HAMBURG ON TOUR IN LONDON
Last weekend, the Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane was made a lot more fun and colourful because..
I was there!
Haha but more importantly, I was there to attend Hamburg On Tour, which was in its second year running in London. Hamburg On Tour is a FREE festival showcasing local products from Hamburg including food, drinks, music.. and even a few Hamburgers loitering around.
(Wondering about Hamburgers and Hamburg? My last post explains it.)
It felt especially nice for me to be there after having visited Hamburg for the first time earlier in August! I felt like I knew everything about the city, although obviously I didn't.
But in my mind I felt proud for knowing, for example, that inflatable arm floats were invented in Hamburg.
STREET ART & SAILORS
I don't know how many exactly were flown in for the event, but there were a good number of big sailor figurines - a symbol of Hamburg as a port city and its maritime history - scattered around and outside the Truman Brewery, stretching out to Dray Walk too!
The sailors all had their own names - as seen on their hats! In the photo above I am flanked by Jan and Simon. They had extra-small hips and extra-large feet.
There was also a fun yellow mural specially commissioned to advertise the free festival, and signs on the ground to direct people to it.
HANGING OUT IN THE SUN
We were so so lucky with the weather! The sun shone bright and proud on both the Saturday and Sunday when the event took place. Either that or it simply loves Hamburg ;)
The festival extended into a little open space at the back where people could lounge around or enjoy a game of foosball or VR cycling. I tried the cycling and it didn't work out well - the seat was too high/my legs were too short. Also, when it was my turn the sensor was misplaced so I ended up cycling sideways through the 'countryside' the whole way!
I also tried the free currywurst samples being given out at the bar and that worked out better.
FREE FOOD & THINGS
I think a lot of people were attracted by the free food being served at Hamburg On Tour. I was one of them.
They served three different 'main meal' options and there was also the most refreshingly delicious dessert of red fruits/jam in a cup topped with smooth vanilla cream. That was my favourite.
There was labskaus (second photo), which is a traditional dish from Hamburg consisting of a beetroot mash, pickles, onions, herring, and bits of beef. Oh and an egg. I loved everything about this dish except the herring, which was cooked! I think herring tastes better raw.
Around the venue there was also free coffee. This obviously attracted a lot of coffee addicts. I was not one of them. Coffee makes me feel sick. There were regular gin and beer tastings throughout the day, samples of high-quality chocolate, and.. organic tea/juices.
Since I also do not drink tea and am not a fan of chocolate, the gin was my favourite free thing to taste. It was very good gin!
There was also a cute Hamburg merchandise table, where you could take something home in exchange for a donation in an amount of your choice.
LIVE MUSIC & THE BEATLES
Of COURSE, the festival had to have a Beatles feature. The Beatles having had their crucial beginnings in Hamburg was clearly something that the city was very proud of.
Stefanie Hempel has been running her infamous Beatles Tour in Hamburg for something like decades?? I can't remember exactly, but it must have been something like 17 years! A true Beatles enthusiast.
She entertained us with a few live performances of a variety of Beatles classics throughout the day. My favourite part was when they moved the couch out onto the street to sing for the crowds outside.
So much fun!
^This was the best photo I got of Willy Man.. an over-enthusiastic stranger who kept jumping in to join the hip hop dance performance group (from Hamburg) doing their thing on the street!
HAMBURG ON TOUR IN COLOUR
Being able to experience the event with fellow blogger Janet Newenham made it all the more fun! I'd been wanting to meet her for a while and it was a lucky coincidence that we were covering the same event.
It was nice to see so many people so excited about one not-so-little city. I thought it was a great event that gave people a glimpse of Hamburg lifestyle.. and not just because of the free food.
I loved the art they put on the walls outside.. made using coloured tape!
If you're curious about what's fun in Hamburg.. click on the post below :)
*This post was created in collaboration with Hamburg On Tour