It’s been a stunning year at St. Kats. 2019 has a lot to live up to.
There’s something really special building around the Docks. From the wonderful vessels and the characters who sail them to the successful business and our growing numbers of visitors – our community’s never been stronger. And it led to some truly memorable events and celebrations during 2018.
The most obvious of these was the Docks’ 190th anniversary. Aside from being such a momentous occasion, it gave us a great opportunity to tell the world the story of St. Katharine Docks.
Placards around the marina and tea chests in neighbouring buildings became visual guides to our history. They added an atmospheric twist to facts and figures explaining how a dropping off point for imports like tea, spices, marble, carpets – even ostrich feathers – evolved over centuries to blossom into the exciting and diverse landmark we love today.
Summer saw 100 free lunches draw instant crowds as KERB launched their biggest lunch market yet, right here on July 6th. The smells and sounds of its 18 stalls have since made it one of the week’s most eagerly awaited fixtures.
Though it’s only on every Friday, more than 32,000 meals were served in the first five months alone. Taiwanese, African fusion, Korean, Calcuttan, Japanese, pizza, steak and chips, burgers – the menu is always inspiring. Eating al fresco in the beautiful marina takes some beating too.
July also saw the return of our Summer Screen to the events pontoon. Things kicked off with our annual Wimbledon screening. With so many close matches and tense moments, it was a good job we had a seemingly endless supply of beer wine, snacks and – of course – Pimms, strawberries and cream.
Then, we changed the channel to the Floating Film Festival, the most picturesque place to catch classics like Back to the Future and The Beach, along with new blockbusters The Post and Dunkirk.
The Docks themselves weren't the only ones celebrating a big anniversary. Our Classic Boat Festivalturned 10 this year. From September 7-9th, the Docks were brimming with historic vessels – including 15 Dunkirk Little Ships – and industry figures giving eager visitors tours, talks and even a taste for life on a kayak.
One of the standout moments was the cheers as Tower Bridge lifted to let the lucky passengers on the historic Lady Daphne sail gently underneath. We also invited The Whale Company to hold a bottle board making workshop – just one of a number of events that gave visitors the chance to learn more about the environmental issues of the day.
Quickly following on, October saw another 10-year anniversary: for the London Restaurant Festival. Five restaurants around the marina were invited to join a total of 400 venues across the capital to create the unique event.
Festival goers got the chance to enjoy special tasting menus from a breath-taking list of world-famous chefs. Those that dined here had the added pleasure of doing so along the water’s edge of Central London’s only marina.
It’s certainly been quite a 12 months and we’re already working on events that will shape 2019’s calendar - we can’t wait to see you there.