Tuesday, 10 September 2013

The Big Feastival 2013

At the entrance of the Feastival


The Big Feastival took place nearly a fortnight ago (31 August-1 September) and keeping my fingers crossed for good weather ever since I bought my tickets, I was relieved not to have to go armed with waterproofs and wellies!  The sun really did have his hat on that weekend.


Feastival fields


Writing about the festival earlier in the summer, I was looking forward to sampling the festival's main offerings which were food and music (two of my favourite things).


Main stage

Torn between the main stage which boasted some fabulous acts (on the day I was there) - the cheeky The Cuban Brothers, Mark Owen (from Take That), KT Tunstall and The Feeling; and the Electrolux Big Kitchen featuring celebrity demos from Gizzi Erskine and The Chiappa Sisters.  My endeavours to see them all worked.


Gizzi Erskine's Demo

On the food side of the festival, true to Jamie Oliver's word, there were plenty of eateries and food traders to purchase from.


Shepherd's Purse Cheeses


The retail side was covered by lots of vendors selling artisan goods (oils, chutneys etc) in the small producers area, with some particular favourites of mine including Shepherd's Purse cheese, Oliver's Bakery London (gorgeous loaves), Greedy Goat (goat's milk ice cream) and it was also nice to see my old chums Bluebird Tea Company there too!  Beers, whiskeys and wines were all for the taking and I was of course delighted to see Pimms on draught!





Alex James' Cheeses and (above), his Cheese Hub

Alex James, as many will know, has now professionally swapped his guitar for a cheese grater and is now a cheesemonger on his farm which of course was the venue for the festival.  Although I didn't get chance to see his demo in the Cheese Hub, but I did sample a number of his 'Alex James Presents...' cheeses which are all vegetarian friendly.  Catchy names such as No.6 Goddess Guernsey and No.2 Farleigh Wallop Goat's Cheese make up his range along with a deliciously creamy blue cheese called 'Blue Monday' which I adored.  I am somewhat an uber fan of blue cheese, especially when melted on toast.....





Street Food Alley and Jamie's Pop Up Restaurant area gave everyone an opportunity to grab sustenance in between the music acts and food demos.  So many to choose from but we stopped off to sample one of Adam Henson's Pies.  We enjoyed the Sweet Potato & Goat's Cheese pie which came with a lashing of mushy peas.  Tea-time snacking came via a taste of Beirut from Yalla Yalla who were selling delicious falafel & pitta bread wraps with home-made houmous pots.



  
Yalla Yalla's stall and their Middle Eastern ingredients

For junior festival revelers, there were plenty of foods suitable for younger palettes and the Tesco tent provided learning workshops about the right kinds of food to eat.


Tesco's Tent

 
A little bit of star spotting can be embarked upon if you keep your eyes peeled and I met Gennaro Contaldo from Two Greedy Italians and 80's pop legend Tony Hadley from Spandau Ballet who were in the crowd.

This is very much a family-driven festival with something for everyone whether you are a food fan and/or a music fan, there is something for everyone.  A very ambient atmosphere perfect for those that like more relaxed events and ideal for first-time festival goers that want to ease themselves in gently to the festival scene.

 
Sun setting on Feastival

I am definitely up for going next year and hope that the sun will be generous to come out again for us.  Until then, I've got some great memories and I have my Blue Monday on Toast to enjoy.....
 
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**Special Offer - tickets for 2014 are available for a short period of time at 2013 prices.  Check The Big Feastival site for details.**










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