Best Bits London – A Slice of America

Best Bits London – A Slice of America

Click your heels three times and you’re home, at least that’s how the saying goes. This month all I had to do was hop on the tube and I was there.

Down the Jubilee Line to the Waterloo Vaults, I was led straight to New Orleans:


For the next two weeks, hold onto your beads and let the Mardi Gras begin! Slap Ya Mama is bringing the Big Easy to the Big Smoke (yes, it’s a nickname of London) with a ton of Louisiana-themed events.

Can’t make it all the way to Bourbon Street, well, it came to us. Check out their schedule of art and live blues, jazz, funk and soul music below:

  • Thursday 17th & Thursday 24th September – Slap Ya Papa Supper Clubs

Slap Ya Papa invites you to their trademark supperclub, where the best in London’s live music talent is paired with a lip smackin’ four course menu of Louisiana soul food, set within the brickwork arches of The Vaults.

  • Friday 18th September – Slap Ya Papa X Riot Jazz

Festival favourites and Manchester-bred upstarts Riot Jazz bring the music for Slap Ya Papa’s supper club in the earlier part of Friday night, and then take the reins for the after-party that goes ‘til 2am. Riot Jazz are making some very special waves; they’ve already curated Glastonbury’s West Holts stage and are one of Manchester’s best loved parties, counting funky luminaries like Mr. Scruff as regular attendees – their credentials are hard to beat!

  • Friday 25th September – Slap Ya Papa X Kansas Smitty

Slap Ya Papa X Marbles & Ware:  Art-world and festival-land firebrand Marbles & Ware are curating a complimentary exhibition in The Vaults Gallery, comprising of up and coming London based artists with the theme of Southern Wilds as their point of departure. The exhibition will be open to the public during the day throughout the residency and culminate in auctions of the work each Saturday night, whilst the Slap Ya Papa bar will offer a taster menu for lunchtime visitors.

  • Saturday 19th September & Saturday 26th September – Marbles & Ware Bizarre Bazaar

Bazaar will become an extension of the bustling Saturday market atmosphere of Waterloo’s Lower Marsh, with artisan makers and crafters selling their creations and New Orleans Southern Belle market callers hollering the day’s best bargains to be had. The public are invited in to explore the goods on sale, enjoy the theatrically immersive New Orleans bazaar setting created by the M&W collective, and indulge in soul food snacks from the Slap Ya Papa café space.

  • Saturday 19th September & Saturday 26th September – Marbles & Ware Bidders’ Banquet

Come evening-time, the market is cleared to make way for the Marbles & Ware X Slap Ya Papa Bidders’ Banquet; as live music simmers under the buzzing hubbub of guests enjoying a 5 course feast, expect a dizzy bidding frenzy throughout the meal as Marbles & Wares’s eccentric auctioneers tout latest works from the Next-Big-Things featured in their Southern Wilds exhibition. Come ready to raise a paddle, and a glass! The Bidders Banquet will then spill over with a New Orleans knees-up into the night with live bands and DJs performing shake-a-tail-feather sets beaming from the Bayou to Botswana!

  • Sunday 20th September & Sunday 27th September – Slap Ya Papa presents: Egg, Bacon, Grits…SAUSAGE 

Slap Ya Papa presents an all day brunch to toast the weekend in style, with toe tappin’ live music floating through the airways from Brixton bluesman and three-time UK harmonica champion Errol Linton alongside long time accomplice and guitar virtuoso Adam Blake, kick back and unwind with a Bayou Bloody Mary in hand.

  • Monday 21st – Wed 23rd September – The Bryan Batt Cabaret presents Tales from New Orleans 

Mad Men and 12 Years a Slave star Bryan Batt takes to the stage armed with a microphone and a piano to regale guests with stories and songs from his hometown of New Orleans, where he is famous not least for leading the Mardi Gras float parade. This raucously entertaining show is back by popular demand having first been performed to raise funds in the wake of hurricane Katrina, and features plenty of new adventures penned to Bryan’s songbook. This is a unique chance to get a first-hand taste of the Treme as part of an intimate cabaret audience.

Then up the Victoria line to end up in the Mid-West:


Unfortunately, Grillstock is done and gone, but while it was in London, there was no place closer to Kansas City to watch the heirs of the great BBQ families compete for the title of King of the Grill.

The first Sunday in September, we managed to consume massive amounts of meat in many forms: wings, ribs, and burgers, all accompanied by my new favorite BBQ beverage: Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey Whiskey and fresh-squeezed lemonade! Three pints later, I was hoedowning to the house band, Hayseed Dixie, and almost entering the Chilli Eating contest. Thank goodness, the Cypriot was there to point me toward ice cream instead!

Grillstock London

We finished off the afternoon lying on the grass listening to the band add their own touch to, what they called, the best song about a murder ever. Sorry that it’s a bit blurry, but hey, the Jack Daniels were delicious!

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Best Bits: Travel Cheat Sheet


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