Last week seemed to go by in a bit of a blur didn’t it? Or was that just me? I looked at my diary recently and realised that every single weekend until mid September is now booked up, with either work, weddings, seeing friends or trips away. I’m not complaining of course, but I just know that I’ll be writing a post saying the words ‘where did the summer go?’ before I know it.
I guess it’s partly because the weather hasn’t really been playing ball and has been jumping between sunshine and torrential rain like a yo yo that it’s difficult to know what season we’re even in half the time. Conscious that it is July already though, and with our weekends becoming working ones more often that not, GB and I have decided to try and get out mid week a little more and make the most of those lighter evenings and a busy London before the seasons switch again and we find ourselves curled up indoors with the heating on every night.
So last week ended up being a busy one. We headed to a fundraiser pub quiz on Tuesday night in Peckham and ate wood fired pizza and almost came last because it was so difficult, I headed to many a press day and blogger event and on Thursday we ate a Swedish grill outdoors by the canal while enjoying cider cocktails and lounging on a boat.
That last one sounds pretty good doesn’t it? Just as well I’m about to tell you all about it then!
Yes we visited the Midsommar Grill – a pop up event put on by Rekorderlig and Timeout just for this summer in London. It’s held at the Paddington Basin, a bank near Edgware Road and Paddington by Regents Canal that’s home to plenty of restaurants, bars and general merriment. Rekorderlig have set up shop for the summer, with a Midsommar bar boat docked, a Swedish Grill ready to be fired up at any moment, and top Swedish chef’s ready to teach you how to cook Midsommar style. Oh and cider of course, plenty of tasty Rekorderlig cider to wash it all down with, but that’s a given right?
Midsommar is pretty big deal in Sweden – it’s a time when families, friends and groups get together to celebrate, usually over an outdoor grill and plenty of fresh fish (particularly crayfish). Apparently in Sweden, everyone gets to finish work early on Midsommar’s Eve in order to join in with the local celebrations, and that’s a tradition I can certainly get on board with!
Luckily the day we chose to visit the event had been a good one. The sun had been shining all day, and I’d managed to wear a floaty skirt and sandals for a day of hitting press events, without getting wet at all – winning. So it was the perfect evening to relax outside with a drink and watch a beautiful pink sunset.
As we arrived we were greeted with a stylish marquee set up – full of long wooden tables, pretty table settings and festoon lights everywhere. The staff were adorned in flower crowns and the Midsommar boat looked mighty majestic with it’s floral roof and tea light surround. We were given our first cider of the evening, served with berries and mint, and allowed to meander and chill on the dock while tasting some traditional Swedish canapes and waiting for the grill to fire up.
The food is served in rounds so that each group has the chance to join in with the cooking and get a taste for Swedish tradition. When it was time for our group to have a go, I was pretty peckish by this point and more than eager to try my hand at firing some prawns and crayfish on the giant BBQ. We were assisted by two Swedish chef’s who took the time to fill us in on the Swedish Midsommar traditions and way of cooking while firing up delicious steaks and using bunches of rosemary to spread on garlic butter and sauces. Everything was cooked right there in front of us, in a rustic yet gourmet fashion and I love this style of cooking – there’s something so humble about it.
By the time our group all sat down to enjoy our Swedish feast we were all more than ready to get stuck in, and with the sun setting it was the perfect time to get under the fairy lit marquee and get to know each other better. The grilled steak and crayfish was served to us on rustic wooden platters along with individual pots of dauphinoise potatoes, sticky liquorish gravy (surprisingly tasty) and then big bowls of rustic roasted vegetables, mackerel and feta salad, pickled cucumber, beetroot salad and Swedish rye bread. I’m not normally a massive steak lover, but this meat was cooked beautifully and tasted delicious, especially with that sticky sauce and creamy potatoes to accompany it. Add those sharp pickled cucumbers (yum), rustic bread with garlic butter and tasty roasted squash and I was in food heaven.
We all tucked in until nearly everything on the table had been devoured and finished off the meal with mini fruit cheesecake bites and of course a few more cider drinks. As the sun set and the air cooled, cosy blankets were handed out and we were free to retreat inside the boat. There was a DJ on hand, lawn games being played and the most perfect pink sky creating gorgeous colours across the canal.
We spent the evening wrapped up in blankets sitting by the water enjoying a few drinks and feeling like we were abroad. It was a lovely end to what had been a great busy and sunny Thursday, and definitely gave us the reminder we needed to enjoy London in the summer, and all it has to offer, before it disappears.
The next date for the Midsommar grill is this Thursday 14th July and you can buy tickets on Timeout. You’ll need to be quick though as they’re selling out fast. Hopefully more dates will be available soon though, and if you fancy combining cider fun with dating, then maybe have a look at the Rekorderlig Swede dating!
I’m off to see what else is going on in London, because isn’t summer just the best?
P.S one for the blooper reel – uncertainty all round in this picture!