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Biscuit festival
by Tom Meade

The first ever British Biscuit Festival will hit London’s Brunswick Centre, Russell Square, from 8th to 10th June.

It will celebrate Britain’s tea and biscuit infatuation, bringing events and tournaments for some much-needed down-time after the Jubilee weekend and a variety of stalls and attractions will look to drag in an all-age crowd. Biscuit baking skills will be taught and enhanced at the Build-a-Biscuit Workshop, and the Tea and Biscuit Social can provide a relaxing adult haven designed by vintage and interior enthusiasts Bijoux Editrix.

The festival’s Head of production Becky Lyon said: “We are inviting the public to sum up the Jubilee celebrations in an original biscuit, similar to the delicacy Coronation Chicken, which was invented for the coronation.

Tea and Biscuits are intrinsically part of British cuisine,” she added.

Idea Generation, the festival organisers, intend a biscuit-only art competition to inspire involvement and spark any (if possible) forgotten love for biscuits. It is hoped this will encapsulate everything creative Britons love about tea culture.

Dancing, roaring ‘20s style, a somewhat unknown element of high-tea culture, will be performed and taught by the Ragroof Theatre on the Saturday. Jive and Latin dance lovers, or those wanting to learn to impress with some ballroom ability, may be enticed to the experience.

Alchemist Dreams will serve their (un)usual cocktail liqueurs with a jasmine tea-influenced take – served in chocolate cups, of course – a possibility for those unwilling to partake in the dancing.

For the younger, ineligible, attendees and families Idea Generation hope Mr Brown’s Tea Shop and The Biscuit Jar will provide creative workshops with teabag art and biscuit tin production.

No stranger to food culture events, last year the Brunswick Centre was the short-lived home to a full-size edible Gingerbread house, with all the furnished trimmings.

When asked the inevitable question: why biscuits? Ms Lyon referred to last year’s Gingerbread house, saying: “It was fantastic to see people slow down and take pleasure out of the entire experience of eating food.

What’s more British than the biscuit? It’s biscuits’ time to return to the top of the confectionary tree.”

As London celebrates a Jubilee and Olympic year, the organisers hope to celebrate in kind with a quintessentially (what else?) British food festival experience.

Donations will go to the Foundling Museum, which holds the Foundling Hospital collection of British Art donated since 1740 by artists including Thomas Hogarth, Thomas Gainsborough, and first Royal Academy President, Joshua Reynolds.

For more information, find the festival on Twitter @BiscuitFestival and at www.facebook.com/thebrunswick

The Brunswick Centre, Bloomsbury / 8-10 June 2012 / 12 – 6 pm


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