When we heard that Jamie Oliver was organising a new festival on Clapham Common with a view to making the food as important as the music, we couldn’t wait to hear more. He promised to create a new style of event with restaurants from London taking the place of the old burger vans and pizza stalls.
When Joe and I arrived at The BigFeastival we were handed a pre-loading payment card and directed towards a long line of food stalls. As the saying goes “The proof is in the pudding” so we got stuck in. After a lot of umming and ahhing we finally began our
Summer veg taco
glutenous journey at Wahaca, an old favourite. The Mexican chain were serving summer veg tacos with courgette, sweetcorn, re-fried beans, feta, lettuce and tomato, or a pork pibil version. Both were excellent dishes full of flavour and well presented (-all dishes at the festival were served on biodegradable, environmentally-friendly palm leaf plates.).
Lamb sandwich and tofu skewers
With so many top restaurants to choose from it was tricky to pick our next stop but I settled on Providores and their New Zealand lamb sandwich while Joe went for the tofu satay skewers and roti. We took these over to the 30ft mismatched dining table to enjoy. The lamb was beautifully cooked but all flavour was overpowered by an overly generous portion of minted yoghurt. The tofu skewers on the other hand were a tasty treat with a smokey and spicy satay sauce.
The Feastival’s website stated that there would be “plenty of tasty food if you’re vegetarian of vegan”, which we sound found wasn’t quite true. Many of the stalls we went to had no veggie option at all. This included Jamie’s own restaurant, Fifteen, where the chefs offered Joe a lemon as the closest thing to a vegetarian dish! It seems a lot of stalls had overlooked the increasing demand for vegetarian dishes but they did promise some for the next two days.
Having chosen the best meal it was only fair to pick out the worst. After hearing such good things about Four o Nine we couldn’t wait to try their food. With an excellent list of ingredients the Sardinian pasta salad should have been top of the bill, but with the extra half kilo of salt (ish) it lost all appeal.
Our feast was brought to a spectacular end with a visit to Cinnamon Kitchen. Their main restaurant is currently offering a mango inspired menu and the chef’s brought along a taster or mango mousse with a mango mint salad. With all feastival dishes at £5 a pop this seemed a little pricey at first but it was quickly justified. This creamy and sweet desert was a definite highlight of the day.
After a few teething problems with the pre-loading cards and the lack of veggie options the Big Feastival got off to a poor start. But over the day it made up for this with a great family atmosphere and entertainment for all. We can’t wait until next year!