Can I just say – I LOVE Christmas time but as a student I never feel like I get to truly take advantage of the festive season. Instead of watching lighting switching, going to Christmas night markets and seeking out the best Christmas decorations around ,I’m sitting at home desperately working through the stress to try and catch up with all my work before my end of term deadline.
Luckily this year I pre-booked tickets weeks and weeks in advance to watch Labyrinth with Rhys at Secret Cinema ( themed cinema with bean bag chairs!!) within Winterville, so I couldn’t talk myself out of it for fear of losing working time! Plus this was Rhys’s first time watching Labyrinth. Seriously! who hasn’t seen Labyrinth?! Comment below if you haven’t :O
Winterville is like the Clapham based quirky baby sibling to Winter Wonderland. But for any one who’s used that as an excuse to not visit then think again! Yes the actual ‘theme park’ element of it isn’t up to scratch but with drag shows, an adults only puppet show ( and kids ones too!), mini golf, mexican wrestling, a talk on Psychopathic serial killers ( because why not?!) and a whole array of music/dance adult events … not to mention the fun fair and ,of course, a whole list of amazing street food vendors- there’s definitely lots to entertain!
Within Winterville’s two foodie areas, the ‘street feast’ and ‘truck stop’ there are 17 vendors serving up a mix of sweet and savoury treats. From doughnuts, ice-cream and churros to pizza, burgers, hotdogs, thai food, dumplings and even molten Raclette cheese meals from local brands, which I love.
I didn’t have a chance to inspect every menu but from what I could see there’s lots of veggie options and even a few excellent vegan options including doughnuts from @you_doughnut, a Vegan pizza from @bornandraisedpizza, vegan bbq dishes from @rootandcoalldn and eve a Vegan cookie dough or hot chocolate from @chinchinicecream.
So Rhys and I decided to give as many as we could a go!
We arrived just in time for lunch so decided to start by getting a couple of lunch dishes including salt & pepper squid from @Ink for £10 and 6 mushroom duplings from @Yumplings for £9.50. In general R & I are super ‘cheapo’s’ and handing over anything above £9 for ‘street food’ style food makes me hesitate. BUT in general I know to expect high prices at these types of things. The main thing is whether of not the taste was worth it. The answer- YES!
As i’ve previously said, I am technically a pescatarian as I eat a very small amount of seafood- Calamari included. Spending a lot of my childhood in Turkey I lived for good calamari and singing the ‘haidari , calamari’ song ( that may or may not be an actual song…).
This was delicious – Not too chewy and with a lovely, light batter.
The dumplings came as 3 or 6 but we went for 6 because R was haaaangry. I was particularly excited because I’ve always spotted meals with dumplings that are meat-galore so wanted to take advantage of a good veggie option. I can’t tell you exactly what they reminded me of but the filling was so familiar and ‘comforting’ . We chowed them down quickly!
After that we popped to @you_doughnut for their Salted popcorn peanut caramel doughnuts. Cinnamon sugar doughnut bites with a salted caramel sauce and popcorn/peanut topping. Yumm! that’s all that needs to be said! They are offering a second chocolate-y oreo variety too. Plus they have a second , Vegan exclusive brand too that’s london-based! @dreamin_dough
And because we had the tiniest of appetites left , we got a cheeky flame torched marshmallowy hot chocolate ( vegan option available!) from Chin Chin ( Their stall is seperate from the two main food areas but super close to the ‘truck stop’.) I think R’s face while enjoying the mallow says it all! SO much creamy mallow to spoon through to reach a delicious bitter ( in a good way) hot chocolate.
After that it was time for Labyrinth at Backyard Cinema. If you’ve never been to a Backyard Cinema production before then –
They are a theme-changing, bean bag chair cinema. At their pop-up in Winterville the current theme is Labyrinth. So to get to your screening room you actually have to ‘choose a door’ and walk through a little maze to find your way to the room. Once there, there is a bar that sells sweets, bags of popcorn and an array of soft and alcoholic drinks. An usher takes you to your particular bean bags ( first come first serve so get there early for the best seats!)
After the movie we had a wander around the theme-park area of Winterville before we decided it was dinner time so we headed over to @bornandraisedpizza to share a delicious wood-fired mushroom truffle pizza ( Vegan pizza option available) for £8 followed up with some BBQ sweetcorn ribs from @rootandcoal for £7.
I wasn’t sure what to expect with the sweetcorn ribs but to be honest my only complaint is that there wasn’t enough. Even R raved about them and he doesn’t like sweetcorn… The apricot bbq glaze they use on the sweetcorn is heavenly and I pretty much put sweetcorn in every single meal I make so I’m a big fan!
We then popped into the Backyard Cinema Bar to listen to some amazing live music – lots of swing / blues/ jazz on the tables I think!
To finish the evening off we paid a second visit to ChinChin for their ooeygooey cookiedough. By then I was struggling so Rhys ended up eating most of it but you can never go wrong with warm cookie dough!
So if you’re up for some good grub, Christmas cheer and possibly even a cheeky bout of Mexican wrestling, musical bingo or even a drag act then head on over to Winterville before they close for the year on 23rd December!
To Visit Winterville : Entry is free on Tue/Wed plus for attraction ticket holders or £2 otherwise , £5 after 5pm on Fri/Sat. Some exclusions apply!
Location : Clapham Common, London SW4 9DE
Tuesday to Thursday – 3pm- 10pm
Friday – 3pm – 10:30pm
Saturday – 10am- 10:30pm
Sunday – 10am- 10pm