The weekender begins at Gerald’s Bar on Thursday 2nd June. For those of you in San Sebastian already it’ll be an opportunity to gather, chat, drink, eat, listen to some great music and gradually ease your way into what is going to be a great weekend. Vic Templar and Florence-Daisy Diffey will be at the deck (singular!) and some of the Medway Legends Weekender’s musicians and DJs will be relaxing Medway-style. (i.e. Getting sloshed whilst listening to Jackie Mittoo, Howlin’ Wolf and The Pretty Things).
Gerald is Gerald Diffey, born in Medway, and proprietor of one of the Medway music scene’s historic landmarks; Gruts. Gruts was a one-roomed sandwich cafe, which he and his girlfriend ran on a government enterprise scheme for a year until the autumn of 1988 when they sold everything they had and cycled across Europe and Asia, before hopping on a flight to Australia. At Gruts tea was sold at 20p a cup and the place would often be full of idle layabouts (i.e. the town’s numerous musicians, poets and artists) playing chess and listening to Willie Dixon, Jimmy Reed and the Small Faces on a battered old Dansette. Billy Childish v Tim Webster over two cups of lukewarm tea and a half bottle of scotch was Medway’s Fischer/Spassky.
The Medway Legends Weekender is entirely Gerald’s brainwave. His dream to recreate a night at the legendary MIC Club c.1983 with Graham Day, Mick Hampshire, Russ Wilkins, Bruce Brand, Allan Crockford and their pals all sharing a stage once more, is about to become a reality.
He has been a Melbourne resident since 1990, where he has become a much loved and respected figure within the Melbourne food and hospitality industry. In 2007 he set up a small bar in North Carlton, a suburb a mile or two north of Melbourne’s city centre and within two years Gerald’s Bar was named as The Gourmet Traveller’s Bar of the Year (i.e. Best Bar in the whole Continent!) and continues to serve the finest booze known to humanity and play some of its best music to this day.
Two years ago Gerald and his trusty business partner Mario di Ienno set up a pop-up bar in San Sebastian’s old town before opening a permanent bar in the Gros suburb last year. Local good guy Carlos Belio (right) completes the Gerald’s Bar management team. Take a good look at this guy, he will have the answers to all of your questions and soon he will be your new best friend in San Sebastian!
Head Chef Nick Hughes is originally from Oxford and previously worked at Gordon Ramsay’s Maze restaurant. The food at Gerald’s Bar isn’t easy to tag, which is to its benefit. As Gerald says; “I don’t know how to describe our cuisine except to say we go to market, we look at nice things, and we make them into food.”
You can read Gerald’s Guide to San Sebastian from the pages of a recent Gourmet Traveller feature here. Additionally, The GT website has just published Gerald’s Guide in 35 photos. This link opens up at photo 16, which pictures the man himself at Gerald’s Bar.
Gerald’s Bar is in the Gros district just east of the town’s second bridge, at Parragirre Kalea 13, Donostia 20001. It is about 7 or 8 minutes’ walk from Dabadaba, and a leisurely 15 minute stroll from the Old Town.