Many moons ago, I went to V Festival and ate nothing but a greasy burger, chips and a pot noodle all weekend. Festival food was grim, but fast forward 13 years and going to Festival Number 6 in Portmeirion is something of a gastronomic feast.
It says something about me that when I am on a festival website planning who to see, I spend as much (more) time checking out what the food and drink offer is going to be! I arrived in that glorious corner of north Wales having earmarked a couple of street food stalls and producers which I wanted to try and checked the map to see where I could snack!
A new area which was home to a market of small traders and also some bigger sponsors, the Village Green was a chilled out place to stop and eat. Our first meal of the stay was one of my ear marked traders. Freshly made scotch eggs with sweet potato fries were a promising start from Village Deli. The yoke should have been runnier but there was no denying the flavour.
Gaia Pulses were also based there. Selling much needed pulse based stews and soups they also had a delicious feta and spinach filo pie. There’s also a stall selling fresh fruit. Sounds daft, but when you eat so well all weekend, it’s a good thing to be able to go and pick up a banana or two!
Probably the biggest shock in this area was a massive Nespresso coffee shop. It was the slickest temporary build I have ever seen, and they were handing out free espresso and sales patter all weekend. Needless to say my husband took advantage!
The majority of food on offer was in the main arena. My absolute food star of the weekend was without a doubt The Pembrokeshire Beach Food Company. I’d planned to check out Burger and Lobster but when I saw these guys and tried the food I ended up eating everything on the menu! They served up crab rolls, lobster rolls and calamari- all sustainably caught off the Pembrokeshire coast and served with salad and fries. You also get seaweed seasoning which was delicious and we’ve just ordered some from their website so we can recreate the deliciousness at home. The crab rolls were packed with fresh crabmeat, and the lobster brioche rolls were full of meaty, buttery chunks.
Ghandi’s FlipFlop was a hit with us again – we practically lived off their food the previous year. There was an amazing smokehouse practically next door to the beach hut (if anyone can supply the company name I’d love to know). The brisket was a-ma-zing and I was really impressed with the perfectly seasoned potato wedges too.
Belvoir cordials were a bit of a star as well. I was apprehensive about getting through the weekend without a drink, but Belvoir let you sample as many flavours as you liked before buying them by the pint. Mango and peach with sparkling water was my combo of choice. Incidentally, did you know, it’s pronounced beever? Stop sniggering at the back! Speaking of beverages, all of the tonic water was Fever-Tree and I had my first (second and third) bubble tea from Cupp which was weird but tasty and addictive. I’m not even sure if there was actual tea in the fruity concoctions.
As well as great food stalls, serious foodies could head over to the estuary for long table banquets where top notch chefs cook amazing food. We haven’t done this yet, but if I can talk Andrew into it next year, I will!
I can’t write without talking about the festival itself. Portmeirion is the perfect place for a festival which promises to be a bit out of the ordinary. We raved in the woods, walked on a secluded beach, rocked to bands we’d never heard of and some we had – Mark Ronson did a brilliant DJ set which should’ve been much longer, everyone loved James and I just adored the bonkers brilliance of Grace Jones (she must’ve been chilly though!).
Festival Number 6 is a well considered event which, with a few tweaks to toilets (they were not great this year), is my ideal weekend away – music, talks, comedy, great food and great views. Which is why I’ve already booked my tickets for next year – and will be taking my eating pants back again!