foodPark NIGHT MARKET on 14 February, 2015 – Barton, Cambridge (UK)

foodPark NIGHT MARKET, a pop-up night market featuring the best of Cambridge street food, was held on 14 February, 2015 at Burwash Manor. It was part of Burwash Food Hall‘s Love Food festival. With so much love in the air, it was only fitting to have foodPark’s very first NIGHT MARKET on Valentine’s night.

Collage NIGHT MARKET

Couple

The evening’s focus was LOVE… mainly love for street food, all freshly prepared by the carefully-selected traders that form part of the foodPark collective, founded by Heidi White who has been instrumental in promoting street food in Cambridge.

“Street food markets are for wandering around, taking in the sights and smells, for tasting, sharing, anticipating food cooked “just-so”, and experiencing something different from your usual idea of eating out. But please remember the NIGHT MARKET *is* different from a usual restaurant, pop-up dining experience, or supper club. It is a market, it is not somewhere where reservations are taken, and here at foodPark the food and drink is THE main attraction.” (Official Website)

foodPark NIGHT MARKET featured some of the best street food traders in Cambridge. I’ve tried each and every one of them at various foodPark locations and they are all amazing. Serving up tasty food and drink on the night were: Steak & Honour, Churros Bar, Fired Up Pizza, GoGo Gogi Gui, Buffalo Joe’s, Tin Kitchen, Warming Your Cockles Coffee Co. and Guerrilla Kitchen. Oh, and let’s not forget the foodPark Bar, operating from a stunning Airstream caravan!

Foodpark8

Foodpark7

The street food traders were nicely spread out in the courtyard and many of the fabulous shops at Burwash Manor kept their doors open. I know I enjoyed browsing through the shops and I’m sure many people found a few treasures to remember the occasion. The ambience was enhanced by music, festoon lights and cosy seating, most of it under marquees.

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Foodpark2

TwoDeckCharlie

Flim Flam DJ Two Deck Charlie was on hand spinning electro swing tunes to set the festive mood. You can hear a Mini Mix for the foodPark event here. Isn’t it fun?

BAR Collage

foodPark’s mobile bar served up a variety of craft beers, premium wines, fizz and soft drinks. I especially loved the half bottle of pink champagne, which was perfect for two! Paulo and I enjoyed ours whilst we walked around, chatting to people and queuing for our food. The social aspect was one of the best parts of the night for me and I got to speak to some really interesting people. For some of them it was their first street food experience whilst others were there to visit their favourite traders.

FiredUp2

Paulo and I started our Valentine’s feast by sharing a Fired Up pizza. This mobile wood-fired pizzeria uses homemade dough to produce a nice, thin crust topped with fresh ingredients. We shared the ‘Nduja pizza, described as “hot smoky loveliness” due to the flavour of the ‘Nduja, a spicy spreadable pork sausage from Calabria, Italy.

FiredUp1

TinKitchen

TinKitchen2

The best thing about foodPark NIGHT MARKET is precisely that… it’s a market. So Paulo and I shopped around and chose our main meal for the night. He chose GoGo Gogi Gui’s Korean BBQ burger. I went to Tin Kitchen as I love their grilled artisan ciabatta sandwiches. This time their porchetta sandwich featured pork from Burwash Manor, always a treat as they rear their own pigs on their organic farm. The porchetta ciabatta included crackling, celeriac and apple slaw, mustard, and rocket. Very fresh and very delicious!

TinKitchen1

Gogo Gogi Gui

Gogo

It looks like our respective queues were perfectly timed. As soon as I received my sandwich, Paulo’s burger from GoGo Gogi Gui was ready. We enjoyed our meals by the glow of tealight candles in jars. Nice ambience, but even nicer burger! Paulo had the Gui burger, filled with sizzling dwaeji bulgogi marinated pork, gochujang mayo, kimchi, red onion, lettuce and cheese in a fresh brioche bun. One of his favourites!

GoGoSign

Foodpark

SH1

Steak & Honour created the Holy Cow burger, which I didn’t have on the night but was able to try the next day at Burwash Manor. A real meat lover’s delight, the Holy Cow consisted of a Riverside beef patty, smoked brisket, pickled carrot, sweetheart cabbage and BBQ sauce in a brioche bun.

SH2

Churros

Some of the traders featured Valentine-inspired foods for the event. Churros Bar fried up some heart-shaped churros, with cute names such as Crazy In Nuts, Heart Warmer and Monkey Love. I loved sharing my heart churro with my husband. I joked that he was being good for Valentine’s Day because he usually doesn’t share. Who says romance is dead?

Churros1

GuerrillaKitchen

BuffaloJoe

foodPark favourites Guerrilla Kitchen and Buffalo Joe’s served up their specialties to delighted customers. Guerrilla Kitchen’s steamed buns really are “heavenly clouds of deliciousness” (true to their hashtag) and Buffalo Joe’s chicken wings have been garnering rave reviews.

Warm2

WarmingYourCockles

Jenny from Warming Your Cockles Coffee Co. was a lean, mean coffee-making machine (and other hot drinks). There was a steady queue all night at Gertie, the mini truck that was lovingly decorated with hearts just for the event! It just goes to show that people enjoy a good coffee at the end of a meal (or in my case, their gourmet hot chocolate)!

warm1

foodPark NIGHT MARKET was a huge success. Burwash Manor was a great location! A big round of applause to the traders who worked really hard to get their freshly prepared food out there as quickly as possible. I haven’t seen that many people in attendance since its inception. That’s great news for street food in Cambridge. Roll on the next NIGHT MARKET! It’s on 9 May, 2015 at a venue to be announced.

Check foodPark’s Twitter or website for the latest dates and traders. If you sign up for their newsletter, you’ll always be in the loop!

Kudos to Heidi, the foodPark team and volunteers for all their hard work in organising a memorable Valentine’s night!

foodPark NIGHT MARKET were unaware that my experience would be the basis of a written review. It is based on my experience at my own cost and I did not receive compensation for my review.

Unless otherwise noted, I am the legal copyright holder of the content and images on this blog. Please contact me for permission if you wish to use, reprint or publish any material.

15 thoughts on “foodPark NIGHT MARKET on 14 February, 2015 – Barton, Cambridge (UK)

  1. There is also the Mill Road Feast on 1st March at Donkey Common featuring many of these traders too. Enjoy!. Jo x

  2. We spent £14 on entrance in advance, even though there was no queue on the night. We then spent 2 HOURS queuing for one stand, and after we had finished queuing every other stand had closed because they had sold out. We arrived at 7.30, so it wasn’t that we arrived late. The food that we had was great, but effectively we paid just under £40 for two burgers. We like to support local traders, but if this event is going to happen again, they really need to get on top of things – more vendors would mean the queues are shorter, the vendors need more capacity to feed people, shutting up shop at 9.30 when the event is advertised until 11pm isn’t very helpful. The car park needs stewards, and light, even if that’s torches – driving blind into a field was very difficult and the cars weren’t parked in lines but simply abandoned in places. If it had rained, the ‘undercover’ seating wouldn’t have been enough to keep people dry, and there wasn’t nearly enough seating for the capacity of the venue. I don’t wish to criticise for the sake of it, but for £40 we could have just gone and had a burger inside in the warm, brought to us without queuing, even on valentine’s day prices – most people won’t give the market a second chance after an experience like this. It’s a shame we couldn’t try any other stalls, because the food really is the draw here, but the organisers logistics cramped the vendor’s style.

    • Hi Kate,

      Thanks for posting. I shared my experience which was between 7pm and 10pm that night. I was able to visit 5 out of the 7 traders, including queue times. I thought the evening was great value for the venue and quality of food. There weren’t any burgers being sold for £20 each (you said you paid £40 for 2). I know Steak & Honour had the special Holy Cow burger, with beef and brisket, and that was their most expensive at £9.50 each.

      I can’t comment on behalf of foodPark or Burwash Manor so I suggest you contact them directly to give them your feedback.

      You may also find this link useful:
      http://www.foodparkcam.com/night-market.html

    • I agree with a lot of what Kate says. The event was a great idea but the vendors were overwhelmed by the number of people. We turned up very early and chose the shortest food queue, but then waited nearly half an hour after ordering before our food was served. ‘Cooked to order’ just doesn’t work with these volumes. When we left there were irate people with pre-purchased tickets who were not being allowed in.

      • Thanks for your comment. I had no problem with the waiting times and as I said, I was able to visit 5 out of the 7 traders and thoroughly enjoyed the evening. The street food experience is different than going to a sit-down restaurant where you are waited on. That’s what I love about it, even if sometimes there is a queue. “Cooked to order” is precisely what real street food is all about.

        Just wondering where everyone was during the 7 weeks foodPark were at Parker’s Piece? Personally, I think not enough people took advantage of accessing some of the best street food in Cambridge at such a central location. Maybe foodPark and the traders estimated the turnout on these numbers based on that (just my opinion, I can’t speak for them).

        Useful info: http://www.foodparkcam.com/night-market.html

  3. I agree with the comments about the queues, not enough vendors and most of the time (over an hour waiting for a hamburger) was spent doing this, rather than being able to explore and enjoy the environment. Waiting for fast food for over an hour and then eating it, to me, doesn’t really add up to an ‘event’. In addition the position where the DJ was located was rather strange, and didn’t really appear to be part of things. It would have been nicer to have had the DJ in the wedding marquee, where there was an area spacious enough for dancing as this would have made it more into a proper event.

    • Thanks for your comment. I really liked Two Deck Charlie’s location and decor. I think the music enhanced the atmosphere whilst keeping food/drink as the main attraction. Street food is not fast food. No comparison. These are not cheap kebab or burger trucks… the traders are proper chefs making high quality food to order. Anyway, I’m sure foodPark would appreciate your constructive criticism if you contact them directly.

      I found a great article on the essence of the street food movement. It’s a great read! http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2015/02/17/british-street-food-trends_n_6575720.html

  4. Lovely post! You are so good taking photos, I was too busy drinking Prosecco to even get to it.
    We turned up early (on the first bus) and so were able to enjoy what we wanted with little queuing. The queues were busy later on but we still managed to get a pizza in ~15 minutes. Personally I believe that good food takes time. I’m a big believer in real food and would rather wait for something decent rather than have something rubbish thrown together.
    Life is what you make it. There was great music, fabulous food, sparkly drinks, no rain and fantastic company. The queues were a good chance to chat and I certainly had one of my best Valentine’s ever. My husband shared his chilli fries with me. It was very romantic…..

  5. We had a great night at the night market. We started the night by jumping the queue as we had booked our advance tickets and did a quick recki to plan our evening’s menu of Cambridge’s finest market food. We found ourselves some seats and enjoyed our early bird drinks and then ordered a couple of pizzas to share between the 4 of us. To be honest they were so good (we had the goats cheese and balsamic onion and a pepperoni one) we could easily have had one each – but we wanted to leave room for the next culinary delight! We then decided to try Buffalo Joes menu and ordered one of everything – yes we queued for a while maybe 30 mins in total but we shared queuing duties and soaked up the atmosphere (Remember this isn’t fast food – for that you should go to maccys!) What can i say except the food was well worth the short wait? The two burgers were the best we have ever eaten by far and the wings – well they were HOT HOT HOT – but that was part of the experience and something we will look back on in a few months and laugh about!!! The DJ was great we enjoyed the mixes and I feel it complemented the night well. We had a great night and will be first on the list for the next one. Of course there were a few teething problems like most first time things – but overall it was a great night and something fun and different to do especially on valentines night!! Bring on the next one!

    • That’s great, curlykaty! Lots of sharing going on…. that’s what love and Valentine’s is all about. 🙂 Definitely not a boring night out! Glad you enjoyed it as much as I did.

  6. Pingback: foodPark NIGHT MARKET on 9 May, 2015 – Cambridge (UK) | One Two Culinary Stew

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