The Big Feastival

Last week we were lucky enough to visit The Big Feastival; a music and good food extravaganza of epic proportions. The brainchild of Jamie Oliver and Alex James of Blur fame, the event is beautifully colourful, refreshingly child friendly, and remarkably chilled out.  Hosted at Alex’s Kingham farm in the stunning Cotswolds, it’s only a short drive from Cheltenham and fortuitously across the road from the local railway station.

Felix @ Festival

Featuring multiple music stages and a plethora of delectable eating establishments, it’s like heaven in a field. My lovely wife even got to sit across a kitchen table from Raymond Blanc in one of the many talks, Q&A sessions and live demonstrations that ran throughout the event. What a way to spend a weekend. Alas we didn’t get to pitch a tent to make the most of the festivities, but thankfully there’s always next year!

We were all super impressed by the setup and layout – it’s easy to see why it’s so popular. It’s certainly a great introduction to a music festival for the younglings.

Felix & Winter

There’s just so much on offer that you find yourself wanting to graze all day. We had the joy of sampling what I have to say was the finest cheese toastie I’ve ever snaffled, crafted by the one and only Henry Herbert of Hobbs House Bakery. It’s inspiring to see something so humble elevated to gourmet heights through the introduction of a little love, thought and patience.

Winter eating a toastie

Felix and the Toastie

Hobbs House at the Big Feastival

The Feastival may be expensive, but in the scheme of things, you certainly get a lot of bang for your buck. The Feastival attracts big names in music and equally big names from the restaurant scene and culinary arts. The fact that it raises money for the Food Foundation charity is the icing on the cake for me.

Would I recommend it? Hell yes! Highlight of the year.

Oh, and you might even spot a few celebs…

Jamie and Alex

Check out the website for further info: www.jamieoliver.com/thebigfeastival/

Not All Service Stations Are Created Equal

It feels particularly odd to be writing an article about a motorway service station, but this one really is something extraordinary. The newly built facilities between junctions 12 and 11a of the M5 Northbound have been stunningly crafted to blend into the rolling countryside.  Step inside and you’ll be won-over by the beautiful architecture and plethora of fantastic local produce.  Not only are they stocking goods from 130 local suppliers (within 30 miles) and 70 regional suppliers (within 30-50 miles), but they’re fairly competitively priced too!

I’m starting to wish I commuted…

Gloucester Service Station

Why here?  Because ‘Gloucestershire and its surrounding counties are practically unrivalled in the quality and abundance of their food produce’.   

I’m so glad I popped in to satisfy my curiosity, I’m certainly feeling proud to live in Gloucestershire.

Now imagine if all motorway services were like this…

http://www.gloucesterservices.com/

produce at gloucester servicesbaked goods