My heart sank when I opened the curtains on Friday morning. It was raining. Nothing new for a spring day in Britain. But I had hoped that this particular day of all days would be sunny.
Britain’s weather has often been offered as an excuse for our reluctance to embrace street food culture. It’s too cold, too wet, too unpredictable. This Friday was to be a mishmash of sunshine and showers like so many days. It could have been better for the opening of Brighton’s first street food market. I kept my fingers crossed that people would visit the Street Diner in spite of the changeable weather.
Delicious smells enticed me towards the Brighthelm’s gardens which were buzzing with people undeterred by the weather. There were around 16 stalls (largely run by local traders) selling a diverse range of food from cupcakes to curries. Whatever your mood or appetite you were sure to find something to tickle your fancy. I settled on a generously filled pastrami sandwich from the Little Blue Smokehouse served with an enormous gherkin and crunchy red cabbage and carrot slaw. I’ve never had hot pastrami before so the peppery shredded beef was a revelation to me.
The only problem with so much good food on offer is that you can’t eat everything. Luckily there is plenty of food you can take home for later such as the huge Scotch eggs from Picnic Corner, middle eastern inspired salads from Sultans Delights and brownies from Honeycomb Cakes. Everything I tasted was delicious. But you do have to be quick. Popular traders, like the Trolls Pantry, sold out of their wares before 3pm. What more proof do you need that people are ready to embrace the street food culture come rain or shine?
The good news is that the Street Diner will be a weekly event in the Brighthelm gardens every Friday between 11am and 3pm. And who knows if its popularity continues to grow we may even see a night time street food market in the not too distant future.