Matt and Cat\'s Isle of Wight Eating Out Guide
By this year’s Bestival correspondent, Ian Winter. Our regular Festival food reviewer Wendy was busy enjoying the event this year; so Ian, who managed...

By this year’s Bestival correspondent, Ian Winter. Our regular Festival food reviewer Wendy was busy enjoying the event this year; so Ian, who managed to eat an impressively large amount of food, agreed that Matt and Cat could pillage his Twitter and Facebook feeds for the following overview, which long-standing readers will notice differs both in style and subtlety from Wendy’s usual offering.

Bestival Food 2013

Recalibrating my inners after a weekend dining al fresco on festi-food.

  • One almost-cold hamburger from Gourmet Burger Kitchen (they are clueless, avoid).
  • One milk-shake mixed with Dime Bar (sorry, “Daim Bar®”).
  • Coffee + cake + wasp-garnish from a lady in a basque decorated with costume jewellery who told me to stop hitting the wasps because then they sting the staff.
  • To the Women’s Institute Tea Tent for tea and cake (basque-count: nil).
  • A very lovely curry from the farmers’ market.
  • From same place later, “Ooh, pork pies, £2, my comfort-food of choice” and turns out it’s as big as my hand, awesome treat, which I eat like a total f—— pig alone on a bench like a famished tramp.
  • A little tray of chips (Sea Cow) “round the back” of Elton John.
  • A freshly griddled waffle with maple syrup and “do you want squirty cream with that?”… “yes I DO!”
  • One coffee drunk carefully on a bean-bag and two more on the hoof.
  • Two hot crumpets with raspberry jam carefully smeared on from a jar in the dark (£2 but actually a bargain, counted as a whole meal).
  • Two cuppas (one free after a drunk walked THROUGH my table spilling my tea, picture the suppressed tears of my inner toddler).
  • No pies at all. Boycotting Pie Minister because of their appalling re-branded logo treatment, I have standards. Used to love them, now inspire graphic-design-fuelled contempt (nobody said I have to be reasonable here). Also avoiding Barnaby Sykes as they’re a faux-artisan front for plain old Pure Pie and I don’t like the taste of cynical marketing in my meat-and-mash. Even when others tell me they’re damn tasty.
  • Some utterly delicious popcorn from Joe & Sephs (caramel, macchiato & whisky flavour).
  • A disappointing visit to the Solace tent, which is run by little loveable Christian bunnies with happy smiles and I suspect a darkly disciplinarian leader, where I usually get FREE CAKE and therefore FIND JEEEESUS; but no cake this year so b—–r The Lord, the W.I. are my new saviours. Solace cake is meagre, and they were not open late as other years.
  • An ice-cream from a proper van.
  • One bottle of water.

…and no alcohol at all, which will be news to the people who were pointing me out to their friends and pulling their children back as I danced BRILLIANTLY to high-BPM East European folkcore in the Caravanserai.

Don’t judge me, just help me get up.

  • Sam says:

    Just having a look at the site for good places to eat and fell upon Ian’s comment about the Solace tent at the Bestival….putting my own religious beliefs aside (im not a church goer), his comments were a little harsh if not patronizing and maybe are more of an indication of his own beliefs about Christianity.
    The lovely chaps who work at Solace, free of charge and in their own time are defo not slaves to a ‘darkly disciplinarian leader’…There’s nothing better than hiking up to the tent for a bit of ‘solace’ and chilling out with a lovely cuppa and a slice of cake and yes it’s free which is a bonus!
    Plus lots of lovely Isle of Wight folk get involved and bake bake bake for free so us festival goers can get some well earned cake.
    Maybe Ian just simply hasn’t quite grasped the point of the Solace tent?
    Moan over!

  • Becky says:

    Shout-out for the cake in Caravanserai: chocolate orange, moist and lovely (and gluten-free too, for those who need that kind of thing), and chocolate CHILLI and orange, which had a satisfying slab of dark chocolate icing on top.

  • vintage vacations says:

    ooooo we had much fun at Caravanserai (best Mojitos too) ….. like Wendy we went straight back to Peckish Peacock – delighted to see them there ….. delicious!

  • Wendy V says:

    The Peckish Peacock’s £8 Special of spinach and chickpea curry, rice, pakoras and mini poppadoms has been the holy grail of festival food for me this year. Heavenly.

    I was pleased to see Fare Share South West running their Surplus Supper Club at Bestival. My son and I tried it at Camp Bestival in Dorset in July and had a mighty fine, sociable dinner. I also tried out the Soup Library at Camp Bestival and noticed it pop up at Bestival, too. Hearty soups with bread for a fiver, on tables strewn with books to browse. Soup + books. Can’t go wrong!

  • mattdawhit says:
    Bestival 2013 (c) mattdawhit

    Great Pie Minister Heidi pie, I had it as a mothership for £8!

    Mothership =

    • Heidi pie (goats cheese & sweet potato)
    • Mash
    • Gravy
    • Mushy Peas
    • Grated cheddar
    • Fried shallots

    Whilst the pie was good, I was convinced the gravy wasn’t as good as previous years. I bought another on Sunday with just mash and gravy. Definitely cheaper, nastier bistoesque gravy: a far call from the delicious red wine filled groovy gravy of Bestivals past.

    No photo, but the undoubted hit of the Bestival food wise was the fabulous (and somehow overlooked) From the Mountain – Swiss après ski stodge full of delicious flavour: perfect for warming up when the air chills and sufficient carbs to eat, sleep, rave, repeat.

    Vegi tartiflette was superb, gnocci perfectly al dente and I wish I’d had some spätzle too!

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