Is there such a thing as a free market?

It would seem so, yes. Head to The Star in Dartmouth Park this Saturday for a birthday bash that’s literally giving everything away. Plus free arty festivals in both Primrose Hill and Kentish Town

Airy and elegant: hidden neighbourhood pub The Star. Pic by Stephen Emms
Airy and elegant: hidden neighbourhood pub The Star. Pic by Stephen Emms
Some pub interiors exude an elegance that makes you wonder why you don’t return more often. And Dartmouth Park neighbourhood watering hole The Star is one such example. Bare wood? Tick. White tiling? Check. Pendant lamps and flickering candles? All present and correct. Good food too. There’s even a “secret” garden out back that feels pleasantly Mediterranean on a warm summer evening.

This weekend, the joint is celebrating two years since owner Duncan Watson-Steward (who was formerly at The Stag) took over back in June 2012. And my word, he’s got quite a Saturday lined up.

Most exciting? Why, the “free” afternoon marché of course. “To thank everyone for their support over the last 730 days,” he says, “our suppliers are helping us with a FREE market. That means free wine, free spirits, free beer, free soft drinks, free salads, free BBQ and free cheese.”

Wowsers. We get sent hundreds of emails a week about events happening but you can understand why that one stood right out. And that’s not all; there’ll also be retro games to win prizes – apple-bobbing, pin the tail on the donkey and beer pong, with a charity raffle (prizes donated from Coldplay, Tina Fey, Braun and Tanqueray Gin) raising money for Nordoff Robbins.


If you’re still standing in the evening, two live acts will be rousing the rabble in the main room, with a DJ upstairs until the early hours. BBQ all night too. Quids in indeed.

The map of events at the Kentish Fleet Festival.
Alternatively, make a day – and a walk – of it and head over to Primrose Hill’s annual summer fair, with all the usual stalls, streetfood and family entertainment (from 1.30-5pm).

And bang in central NW5 is the second Kentish Fleet Festival (full schedule of events listed here), with various activities celebrating “the area’s creativity” at venues like Fields Beneath, Freespace Gallery and Map Cafe, including art, knitting and dance workshops; plus an acoustic showcase from 8pm upstairs at The Grafton and a party from 930pm at the Assembly House, with Welsh-Ghanaian soul artist Juliyaa belting it out, amongst others.

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Find The Star at 47 Chester Road N19. Don’t forget, for loads more ideas of events coming up this month head to our new interactive reader site YourKentishtowner here.

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