Barking Riverside, Scrattons Farm and Thames View

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A summer to remember

Summer Sessions - Barking Riverside

Named the “Summer Sessions”, this summer saw the longest continuous programme of events at Barking Riverside’s riverfront.

The Summer Sessions, which just ended in mid-September, was a 10-week programme of food, drinks, activities and events, all happening along the River Thames at Barking Riverside. Following on from last year’s “By the River” programme, this year’s Summer Sessions aimed to expand awareness and appreciation of the riverfront with an action-packed summer programme for residents, as well providing opportunities for visitors to discover Barking Riverside.

Situated by the BRL Project Office, the Summer Sessions kicked off in mid-July with a street food offer and a pop-up cocktail bar, as well as outdoor seating and a large sandpit for children. Highlights included Caribbean and Portuguese themed parties, which were hosted by Barking’s favourite independent drinking spot the Boathouse bar and café. Other popular features were weekly fitness and yoga classes, and the 2023 edition of the popular Barking Summer Games, organised by the Resident Events Panel and attended by 200 local people. In early September, BRL also partnered with grassroots music and events crew, Big Fish Little Fish, to deliver the very first Barking Riverside family rave.

Another highlight was the return of Emerge East, a community festival delivered in partnership with event organisers Hemingway Design. Emerge East took place over two separate weekends in August and September, with a programme of Home Cooks, nature walks, craft workshops, DJ sets and an outdoor sauna experience.

A regular fixture was the Meetini pop-up cocktail and drinks bar, led by Daniel Vajsabel. Meetini, known for its sustainability ethos towards zero-waste and ethical sourcing, was a regular presence across the Summer Sessions. Daniel said: “It was great to be an integral part of the local community for such a significant stretch of time. Our team feels like we’ve come to know so many people within the community, from young families spending a leisurely afternoon next to the sand pit, to groups of friends chilling out at the riverfront after a day of working from home. This summer, we were granted a Great Taste Award Star for two of our products, our organic vodka and vermouth rosso – it was great to be able to celebrate this achievement with a special cocktail masterclass event open to all residents.”

Resident Melissa added: “I have really enjoyed the Summer Sessions this year. It was so amazing to have so many fun events right on our doorstep. I especially enjoyed the HITT classes with Nate every Saturday, and Yoga with Katy on a Sunday. These classes have really rounded off my week in the best way and have made me feel great. It really is the most beautiful view whilst working out and I will miss it as the colder months close in.”

She continued: “A great memory was attending the Doug’s Dog show during Emerge East with my puppy Bobby. To our surprise, he won the “Most Handsome” and “Best in Show” categories – it was so unexpected, and it made our whole weekend!”

Melissa also said that the best thing about the Summer Sessions was the location. “We are so lucky to live by such a beautiful spot and I’m so glad it’s been put to good use. I have the best memories spending evenings there with family and friends by the river overlooking a beautiful sunset with a few drinks.”

Do you want to share your comments about the Summer Sessions and help make the programme even better next year? If so, please email or participate in the latest Thames Talk survey to share your views.


By Marie-Angela Giuliani, BRL
Autumn 2023 Issue

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