While London may be seen as the capital of British culture, the city also does a magnificent job of displaying other world cultures by hosting various celebrations. For instance, the London Dance Umbrella festival specifically features international acts. Many festivities take place in Trafalgar Square – including celebrations of Chinese New Year, Diwali (the Indian festival of lights), St. Patrick’s Day and a Russian winter festival. This upcoming May bank holiday weekend, the Feria de Londres (aka: Spanish festival of London) will take over the Bernie Spain Gardens in South Bank. This Andalusian-inspired fair will provide traditional entertainment and treats for Londoners longing to experience the best of Spain.
Flamenco at Feria de Londres
The fiery flamenco dance of Spain completely mesmerizes. In addition to magnificent twirling skirts, the performers command the stage with stomps, clapping palmas, finger snaps and occasionally clicking castanets. Both men and women scintillate on stage, bearing their raw emotions, accompanied by Spanish guitar music. Lively flamenco dance, including dance workshops, will take place on the feria’s dance floor. (Other areas include the Tio Pepe Tent and La Caseta Tent.) The dance and live music throughout Feria de Londres will be performed by the local school, Ilusión Flamenca.
Tapas at Feria de Londres
Classic Spanish tapas are delightful edible morsels that can comprise an entire meal – if you scoff enough of them. But they are quite moreish, so if they tickle your fancy, chances are you will eat more than your fill. Spain is famous for their olives (aka: aceitunas) and for their prized Ibérico ham. Other delectable jamón includes the Serrano variety, which is made from white pigs, and still packs in way more intense flavour than average lunch meat ham.
Still curious about tapas? Learn about Spanish tapas and the annual Spanish Tapas Day!
Other delicious items on offer at the Feria de Londres include croquettes (croquetas), filled tortillas and small green peppers, known as Pimientos de Padrón. You will also be able to get your hands on paella, which is pronounced ‘pie-ey-yah.’ (British speakers tend to nail the vowels, but adamantly stick with the ‘L’ sound.) The Spanish festival also promises to serve up sugar-coated churros. Be sure to purchase them alongside hot chocolate – so you can dunk your churros in your cup for a D.I.Y. “chocolate-coated” option.
Spain is also home to famous cheeses –
and Trujillo hosts it’s annual Feria del Queso cheese festival!
Sherry at Feria de Londres
Although Sherry has a reputation as the choice dessert drink for grandmothers, I have to confess I rather enjoy the tipple. It’s sweet. Despite ditching drinking – aside from specific tastings (as you’ll have noticed from my recent rum tasting with St. Kitts), J and I are very excited to try different types of sherry with sherry expert Martin Skelton and to learn about the Spanish festival’s sponsor, Tio Pepe – an iconic fino sherry brand. I imagine we will gain some insight into the production of sherry as we sip our samples over traditional tapas. The festival’s opening masterclass will end with Tio Pepe Rebujito, a traditional Andalusian cocktail with lemonade, mint and ice.
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Disclosure: Up&AtEm Travel was invited to attend this sherry tasting by PR Team managing the Feria de Londres. The festival itself is free and open to all.
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