Smithfield 150

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Smithfield Meat Market and the surrounding area is 150 years old and last weekend they had a birthday party. So we went along to check it out.

Smithfield is 150 years old, but hold on how is that possible we have to ask, the Church of St. Bartholomew has been there since the 1600’s. The hospital existed during the plague and the great fire and all those Guilds that came their home around the Smithfield Circle are all over 200 years old. Well whatever the answer, the structure for the meat market that ornate purple and green iron work and that Georgian building seems to be 150 and the Corporation of London and the Port of London Authority, decided to celebrate the fact on this August Bank Holiday. Of course it’s a British Bank Holiday so you know what that means.

Yep it rained!

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From the start to the end and it certainly seemed to put a dampener on the events on Sunday afternoon when we popped along. We unfortunately missed the sausage dog parade which would have been awesome!

This is one of these places that Bob has not been before, being vegetarian and avoiding everything to do with that the slaughtering of animals.

Under the roof of the market, where each week night Stevedores, Porters and Butchers alike, buy and sell the country’s finest meats, the party didn’t seem too affected. a large stage was erected and bands played to great acoustics and fairly captivated audiences. But outside along Long Lane where the food stalls were and around the circus of West Smithfield, the tents, the beer tents and the craft stalls, all suffered. The Helter-Skelter was shut and the Coconut Shy sat empty. 

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We had one stall we did however want to find and hidden under one of the tents sat a pair of ladies offering free Henna Hand Painting.

Being as there wasn’t anything else to do, we headed straight to the Hackney Henna House stall and let them dribble the brown paste on us in intricate designs.

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Unfortunately due to the heavy and non-stop downpours the Henna struggled to dry, unlike the dry arid heat of Africa, India and the Middle East where the art is usually practiced, cold, wet North London, resulted in waterlogged, dripping designs, that, by the time we got home and away from the rain, had smooshed into something more like splurge art! Nothing to do with the art itself it was a shame that the weather ruined it.

But that said we were happy enough with the efforts and we would encourage anyone seeking the artistry to check out the talents of Nora and Mia here.

We did stop off for a warming cup of Coffee before heading for the dry of home and the Coffee and Crepes stall and the menacing, clever wielding staff! The Mocha and Americano were better than most you usually get to try in the Smithfield/Clerkenwell are – it wasn’t warm froth with no flavour!) 

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Bob also tried a Taco from the Daddy D’s Authentic Mexican van – But if it is authentic Mexican why wasn’t it Papi D’s ?  The veggie option wasn’t bad but it wasn’t great, it was a mix of green and red pepper with some onion, a small splash of hot sauce and a soggy tortilla. I am not sure how it was a taco but if you re-named it, as a mix salad with tortilla. But we didn’t find the all Vegan food van in amongst the row of food vans and that was something we would have liked to try.

In all it was a rather disappointing day, there wasn’t much to entertain and the rain just killed any atmosphere. But we guess if it’s been there for 150 years, Smithfield is used to the rain and it’ll see a lot more thunderstorms in the next 150 years too, we suspect.


Did you go to Smithfield last weekend, for the celebrations. Did you enjoy it more than us? Or did you get as wet as we did?!

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