Kinetika Launches T100 Recipes Walking Festival

Published: 27 June 2018

Internationally renowned outdoor arts company Kinetika is once again running its popular Thurrock 100 Walking Festival during July. This year, the theme is food and the walks, entitled T100 Recipes, will take place in Thurrock, Southend, Dartford and Gravesend.

The Thurrock 100 Walking Festival is now in its fourth year. Over the past three years, the Thurrock 100 has so far mapped and explored 31 local walks, made 110 silk flags, run a dance programme, published a book of 100 local stories and engaged thousands of people. This year, the walks take in Thurrock’s diverse food culture, visit some historic sites such as Purfleet to hear about the whitebait festivals, some of Thurrock’s wild spaces like Orsett Fen, where local food is produced, and sample international cuisine in Grays and Tilbury town centres.

The walks also extend into Southend and Kent in 2018, offering some well-known local delicacies such as the cockles in Old Leigh and Italian ice cream in Southend plus world foods at Gravesend market.

The T100 Recipe walks are specially planned and led by volunteers well-versed in the geography and history of the routes. These walks take place between Saturday 7 and Sunday 22 July, and are free to join. There will be a range of easy daytime and evening walks, of various lengths, taking in markets, nature reserves and strolls along the estuary: all exploring varieties of recipes and offering opportunities to share food.

Thurrock 100 Recipes begins on Saturday 7 July with a walk from Benfleet to Leigh-on-Sea via Hadleigh Country Park and the Castle. Nearby is the Salvation Army farm and tearooms and Old Leigh with its long established cockle sheds and pubs. Sunday’s walk is to Shoebury East Beach, site of many Hindu festivals in recent years. There will be a delicious buffet picnic inspired by Indian traditional ethnic recipes specially made by Indian communities and organised by The Hindu Association, and Bollywood music to enjoy at the seashore.

On 10 July, ice cream will be the order of the day as the walk takes in Southend Pier, the Golden Mile and Southend’s famous Rossi and Tomassi families. Canvey Island is the setting for a walk on 12 July with pub grub on the menu.

The Thurrock walks start on Saturday 14 July with a walk to and from Davey Down starting at intu Lakeside. Noodles could be on the menu here too as Wagamama will offer a special tasting menu for walkers. There will be two walks on Sunday 15, starting from either end of Rainham Marshes and meeting in the middle at the RSPB picnic site. The Home Grown and Home Made picnic invites everyone to bring food they’ve prepared themselves to share.

Orsett Fen is the location of the walk on Tuesday 17 July. This walk will explore what’s in a jam sandwich, with locally made bread and jam on offer. The evening walk on Thursday 19 July will take in Grays town centre and plans to showcase the international foods available in the town. The final walk takes place on Sunday 22 July and ends at Grays Beach with Eastern European lunch provided by the Lightship Beach Café.

The walk on Saturday 21 July coincides with an Open Day at the Port of Tilbury. As part of the day, Chilean arts organisation Teatro Container, on their UK Premier tour, will be cooking a community feast in La Cocina Publica, the Public Kitchen. Teatro Container will work in the kitchen with community groups prior to the event to devise a menu, drawing together local recipes and foods. The mobile kitchen is built inside a shipping container: it offers a place to tell stories, share moments and memories and collectively discover, rediscover and appreciate food.

T100 Recipes is the first phase of Kinetika’s new project Kitchen Table, that, over two years, aims to explore the stories of the diverse communities from around the world who have settled along the lower Thames Estuary. Encompassing walking, talking and eating, Kitchen Table will encourage conversations over food and culture to help develop a better understanding of common histories, and unique traditions. Kitchen Table will lead to two large scale community feasts in 2019 which all the communities taking part in Thurrock 100 Recipes will be invited to create.

Kinetika’s Creative Director is artist and walker Ali Pretty said ‘It is through Thurrock 100 that we have made friends who have generously shared their local knowledge and given their time to make us welcome and enabled us to create great projects. Now we’re extending our network along the estuary and with such a committed group of volunteers, we have a real opportunity to celebrate the stories of so many diverse communities who have for centuries contributed to the rich seam of humanity that works so hard to keep London going. Now London is flowing East and we hope that this project demonstrates that we will welcome everyone to join us at the Kitchen Table,” says Ali.

A full programme of walk routes, start times and locations, can be found on the Thurrock 100 website. More details and further walks will be added to the programme as they are confirmed, so keep checking the website for updates: For more information on Kinetika, please go to