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Vintage at Southbank Centre

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Let me set the scene. My boyfriends family are huge advocates of vintage, whether that be music, fashion, design or films. I met my boyfriend in a field at Bestival in 2007 and I remember thinking that it was cool that his dad and little brother (who was 10 at the time) came for a couple of days. We went back to Bestival for the next couple of years and as we started to see the changes, the way that it was expanding so fast, we decided to give it a miss the following year.

It was the same year that my boyfriends parents had an idea. To encompass everything that they are passionate about and hold their very own festival. A relationship with Goodwood was established and the date was set – August 13th – 15th 2010. See my post on the event last year here.

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Anyone that went last year will know how fantastic it was. A high street in a field, post war silver service in The Torch Club, the BEST club venue in the form of The Warehouse and an array of live music to knock the socks off any other live music festival. It wasn’t an event just focusing on music, the weekend played host to the biggest vintage market in the world, a cinema curated by Stephen Woolley, live catwalk shows and lots more.

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This year, they have decided to link with the Southbank Centre and the 60th anniversary of the Festival of Britain celebrations. Can you think a more perfect fit? From 29th – 31st July, the Royal Festival Hall will be set dressed as you have never seen it before. Its six levels will be transformed into a multi-venue playground where, over 13 hours each day (from 12pm to 1am), pass holders can learn the dances of the decades, take in over 70 live performances, boogie along to the tunes of 150 DJs, enjoy exclusive catwalk shows and decade specific make-overs, sample Vintage food and cocktails, shop at one of world’s most exciting Vintage marketplaces, and get style hunted as Vintage at Southbank Centre calls out for people to glam up.

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And I’m here to tell you about the food aspect, of course. Ticket holders can immerse themselves in the tastes of days gone by with food to fit the music and fashion, and historically linked eating opportunities, not to mention some fantastic period cocktails from the bars. Take for example the North South Divide Pub where Northerners can treat themselves to beef stew and a pint of ale, while Southerners can enjoy pea soup and a glass of Pimms before taking part in outrageous games and sing-along in the specially created boozer. Sneak a ‘Bootleg’ cocktail in the hidden Shhh! 1920s Prohibition club… Be sure not to tell anyone though! Take a break from the afternoon tea dance to sip on a Gin Martini in The Torch club, or kick back and relax with an ‘Alabama Sidecar’ amidst a soundtrack of Tiki and Exotica in the Leisure Lounge. As nightfall descends it’s to time to hit the Style Studio dance floor… But there’s always time for a ‘Cosmo’ before the disco dancing commences. In The Warehouse its paper cups and lager from the tin served from a bar made of pallets; truly authentic. There will be themed and dare we say it, nostalgic nibbles in abundance – think Cheesy Wotsits, Skips and Pork Scratchings (those were the days). For a more substantial feed, head up to the Penthouse terrace where you will find bangers, baps and plenty of ketchup at the Great British summer BBQ.

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Skylon will also be getting involved in the Vintage fun. For the Vintage weekend only, the restaurant will be serving a specially created afternoon tea with Vintage inspired cocktails such as ‘Old Fashioned’ and ‘Colony’. Diners can listen to 1920s and 1930s live music and 78s on old Gramophones while they dine at dimly lamp lit tables. I cannot wait to bask in elegance as I sip my martini and nibble on dainty cakes.

If the food offering inside isn’t enough, all 19 restaurants that surround the Royal Festival Hall will be participating. Sip a ‘Papa Dobles’ Daiquiri, which was Ernest Hemingway’s usual tipple in Cuba at Las Iguanas (ticket holders can enjoy 2 for 1 cocktails), a ‘Vintage Bombay Punch’ at the Dishoom Chowpatty Beach Café or maybe you will opt for a 70s soul BBQ at Feng Sushi on the Festival Terrace. The kids can join in too at Yo Sushi, who will be holding hour-long Mini Ninja classes to teach children how to make sushi. 1950s British diner come posh transport caff, Canteen will be serving their renowned range of classic British dishes such as sausages and mash with onion gravy, fish and chips and Scotch eggs. Also on the menu will be a range of pies with seasonal ingredients, encased in delicious buttery pastry. But don’t forget to leave room to delve into a nostalgic British dessert. Options include a decadent treacle tart with clotted cream, crumble with custard, or homemade jelly and ice cream!

I’m writing this to get the food aspect of Vintage out there. Vintage is just as much about the food experience as the music, fashion etc… and I’d LOVE to see some of you there.

Head to www.vintageatsouthbankcentre.co.uk or www.vintagebyhemingway.co.uk for further information and tickets, priced at £60 per day.

Ticket holders can book meals at Skylon by emailing skylonreservations@danddlondon.com

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