Glastonbury festival, which starts next week (AH!), is actually one of my favourite eating experiences of the year. Of course I’m also there for the live music, and the anticipation of all the ‘special guests’ and ‘secret gigs’, and bands that play out of giant moving robotic platforms, and the late night kamikaze karaoke held in hidden rooms deep inside temporarily constructed ‘pleasure city’ Shangri-La , oh and climbing down rabbit holes to wonderland themed adventures, but I really mean it when I say that my excitement for the food is rival to all of these things. It’s that good.
The festival caters for so many tastes as the organisers choose traders for their diversity and suitability to the epic event. Food from all over the world is represented and varied budgets are catered for with fresh fruit stalls and bakeries on one end to gourmet dining at the Deluxe Diner in Shangri-La at the other.
Vegetarian stalls and vegan stalls are in abundance yet each one is totally different from the previous, one night you could be munching on an incredible bean burger with homemade houmous and peanut sauce from Queen Delilah (Green Fields) and the next a beautiful broccoli and tomato based brunch from Manic Organic (see below). As for the global spread, you can find West Indian, Creole, Mediterranian, Spanish, Japanese, German, French, Greek, Malay and great British dishes, some using locally sourced ingredients and even those that use products grown on site. Then I usually wash it all down with an infamous spicey warm cider, and elderflower wine, a sangria, or a cold can of red stripe.
If your off to the the festival yourself, or you just want to see what’s on offer here’s three of my favourite Glasto eateries. Remember if these aren’t your cup of tea, I can put you in touch with a few people who can recommend a fat juicy burger.
Paella from Jamon Jamon gives me the rich carb fix I need at the start of an impending hangover. Cooked in huge trays, the vats of paella look extremely tempting and each portion is warming, fresh and salty with enough zingy herbs and spicey goodness. I tend to go for the vegetarian version because, as good as the king prawns are, you need to peel them with your fingers, and glasto is not for the clean…it’s located next to the meeting point bar on the way to the acoustic tent.
PieminsterA mothership moo and blue pie saved me from what felt like certain death last year. A steak, red wine and stilton pie with proper pastry ontop served on a dollop of creamy mash with minted mushy peas, doused in red wine gravy, grated cheese and topped with some crispy shallots. Once wolfed down I could handle my next Brothers cider, which the stall is conveniently located next to (in jazz world) Double trouble but it’s well worth the queuing on both accounts.
Brunch from Manic Organic makes you feel good about yourself again. Although I have been known to take a can with me to wash down the vitamin overload, I always go away feeling ready for the day and refreshed. Crispy potatoes, juicy tomatoes, herby broccoli stuffing full of seeds and pulses and a hunk of wholemeal bread. All for about £6 a plate and you’ll be set up till sunset. It’s located in the green fields.
I also recommend:
The Tiny Tea Tent
The Tiny Tea Tent near West Holts sells approx 20 varieties of tea and coffee and some scrummy organic cakes. The cafe itself is made from recycled materials and is run on solar and wind power. It relies on its wood burning stove for heat and its randomness, funky music and quirky nature makes it a must see.
The Thali Cafe is a pop up of the Thali cafe in Bristol. It’s festival menu changes but normally they serve a good variety of yummy thali plates, pakoras, curries, salads and pickles. Another one in the green fields by the buddhist tent.
Chai Wallahs is perfect for relaxing and recovering in the day and listening to soulful beats in the night. Chai teas, turkish coffee, herbal shots, hot boozey mugs of goodness and shishas can all be enjoyed on low level sofas with big cushions. Throw in some fairy lights and you almost believe you can make it through six days in the rain.
Head to Blue Moon in West Holts for incredible cajun fries topped with vege chilli.
Goan Fish Curry
This stall on the right hand side of Jazz world does lovely spicy and really good kedgeree which they serve to the few early risers. All fish from the Goan Seafood Company is Cornish line caught.
I’m also looking forward to:
Meat Easy at the new Beat Hotel. The legendary meat wagon crew, a fab and ecclectic team who took London by storm this year with their pop up burger joint in New Cross, will be rocking at a smokey BBQ grill. Not only do I excpect incredible burgers but they create an amazing booze fuelled atmosphere backed up with ferocious beats and cheeky challenges. I cannot wait.
Any other suggestions- do let me know!
(Sadly none of these pictures are mine, click below for the credits)
Photos 1 and 3 taken from Glastonbury Festival’s official website.
Photo 2 from paellapassion.blogspot.com
Photo 4 from efestivals.co.uk (taken by user: pie_and_a_pint)
Photo 5 from http://www.daisygreenmagazine.co.uk/fashion/features/whats-new-in-the-city-july/
Photo 6 from flickr, username twak