The Big Feastival

This bank holiday weekend I headed up to the Cotswolds to visit my lovely best friend Sofia and her boyfriend and on Saturday we all headed down to Alex James farm for The Big Feastival, which my friend Shalina helps organise. Over the last few years it’s become a bit of an annual tradition for me to head to The Big Festival with friends and this year we were incredibly lucky to have beautiful weather with the sun shining, no rain in sight and it just being lovely and warm for most of the day. 


As we arrived around lunchtime, we were already pretty hungry so we were in the ideal location, the only problem was deciding what to eat. We treated ourselves to Lobster and chips, which was exactly what we needed and for me it signalled a day of delicious food and fun!

These vegan maki rolls were so good. This one was BBQ ‘duck’ and we would never have guessed they were vegan. My friends reliably informed me the taste and texture was just like BBQ duck as I’d never had the real thing.

The cheese toastie from Hobbs House Bakery was the best I’ve had. Made on sourdough bread with cheddar and leeks it just delicious and the sourdough bread was just perfection.

Festival favourites: my Topshop yellow raincoat and my Olympus Pen
Expresso Martini and a sit down in the Lavazza Coffee hut

Getting to see Grandmaster Flash, Ella Eyre and Dizzie Rascal at Feastival was such a highlight. We had a lot of fun dancing away to Grandmaster Flash’s set, so many favourite old skool tunes and Ella Eyre was so good. She’d released her album: Feline on Friday so Festival was her first album release gig and it was incredible to see her live, as I love so many of her tunes. I’ve already downloaded her album on Spotify. I have to admit I was also happy to have the chance to get my floral wellies and yellow Topshop rain mac out. Can’t be anything but cheery when wearing my festival outfit.

Another highlight were the cookery demos. We were lucky enough to get see Deliciously Ella and Olivia Wollenburg  cook up raw chocolate orange brownies. The Deliciously Ella cookbook is one of favourite cookbooks at the moment so it was lovely to see the healthy eating ethos behind the book live in action.

We also got to see Ashley Palmer-Watts, head chef at Dinner By Heston Blumenthal at the Mandarin Oriental, Hyde Park. The cookery demo was entertaining with a fire on stage to smoke the snails for the dish and it was interesting to hear Ashely’s tales of working at The Fat Duke.

I discovered Wool and the Gang a few years ago in New York and recently went to one of their knitting parties in London, so I was very excited to see Wool and the Gang at Big Festival, selling knitted goods and the knitting sets as well as having a knitting workshop in the Cheese Hub.

I really want one of these for the garden!

Food and Bhangra beats

Beautiful Sunset over Feastival

With the evening came lots of Funfair fun! I have to admit, I’m a bit of a scaredy cat when it comes to rides, but I did brave the Ferris Wheel, apparently the oldest one in the UK (this didn’t really reassure me I have to say). There were a few ‘interesting’ moments though, such as when we stopped with me at the top to let people on and my seat started rocking…..eek….but on the plus side I had an incredible ariel view of Dizzie Rascal live on stage which was an pretty amazing way to end the day at Big Feastival.

Definitely one of the best Big Feastival experiences so far!

Jx

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The Big Feastival

Before Bestival hit this Summer, there was The Big Feastival, the food & music festival founded by Jamie Oliver & Alex James, with the festival being held on Alex James’ farm in the Cotswolds.

Big Feastival is in its third year in the Cotswolds. It’s a such a fun, family friendly festival combining my favourite things; great food & great music all in one place! 

I went along with a group of friends, a mix of adults & children & Big Feastival is the perfect family friendly festival. Among the varied food & drink stalls are fairground rides & bubble vendors (both Champagne & childhood bubbles) so there is definitely something to keep everyone entertained.

There is the option to camp out at Big Feastival with glamping facilities too (I was reliably informed that glamping includes a blowdry bar/tent) or like us you can go for the day. 

I had a fantastic time sampling a lot of delicious food and we were easily spoiled for choice. I experienced my first ever vegetarian ‘hotdog’ from Popdogs, the perfect thing after the car journey to Big Feastival. The veggie hotdog was a tasty Glamorgan sausage, Leeky & lovely & with the combination of pickles, mustard & tomato chutney the difficult part was not making a terrible mess as I wolfed it down! 

Between us, we kept up a pretty constant supply & consumption of Churros! As naughty as they are, I adore Churros & I have to say the ones from Los Churros Amigos are one of the best I’ve tried outside of Spain. 

Going for the just the day still gave us plenty of opportunity to try out a lot of amazing food. I had some delicious salt fish dumplings which again was a new thing for me. The dumplings were so moreish, I could have eaten a whole lot more. My friends loved the Japanese Chicken Nuggets, they definitely went down well, with some saying they were their favourite food of the festival. 

If you’re a Cheese lover, Big Feastival is definitely a good festival for you. There is a lot of cheese to sample & take home with you and Alex James’ Cheese Hub is a Cheese lover’s haven! 

I had an absolutely awesome time at Big Feastival. I got to try new foods & experience different tastes & flavours, I met the very lovely & not scary at all Chef Monica Galetti from Masterchef the Professionals who loved my floral ‘Gumboots’ & the music line up was amazing!! We got to see Laura Mvula, Kelis & a live set by Fat Boy Slim which blew us away!!

What’s been your favourite festival experience of the year?

Jx

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