Camp Bestival

A few weeks ago Gerard from I Knit asked me to help out on the knitting tent at Camp Bestival. At first I was a little hesitant as I’m not really sure I’m the camping type. But I said yes, and it was the best decision I’ve ever made. I had an absolute ball.

I only took my little camera with me and it turns out I completely forgot about it most of the time, and didn’t take many photos at all.

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The set-up was really quite beautiful so I wish I had taken more pictures.

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On the first night we ate from disposable bbqs. I had some buy one get one free veggie alternatives from Morrisons. The sausages cooked over charcoal really did taste great, proper camping-style with 45p white toast bread and a generous squirt of tomato sauce. There is something immensely satisfying about cooking outdoors, that primitive “Make fire. Cook meat” impulse.

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In terms of other festival food, I couldn’t wait to try the offerings over at the River Cottage Cafe. Hugh Fearnley-Whatsit wrote a piece in the festival programme about how often, the only vege alternative at festivals is veggie burgers. He would, however, be offering some kind of beetroot hoummous wrap thingy. Then on his website (I just checked) he mentions something about goat cheese. All very promising. But when I turned up to his stall, what were they cooking? Bloody vege burgers. Not actual burgers, mind, but a few bits of slimy roast vegetables in a bun. Apparently there was also supposed to be salad and a tsatsiki-style sauce in the bun as well, but they forgot to put mine in and I had to ask for it. It was bland and disappointing.

The best food I tried was from the Mash Shack, and I got quite addicted to their bubble and squeak with beans and vege bangers. Good hearty food to keep you going through a busy work day.

I somehow never got around to visiting Chocstar, where I later found out MsMarmitelover was working. It would have been good to say hello.

Speaking of work, we worked hard all weekend teaching people how to knit and finger knit. It is actually really intense work as you really have to focus hard all the time. But it was supremely rewarding to be able to pass on a new skill to people, and see the light in their eyes when they “got it”. We definitely created a few new addicts. There is a video of our fun here.

On the way home we stopped at the Popham Little Chef, the one transformed by Heston Blumenthal. At first we were slightly disappointed as they were out of the mixture to make scrambled eggs and omelette. They had a kitchen full of proper eggs but weren’t allowed to make us omelettes with them. Gerard and I ended up opting for the kippers instead, and all was forgiven as they were delicious. We also blagged extra toast to make up for it. I was a little outraged however when I ordered extra mushrooms for £1, and got one. measly. slow cooked. mushroom. £1! For a mushroom! The orange juice was slightly pricey too, but it was freshly squeezed and tasted amazing. Still can’t get over that £1 mushroom though. Ness ordered extra tomatoes too and only got one. (I just checked the menu and Ness’s meal – the Olympic Breakfast – was supposed to come with a tomato, yet she was charged extra for it. Sigh.)

I would go back to the Popham Little Chef. I’d just remember not to order any extras. And check the bill carefully.

We were given Jelly Belly sweets on our exit, which provided some fun in the car as I fed them to Gerard and he attempted to divine the flavours: “Definitely coconut. Yes. Or maybe cream soda. No, it’s coconut”.

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