Carnaby Street and London Street Food

26 02 2010

Apparently 2010 is the 50th anniversary of Carnaby Street (although there are rumours that the name first appeared in the ratebooks in 1687, and that the street was almost completely built up by 1690). Anyway, ignoring all those boring things like maths and facts, the iconic London Street became popular in the 1960s among mods and hippies for its clothing boutiques, and unusual in that it focused on menswear. The great and the good (as well as some of the smelly and bad) of swinging London flocked to the boutiques. Time Magazine’s 1966 special issue on swinging London commented:

“Perhaps nothing illustrates the new swinging London better than narrow, three-block-long Carnaby Street, which is crammed with a cluster of the ‘gear’ boutiques where the girls and boys buy each other clothing…”

To celebrate the anniversary, a book has been produced with an accompanying exhibition: ‘Carnaby Street: 1960 – 2010’ will celebrate 50 years of fashion and music.

The central feature of the show is a unique 3D timeline which illustrates key people, events and happenings in the area from being a green field site with a well and a scarecrow 500 years ago, to the iconic characters associated with Carnaby’s music heritage such as The Rolling Stones, Sex Pistols and Jimi Hendrix.

The exhibition, 38 Carnaby Street, will be open from 26th February until the beginning of April 2010 and is free. It will be followed by a series of events throughout 2010 to celebrate Carnaby’s 50th Anniversary including a live music weekend in June and a unique fashion show in September.

Monday – Saturday: 11am – 6pm, Sunday: 12noon – 6pm, 38 Carnaby Street, London, W1


In the Guardian today there is a video guide to London’s street food and a list of a few good places to ‘eat street’. Eat Street is the name of a website ‘driving british street food forward’ – has details of a diverse array of reviews and information about British street food, food vans and festival caterers. There is also a blog.




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