What's My Weekend: Petra Barran

Petra Barran is founder of KERB, which celebrates London’s best street food.

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KERB was founded by Petra after converting a van into “Choc Star – a choc-mobile of adventure and delight’. She travelled the country selling her chocolate creations and met like-minded traders en route – go-getters and brilliant cooks – and suggested that they consolidate to push for better food on the streets of London and beyond. KERB was born, and now operates in various locations around the city each week.

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FRIDAY NIGHT

This Friday night is the Big One: KERB (Kings Blvd, London N1C 4AH, kerbfood.com) does Peckham, a totally new kind of night market in the car park of the iconic Bussey Building off Rye Lane. It’s KERB’s first time taking it downtown and this weather is perfect for it. I live in South London, as do loads of our traders, and we are so revved up for mixing our flavour and energy with twhat’s already going on in Peckham. The event’s going to include 12 of our most adventurous traders, cooking special menus, and three bars - including one on the roof. What I love about the KERB crew is how everyone rallies round and gets involved. All week I have been receiving calls and emails from traders telling me about what delights they’re going to be cooking, especially for this.

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I’ll be on site all day, getting things planned and finalising things with our partners in crime, Peckham Crave, probably handling a load of last minute things that spring up. Kick-off is from 6pm-Midnight – and then Peckham Crave (kerbfood.com) are putting on an after-party in the Peckham Palais (1 Rye Lane, London, SE15 5EW) until 5am. Yikes - can’t wait!

SATURDAY

I'll need a lie-in after Friday's work/play exertions. I’ll either have something really simple at home or head into Brixton for breakfast. The Colombian place on Popes Road (Las Americas Cafeteria, 26 Pope's Road, Brixton, London, SW9 8JJ) does really good eggs, or Rosie’s (14E Market Row, Brixton Market, London, SW9 8JB, rosielovell.co.uk) do the best Virgin Marys – loaded with horseradish, ice cold from a jar. Brilliant.

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I will often head off to go new- trader trawling. Current street food flicking my switches in London includes Ice Kitchen [icekitchen.co.uk] (the 50s Orange is a dream on a stick), Miss P’s BBQ [kerbfood.com] (who else is doing oak smoked ‘bad boy’ beef ribs so well, if at all, over here?) or the brilliant Capish? (Kingsland Road, London, E8 4BH, capish.co.uk) Girls with their meatball sliders and braciole subs. I might head to the gym at the Corinthia hotel (10 Whitehall Place, London, SW1A 2BD, corinthia.com) where I’m a member – though, to be perfectly honest, it’s more often the Thermal Floor that I’ll gravitate towards to get my steam on. Upstairs in the Bassoon Bar (10 Whitehall Place, London, SW1A 2BD, bassoonbar.co.uk) they serve the best Margaritas in town – always fun and luxurious (and not uncommon to spot Hollywood visitors, sipping on their bourbons).

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If I’m in town – sometimes I brave the crowds and head to the shops – I’ll inevitably need a sharpener, in the shape of a sweet pit-stop. Nowhere else does it better than Flat Iron Steak (17 Beak Street, London, W1F 9RW, flatironsteak.co.uk) with their salted choc and caramel mousse. I’m also a sucker for Bea's of Bloomsbury’s (44 Theobalds Road, London, WC1X 8NW, beasofbloomsbury.co.uk) deep-fried brownies or paul.a.young’s (143 Wardour Street, London, W1F 8WA, paul.a.young.co.uk) Marmite truffles. Have I got a sweet tooth? Yes, massively. The best scenario for me is to be near where You Doughnut [kerbfood.com] operates – it’s a round, warm fluffy ball of delight encased in salted caramel sauce and I am a slave to it. Clothes shopping-wise, I love Liberty (Regent Street, London, W1B 5AH, liberty.co.uk- who doesn’t?), but often prefer some second hand classics – Rellik (8 Golborne Road, London, W10 5NW, relliklondon.co.uk) is great, as is Retro Woman (20 Pembridge Road, London, mgeshops.com) on Pembridge Road. I worked there when I first left Uni and love the 80s and 90s fashion they rock.

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Favourite shops closer by are the Continental Delicatessen (3 Atlantic Road, London, SW9 8HX) on Atlantic Road in Brixton. They are so friendly and reliable and their taramasalata is special. They also sell those incredible fennelly Italian sausages, nice and plump. Further along is the fingernail of a CD shop where the African guy inside dances all day long as the music plays out onto the street. For bread it can only ever be Wild Caper (11A-13 Market Row, London, SW9 8LB, wildcaper.co.uk) – owner, Bridget Hugo is a force to be reckoned with, and her baking is unbeatable.

SATURDAY EVENING

I love to keep it local and round up my nearby buds for walkable good times.

Brixton hotspots have gone crazy in recent years, but I like to dabble on the fringes. The Grosvenor (17 Sidney Road, London, SW9 0TP, thegrosvenorsw9.co.uk) is a brilliant old punk pub in Stockwell that never seems to close and has the best low-down and dirty, stanky-danky back room ever for private parties. We hired it for the KERB Winter Blues party in January and got in Errol Linton and the Blues Vibe to help us get low. I think we even ended up being kicked out of our own party, but that’s another story.

Back in town is KAFF (68 Atlantic Road, Brixton, SW9 8PY, kaff-bar.co.uk) on Atlantic Road, a fairly dark and wanton place. In the kitchen is a brilliant guy – the Laissez Chef, straight in from New Orleans and maker of the best gumbo to pass my lips this side of the Atlantic. Behind the bar are two other New Orleans bartenders who know what they’re doing with some ice and liquor – try the Continental Breakfast or if you want to get fired up, the Espresso Martini never fails to do its job.

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We might bowl around, grab some more food and drinks, and see where the night takes us. One place that I always love dropping in on – especially in the summer – is the Portuguese bar (18 Brixton Station Road, London, SW9 8PD) on Brixton Station Road. Give me a Sagres and a salt fish croqueta on a metal seat on the pavement, and I’m away on my hols. There is always football on. Or, if we’re going a bit more substantial on the dinner, then it’s up to The Gallery (256A Brixton Hill, London, SW2 1HF) on Brixton Hill. This place really is like being on holiday – jaunty tromp l’oeil on the walls, Portuguese pop on the stereo and endless plates of spicy shrimp, bacalao, and pork with clams. Plus there’s babyfoot out back – always a plus.

Inevitably, these nights end up with a stop off at My Father’s Place (336 Coldharbour Lane, London, SW9 8QH) on Coldharbour Lane. It’s a two-bit rum bar with an unprepossessing back room playing dancehall and reggae. I love it. Rum, really loud reggae, great dancing and a fun back garden to cool off in.

SUNDAY

Depending how hot it is and how late I went to bed, I will get up, potter around with my plants on the terrace, have some breakfast (tomatoes on toast is my fave) and then head off on my bike for a swim at the Brockwell Lido (Dulwich Road, Brockwell Lido, London, SE24 0PA, fusion-lifestyle.com/Brockwell_Lido). It’s great there and really good people watching. You normally end up being covered in water by the hyped-up kids running wild around the pool, but it’s a good opportunity to catch up with my best mate Ruth, leaf through the papers and break down our week.

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There’s a café [thelidocafe.co.uk] attached to it that does nice drinks and the pool is really refreshing. Get there early though or you’ll be queuing in this heat.

I might head home and have some dinner with my flatmate, or else one of my favourite Sunday night specials is going to the ceilidh in The Old Dispensary (325 Camberwell New Road, London, SE5 0TF, olddispensaryirishbar.com) in Camberwell. This pub is gold dust – very Irish, very down-home, very friendly and with great live music. It’s the best way to squeeze the last remaining drops out of the weekend and only a ten-minute walk back home afterwards.

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