*If you haven’t already read part one of this blog post lovingly and uniquely titled “The feast Collective; Camp Bestival (Saturday)“, you might want to head there first. Or you might not. Whatever. I’m not here to tell you what to do. Just enjoy yourself… *
So it’s our second day at Camp Bestival. Yesterday was amazing, exhausting, delicious and educational (to say the least!). The sun woke us up around 7.30am. We brushed our teeth, avoided the toilets as much as we could, and made our way over to the Hotpoint Festival demo kitchen next to the Feast Collective tent where head chef Ben Cooke of The Little Gloster restaurant on the Isle of Wight was doing a “How To Poach An Egg” brunch demo using the Hotpoint one touch hob (my boyfriend has one like it in his flat – it’s super quick at heating up!). Sadly I wasn’t aware that you needed to book yourself in for this demo if you wanted to actually eat any of the brunch dishes (variations on my all time brunch favourite, Egg Benedict) so we just sat at the back and watched. Ben shared some great poaching tips, presentation tips (I think he called that little excess trail of egg white that sometimes flops off the edge “egg snot” – you should always remove that!) and shared his opinions of baby leaf and full leaf spinach (always go full leaf – it’s a lot better), before we found ourselves too hungry to carry on watching so went off in search of a breakfast we could actually eat!
Next door in the Farmers Market tent it was pastries, pies and baked good galore! We were so spoilt for choice it took us almost twenty minutes to decide what it was we wanted.
Eventually Emma opted for the best shortbread biscuit I have ever tried in my life from a stand whose name I am horrified to admit, completely escapes me now! Bad form on my part for forgetting – if you recognise the delights pictured below and can remember who made them, please post a comment so I can give them the credit they deserve! The biscuit was buttery, crumbly, sugary and practically perfect in every way, and only £1! Unfortunately everyone else at the festival realised how good these biscuits were because when I went back later to get one for myself they had sold out. Gutting!
I did however treat myself to a chai latte from the Dorset Coffee Company, and then proceeded to buy our parents a few treats too, including bought a lemon curd tart (which sadly god schmushed in my bag so I HAD to eat it myself – it was INCREDIBLE), a raspberry creme brûlée and a goats cheese, sweet potato and pesto tarte tatin, all from the stand whose name eludes me!
We went and found ourselves a comfy spot over in the Guardian Literary tent following breakfast, catching the end of a talk on how to stop washing your hair by blogger Lucy AitkinRead (a lot of the tips involved food so I was all ears!) before sitting through a Q&A session with musician and song writer Ella Eyre on her song writing process, which was actually really interesting. I haven’t given song writing a go since I was a kid, and even though I left the talk inspired to write, I don’t think music is the route forward for me. Though I am now going to give Ella’s new album a listen – she’s a very bright young thing.
Our final meal was upon us (we had traffic to beat and I needed to be back in London for work the next day so we weren’t going to be having dinner) and so I had the chance to use up my last press voucher at Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen (whose supper club I attended at last year’s Camp Bestival) – again Emma was more than happy to give it all a try, so we ordered a “big plate of everything” (£10) which included jollof rice (a tomato based sauce) kelewele plantain chips (seasoned with nutmeg and cinnamon) red spicy beans (made with a secret ingredient) and some fried jollof chicken. Topped with a shellfish sauce (similar in taste to a marie rose), onions and chilli. While Ghanian food isn’t necessarily my favourite cuisine, the flavours in this big plate are so powerful, unique and well put together, you can’t help but enjoy everything you are served. The chicken especially was tender yet crisp, the plantain sweet and the beans with just the right amount of spice.
We had time for one last visit to the Hotpoint Demo Kitchen (safer now that we had full tummies) and had the chance to watch 2008 Masterchef winner James Nathan show us how to prepare a fish dish and a peach dessert using fresh, wild ingredients. Since he won the amateur show he has developed as a chef by immersing himself in some amazing restaurants. The inspirational kitchens he has worked in include Le Gavroche, Bentleys Oyster Bar, The Bath Priory, Gidleigh Park, Bras (France), and The Seafood Restaurant, Padstow. Each of these destinations has helped hone his skills so that he is now a polished professional. He’s a compelling man to listen to and watch cook. He is clearly passionate about his cooking and his ingredients. He now owns his own restaurant, The Green Room down in Cornwall, and I left desperate for a reservation and the chance to try his stunning food.
And then it was time to go home. We packed up our tent (which took much longer to pack than assemble!) and headed back to the car. Annoyingly I hadn’t charged my phone enough so my SatNav died about half way home… so we took the very scenic route home (past Stone Henge). Emma slept the entire way (lucky for some) and I day dreamed the whole journey of the amazing food we had eaten over the weekend.
Thank you to Camp Bestival for inviting me down to Lulworth for a weekend I am still recovering from. I am a few pounds heavier, still a little bit cranky for my lack of sleep, but both Emma and I had a wonderful time. Early bird tickets to next year’s Camp Bestival go on sale THIS FRIDAY! Click here to grab yours. There are only a limited number of early bird tickets available, so be sure to act quick!