Last Sunday Regent Street had a Spanish festival largely organized by travel agents. The entire street was blocked off from Oxford Circus downwards and was lined with silver tents, sand pits and palm trees plonked down every few meters in-between the couture shops. I’d like to say this completely transformed regent street into a Spanish fiesta, but it really didn’t.
In fact the whole street was quite bizarre. They had really made an effort, trying to sell the spanish dream but somehow the fiesta feeling never came through completely. It felt slightly corporate, slightly forced. It looked like regent street with some sand and tents full of travel agents.
There was a mini golf course just outside the tube, with a few people playing quite intently. I stood there, at the bus stop and watched them in amazement before starting to walk down the street.
I was a bright, sunny day. For some reason I had decided to carry my laptop and all my clothes in a backpack which weighted about 7 and 1/2 kilos. Me and a friend meandered our way through the crowds, past various similar tents with more travel agents handing out brochures amongst the palm trees or small plants which someone had cleverly suspended real lemons on with some wire.
But every now and then you’d come to a tent selling food, chorizo, white wine or simply giving away samples. We walked past Wedgwood, past Vera Wang, past Hamley’s where some employees dressed up as pirates were posing, and past the barbecue and a group of people on a stage pretending to be part of a medieval painting.
We finally picked a relatively isolated pavement on a side street, bought two glasses of chilled white wine and sat there in the sun, smoking imported cuban cigarettes called “Hollywood” and watching everyone go by.