Posts Tagged ‘Milk’

I have noticed that a lot of the popular food blogs write predominantly about the same restaurants that are opening, the same food events that they have been invited to. And as much as I like to read about these, it was seems slightly cliquey sometimes, and besides, I do not live in London.  So instead, being a student, and pretty averse to dining out anywhere for over a tenner unless it is a very important event (i.e. birthdays…yes that pretty much covers the term ‘important’), I’m going to blog on the wonders of festival eating instead.

Festivals. The illusion of rolling out of a mouldy smelling tent, onto damp grass (or due to the proximity of pitch – into someone else’s tent…) and dragging yourself from the previous nights excesses into an absolute air of hunger. It isn’t sophisticated, I am not trying to pretend there is glamour in this type of eating, but nonetheless, we minions must eat. And believe it or not, good food is available for those of us (and there are a few) who are willing (and/or able) to find it.

I went to Glastonbury this year for the first time in quite a few, and having been there a number of times with my parents when I was little, had vivid memories only of the food being on a standard slightly above school dinners. I must explain that my parents used to work for Oxfam on the fields, which meant free dinner tickets in the workers tent; which also meant a lot of soya milk and baked beans – both of which to this day I still cannot stand

However this year I really was impressed by general quality and variety of food stalls, and even more so by the prices – which, at around £6 a main meal really was not bad at all. Festival food in general has a reputation for pretty average burger vans and not much else, when in fact there are a number of popular eateries dotted around the country that now go on festival tours each summer. Maybe to promote their brand and gain recognition, maybe just to make money (they deserve credit – working flat out noon til night over a grill in dying heat as they did this year ) ; whatever the reason I am so glad they do.

Take for example my favourite of them at Glasto – Thali Café. A stall which I discovered on the first day of hunger pangs as it happened to be near my (badly pitched) tent. Serving up good portions of curry and popodoms, it must have made a killing, but it kept me happily supplied for a few days. So imagine my surprise when I stumbled across the fact it had won “best takeaway” at the BBC radio 4 Food and Farming awards on my entrance back into the real world the week after. Actually surprise is not quite the right word, my taste buds knew it was good, its just you don’t imagine festival stalls to actually be places people eat at in the real world.

Granted, Glasto has an ethical backbone, and therefore the stalls tend to reflect this in their food, however other festivals are increasingly followed suit.

The festival food stereotype has well and truly left this country, so get your wellies* out and go see some music with a lovely bit of grub.

I recommend the following if you are at a festival and happen to see them:

Thali Cafe – YUM!

The Soulful Food Company – Couldn’t find a website but I think this is what it was called? Serving ethically conscience main meals – I had free range turkey meatballs and rice

Tea & Toast- in a beautiful little camper van decorated with flowers serving as the name suggests…

Square Pie – Obviously because Pie is God.

And if you get thirsty (inbetween the cider!): The Orchard Pig – lovely apple juice based drinks but may only do Glasto

And of course, only at Glasto – The Milk Lorry. 80p a pint of COLD white stuff and an absolute morning lifesaver. Definately well appreciated by many, including myself.


(*Stereotype no.2 – festival essentials = wellies AND sun cream (no really, follow my words of wisdom and make sure you cover both these bases on packing)

Photo credits: John Cleur and Clare Waddington – Glasto Website. Better pictures than I managed that weekend – Kudos.


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