If you’re attending a festival in 2019, you’re probably going to eat at some point during your time there, even if it is a stale bag of crisps unwillingly eaten with your last ration of beer.
Either way, food is becoming more and more a staple of the festival experience. Long gone are the days of hungover bacon sarnies and cheesy chips. The standards have been somewhat raised, not only in terms of the food eaten, but the way it's eaten.
With that in mind, we've tried to provide some guidance on what you should be eating at UK festivals in 2019, and most importantly, which ones you should be eating at.
What to eat: Tacos
Where: Houghton Festival
Houghton Festival has brought us some really interesting dining experiences since its inception in 2017, with a floating restaurant on their lake, where party goers (who are up to it after the 24 hour music), can reserve a gourmet dining experience in the afternoon sun.
2018 saw the addition of a pop up taco restaurant, delivered to the Norfolk countryside by the London-based El Pastor franchise. An unlikely pairing, tacos and techno, but it somehow worked. Wash it all down with some tequila (or its more on-trend sister mezcal), served in the adjoining bar.
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Please visit the link in the profile (www.houghtonfestival.co.uk/dining) to make a reservation at the restaurants on the lake. We are delighted that this year @nest_food will be joined by @tacos_el_pastor. With limited space available, advance booking will be essential #houghtonfestival
What to eat: Barbeque
Where: Smoked & Uncut (The Pig Hotels)
This collection of festivals, hosted at The Pig Hotels, is no ordinary festival experience. Each hotel is in a stunning setting, with their respective restaurant's food sourced almost completely from their gardens.
This ethos translates to the Smoked & Uncut events, who focus on local produce and providing a mouth watering selection of food, as well as a great lineup of chefs (such as Angel Hartnett, Sophie Mitchell) and music (Razorlight, Paul Carrack).
We suggest enjoying one of the sit-down feasting experiences, suitable for vegetarians, vegans and meat eaters alike (note that barbecue features heavily). And to end your day, stay in one of the hotels, and experience the true meaning of the boutique experience.
What to eat: Cheese
Where: The Big Feastival
The Big Feastival is now a firm favourite on the foodie festival calendar. It has the perfect combination of family fun, food and music, all hosted over a weekend on Alex James’ Farm in The Cotswolds.
A long standing favourite of the weekend is the Alex James Cheese Hub, supplying festival-goers with their cheese fix (courtesy of The Groucho Club) as well as great views and a party. Sit top deck and order a cheese board and a glass of wine, whilst enjoying a very eclectic mix of music.
If that’s not enough to satisfy, visit the The Cheese Bar and The Cheese Truck for talks, workshops and even more of the good stuff.
What to eat: Crayfish
This eclectic and activity-filled festival provides many opportunities for gourmet experiences such as food workshops and tasters. The food on offer here is incredibly varied, which reflects the type of festival Wilderness has become, with so much going on around the music.
Our recommendation is sampling some of the crayfish caught fresh from the lake, cooked up at the last event by Hunter Gather Cook, a cookery school focussed on foraging ingredients and educating on outdoor cookery. Try and squeeze in sunset yoga, cricket and sock wrestling amongst all the indulging.
What to eat: Crepes
There has been an increasing focus on sustainability from festivals in recent years, with Shambala leading the charge. Their dedication to sustainable solutions has heavily influenced their food selection, and they now select purely vegetarian traders to supply festival-goers.
So our pick is actually their pick, a crepe from the Bristol institution La Bonne Crepe. Not only have they removed eggs to make their crepes vegan, their recycling practices and food waste solutions made them the winner of Shambala’s Inspirational Trader Awards 2018. If you have less of a sweet tooth, eat a vegetarian curry on the beloved Bhangra Bus, Georgia.