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We celebrated St George’s Day in Trafalgar Square on Saturday 20 April with a feast of traditional English fare and free fun for everyone. And the sun was shining!
There was an English farmer’s market, with stalls selling mouth-watering treats like hog roast, homemade pies, fine chocolates and freshly squeezed lemonade. As part of St George's day the Trafalgar Square cafe took part providing a special afternoon tea offer serving finger sandwiches and scones. There was also a splendid decorated banqueting area and at the heart was the feast centrepiece, a magnificent, interactive dragon sculpture.
In Cook’s Corner we had live demonstrations and free tastings from cookery experts including The Victoria’s Paul Merrett, frequent guest chef of TV’s Saturday Kitchen, Rachel Davies from London cookery school Rachel’s Kitchen and Andy Bates from Eat My Pies and Paul A Young, Fine Chocolates.
The afternoon’s soundtrack came courtesy of the Music Medley Bandstand with musicians from GIGS the Mayor's busking competition - performances included The Guy From Archway, Charlotte Campbell, Jamie Thorn & The Mystery Pacific, Richard Burrell, Megan McCall, Danny Pagarini, Tyler Rix and Gigs 2012 winner, the James Riley Band.
Trafalgar Square was truly abuzz. Munira Mirza, Deputy Mayor for Education and Culture, welcomed everyone to the Feast of St George noting spring had finally arrived and praising the raspberry ripple ice cream she had enjoyed and finally wishing everyone a great time.
Around Trafalgar Square we had pop-up entertainment from minstrels Princes in the Tower, Dante Ferrara and Mandrake, jesters Mime The Gap and juggler Jason Maverick. There was also plenty of activities for the kids too with a marquee full of dragon training activities and a games area with traditional garden games and croquet.
The Mayor of London’s Feast of St George is inspired by St George’s Day’s 13th century origins as a national day of feasting.
During the day we had walk about performances including traditional English music from Princes in the Tower and Dante Ferrara, who hark back to Renaissance times and Mandrake, who recreated medieval carnival music. Jesters and jugglers created mischief too around the square and shadow puppeteer told the tale of Jabberwocky, about a boy who slays a dragon. People were also able to take part in traditional English garden games, including croquet, darts and ball in the bucket.
Guests on Trafalgar Square enjoyed a wide range of food at our English Food markets. Stalls included -
- Hix's Fishdog (leading London chef Mark Hix, combines sustainable fish fast food)
- ScoffandNosh (Pork, brisket & ploughman's)
- Egg Boss (Scotch eggs)
- The Jolly Hog (hog roast
- Hart Catering (hog roast)
- Wholefood Heaven (vegetarian hot food)
- The Pie Cart (English pies)
- Community Kitchen (hot sandwiches)
- Mother Mash (pie & mash, sausage & mash)
- Popina (biscuits and cakes)
- Eat My Pies (pies, pasties, English picnic food)
- The Flour Station (bread, buns, muffins)
- Paxton & Whitfield (cheeses & chutneys)
- The Fresh Lemonade Company (traditional lemonade)
- Peyton & Byrne (readymade English picnic hampers; English breads, cakes and biscuits)
- Paul A Young (Fine Chocolates)
- Ice cream cart
- Sweet shop cart
Other stalls include:
- The Textile Studio (kitchen goods)
- Bobbins Furnishings (kitchen goods)
- Love Food Hate Waste
- London Farmers’ Markets
- Forage Wild Food (Jason Irving explains how to forage in London)
There was cooking demonstrations from well know London based cooks throughout the day, chefs included -
1pm - Paul Merrett, The Victoria (www.thevictoria.net)
2pm & 3pm - Rachel Davies, Rachel’s Kitchen (www.rachels-kitchen.com)
4pm - Andy Bates, Eat My Pies (eatmypies.co.uk)
5pm - Paul A Young, Fine Chocolates (www.paulayoung.co.uk)
In our children’s area we had a dragon training camp, with expert dragon trainers helping new ‘trainees’ learn all the skills and techniques they would need to train a dragon. This was bags of fun with children creating magic potions and their own protective amulet. London Arts Portfolio also ran children’s drawing classes and was busy throughout the day!
In front of Nelson's Column there was The Music Medley Bandstand showcasing a range of winners and other performers who had taken part in the Mayor's Gigs competition for young buskers.
13:00 – 13:30 The Guy From Archway
13:40 – 14:00 Charlotte Campbell
14:10 – 14:40 Jamie Thorn & The Mystery Pacific
14:50 – 15:10 Richard Burrell
15:20 – 15:40 James Riley & Danny Pagarini
15:50 – 16:20 Megan McCall
16:30 – 16:50 Tyler Rix
17:10 – 18:00 James Riley Band