Chosen as Secret Forum’s ‘ideal Sunday retreat,’ Primrose Hill’s Cecil Sharp House hosted the fourth edition of Sunday Papers Live on the 1st June 2014. The main event space was a giant living room, complete with mismatched scatter cushions, cosy sofas and soothing piano music. Here, the Sunday papers were brought to life by a selection of speakers and performers, each taking us through a section (Business, UK News, Style etc.) and giving it a twist.
One standout talk was given by previous TED-talker Suzanne Lee. Pioneering the growth of clothes using living organisms, Suzanne explained that her company, Biocouture, seeks to ‘fashion the future,’ developing a sustainable way to create pieces that can be worn, enjoyed and then recycled with the vegetable waste. The possibility that clothing can be grown and cultivated is an entirely new concept, one that introduces us to the emerging world of wearable technology.
Unlikely hiphop duo Dizraeli & Downlow delivered the Culture section, with a series of clever and well-crafted lyrical musings. On at 16.20pm, their energy roused the afternoon sofa-dwellers and got everyone dancing and a-hollerin’. They finished with the satirical, A capella version of their song, ‘People Taking Pictures’: a rap about the complexities of being white, middle class and eager to ‘find yourself’ in the midst of India.
Food historian Tasha Marks spoke about her expanding interest in ‘edible curiosity.’ Tasha’s playful use of the substance to create edible artworks contrasted with recent scaremongering in the press about the negative effects of sugar. Art is there to be consumed, “so why don’t we eat it?” she asked… and suddenly we were rather peckish.
From 12pm until late, food and drink stalls offered delicious and locally-sourced treats to keep us going. We sipped on Vestal Vodka Bloody Mary’s, sampled superfood smoothies from S’juice Me and tried halloumi and avocado burgers from The Breakfast Club’s pop-up stall.
But nothing quite topped eco chef Tom Hunt’s roast dinner. For £20, guests were seated along a rustic table and treated to something of a banquet. Chicken leg confit, honey glazed with thyme and garlic, was accompanied by creamy aioli, punchy potatoes, candied beetroots and fresh orange to squeeze over salad leaves for a citrus, summery tang. Tom’s support for British produce showed in his menu, with quintessential ‘strawberries and cream’ completing the feast and making us very, very happy.
Ticket-holders who managed to stray from the sofas could join a number of history and nature walks, as well as the appropriately named ‘Bullshit tour’, led by a guide with a less-than-reliable knowledge about the area. Yoga sessions and free massages were available all day, and you could unleash your inner creative in the arts and crafts room. The day was crammed with thoughtful details, like the bunting made of papers and news bulletins playing in the ladies’ loos.
But Sunday Papers Live’s real charm was that it gave us a rare opportunity to rediscover our curiosity, to stop, stare and, perhaps most importantly, take the time to enjoy one of life’s greatest unappreciated pleasures: Sunday.
Tickets are available for the 5th edition now.