festival

Bigfoot Festival, Ragley Hall.

#AD

The hashtag bit above tells you every bit you need to know about the following post. In the effort of full honesty, no I’m not being paid to write this, but yes, should you find yourself purchasing tickets using the link at the bottom, I’ll make a few quid. I don’t make a habit of doing this, and if you want to turn off now that’s fine. Or you can stay and read about what will likely be one of the funnest festivals of the year. I could cut and copy the press release, but I won’t because if you’ve come here to read someone else’s words I’ve well and truly fucked it. Instead, let me tell you about the bits I think you’ll want to know about, in the order that I think you’ll appreciate them in: food, then drink at the top, going all the way to a fad called ‘yoga’ (I believe it’s pronounced ‘yogi’) at the bottom. I should probably mention now that it takes place on 19-21st June, so if you’re busy on those dates, I’m sorry for wasting your time but probably best for you to carry on with your day as usual.

So food. I’m guessing as you’re on a food blog you like food. I do too, allegedly. Big Foot are killing it with the food. Like your festivals to be punctuated with world class dining? Me too. How about pre-bookable dining with Matt Orlando from trailblazing Copenhagen restaurant, Amass? Or Shoreditch’s finest Two Lights (hopefully) bringing their legendary fried chicken to the party, or Doug McMaster bringing his Silo vibe? Fine dining; tick. Next you’ll need something for the inevitable hangovers, to which I’m going to suggest burgers from Brum’s own Original Patty Men, or the capital’s Patty & Bun. You’ll likely find me working through the menu at 10 Greek Street, or getting my morning caffeine fix at Dough & Brew. With more to be announced the food is looking great.

Drinks time. You’ll need hydration for the heatwave we’ll 100%* be having (*this is not a guarantee). Bigfoot have got you, but then that was always going to be the case given it’s from the team behind Beer Central. Forty world class breweries, winemakers, and distillers bringing various ABV’s to the bash. The names on the guest list include Verdant, Northern Monk, Four Pillars Gin, and Ancestral Wines. It’s a festival so breakfast beers are actively encouraged.

The soundtrack to this weekend is supplied from the likes of Little Dragon, Fat White Family, and Hot Chip Megamix, with DJ sets from Maribou State amongst many others who’ll keep you dancing until the wee hours. Then, when you’ve overdone it, you can hang out with my girlfriend in the wellness tent doing the likes of meditation, tarot cards, and sunrise yoga & smoothies, which sounds almost as good as ‘Pilates and Prosecco’. A government register prevents me from telling you about the family section, though I can tell you that for grown-ups they have hot tubs and morning swim clubs, as well as cinema, tree climbing, shuffleboard and much, much more. It should be the summer’s most eclectic, food and drink forward festival. I personally can’t wait. And for those who do attend, you’ll find me with a large gin and tonic in hand, attending hip-hop yoga.

Get your tickets here

Independent Birmingham Festival, 2019

I think this Independent Birmingham Festival was my favourite so far. It may have been the excellent company we kept, the stream of friends we bumped into continually throughout the day, or the fact that I was very tipsy by 1pm on the Saturday, but they really nailed it. Here is a super quick post on what we ate and drank at this celebration of the wonderful independents in this great city.

Buddha Belly. <

I’m mentioning this first because the sight of Momma Buddha Belly cooking with Sai melted this cold heart. A slightly different menu this time which we dived straight in to. The more familiar Southern Thai curry was ordered with salmon fish cakes and an outrageous beef noodle broth not dissimilar to a pho. Seriously classy Thai food. It’s impossible to not love Buddha Belly, even when I'm on strict instructions to not swear.

Baked in Brick.

Lee decided to spit roast an entire lamb for this event, which took me back almost twenty years to when we used to party together. We had a hybrid dish of the lamb meat with mac’n’cheese, salsa verde, crispy potatoes cooked in lamb fat, a Yorkshire pudding and gravy. The salsa verde was insane, as was the quality of the meat. Claire drank gravy from the Yorkshire pudding because that’s what Northeners do. Mental.

 18/81.

Because we have very good taste. Claire’s was a profanity laden one that tasted of pumpkin spice, I had the off-menu Dead Rabbit Irish Coffee. I lie. I had three of them. Because we have very good taste.

Loki.

A delicious fizzy pink wine which tasted of tip-tops. Drank two bottles so must have been good.

Zindiya.

You may be aware that I live very close to these guys. I may have had a Deliveroo from them the night before. Still never stopped me eating a chicken tikka kati roll and samosa chaat. Huge amounts of flavour in everything they do.

El Borracho de Oro. </

They had a very attractive looking paella on the go, though it wasn’t ready so we changed tactics and went with patatas bravas and ham croquettes. It was a good choice. Both were crazy good.

Original Patty Men.

I have mad love for the burgers from these gents. The one I had with chorizo was as good as burgers get.

Waylands Yard.

Eggy crumpets. Halloumi. Chilli sauce. Call the fire brigade; this is absolute flames.

There were also custard tarts from Salcooks, plenty of gin at Jekyl and Hyde, and cakes from Bake. There were dogs, more dogs, live music, the best in local businesses, and more dogs. I think that someone complimented me on my coat, but I was pissed by then so they could have been calling me something far less polite. Most of all it was full of Brummies celebrating the best of Brum; sticking two fingers up to anyone who says otherwise. I had the best weekend there. I can’t wait for the next one.

In keeping with the Best of Brum, A2B got us there and back.