaper one from second hand shop Fara), find harmony in the body at Hot Bikram Yoga, brighten up your house by visiting The flower Sanctuary and get your computer fixed at E computing.  Who needs the West end?!  Well, on Saturday all of the other restaurants in Balham squeezed on to the street too, with pop up stalls, to get a slice of the pie!

The Deputy Mayor of Wandsworth 
At the top end of Hildreth street was the stage and a whole host of musicians and performers, oh and of course, me!  The Deputy Mayor officially opened the festival and even the sun put his hat on for us!  The South London choir kicked off the day and got the crowd dancing to The Black Eyed Peas - "I gotta a feeling" which has inspired me, for one, to join the choir!

The Balham Uka Lo Lo Society!
Throughout the day, in between introducing the next act, I could be seen mooching around the stalls sampling the food, tyring new cocktails and interviewing stall holders to musicians for my "Jenni's Journey".  The Harrison "Balham Fizz" might have gone to my head slightly and so calling the Ukulele society to the stage, as the final act, was somewhat challenging.  I think I renamed them the Uka Lo lo society, hopefully the rest of the crowd had also been sampling the cocktails!  I don't think they minded though as they dedicated a whole song to me!

The Olympic Microphone
I am blessed with a fantastic network of Balham girly friends and it was great to see so many of them dropping by to say Hi and bringing things to me, such as old post.  However, my one friend trumped them all and brought with her The Olympic Torch!  Her dad had been one of the Torch Bearers and so it was only right that it made it's appearance in good old Balham!  I'm not sure that karaoke was the intention for it, but with the Ukulele society playing "Hallelujah" behind me, it seemed only fitting! 

It really was a great day to be a part of and to really be reminded of just how lucky we are to be a part of a London community, with such good restaurants and talent on our doorstep.  The Balham food festival will be going on until the 29th July, my birthday, and so I expect to see many faces out and about in Balham taking full advantage of the fantastic offers and making the most of that Balham Fizz!

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