Jamie Oliver’s Big Feastival the only family-friendly festival you need (review).

Highs for the kids at Big Feastival 2013

Call me Victor Meldrew if you will, but most of the time I enjoy staying at home. I like my own company, my family (though if you tell my sister I said that I will shoot you with my best stick), and just hanging out with my toys. Going out is – well, it’s hard work to be honest: getting dressed, putting shoes on, walking, all of those things are just an irritation, and I prefer to be getting on with life. But on Sunday I was actually keen to leave the house. I surprised everyone, including myself by looking forward to a day at The Big Feastival.

Oldest travelling ferris wheel at Jamie Oliver's Big Feastival

Our review of The Big Feastival:

2013-09-01 Big Feastival 004

I like my food, and I knew there would likely be some magnificent samples at The Big Feastival. This tray of macarons is just one such delight we found, and given that my sister is the world’s biggest fan of the macaron (to the point where she blackmailed Mummy into making some for the Great Blogger’s Bake Off) you can imagine how much time we spent gazing at this tray, despite the wasps.

The food at the Big Feastival, it’s what you go for, no?

Well yes; as a lover of chilli squid I was looking forward to the food almost as much as Mummy, and I pretty much made my lunch of the treats I was offered to sample. Chilli oil, Alex James’s cheese, salamis, 29 million different varieties of brownie, and the most awesome fudge we’ve ever tasted from the Yum Yum Tree. What food we did buy was really reasonably priced, according to Mummy, so I feasted on cheese and olive bread, and a giant scotch egg (never buying those dinky naff things from the supermarket again – I demand proper scotch eggs)! With Bear YoYo’s for pudding, and smoothies at Β£1 for 2, Mummy was satisfied that we’d had our vitamins, and we were allowed to buy a bag of very naughty but nice pork scratchings πŸ˜‰

Awesome food and drink ideas at The Big Feastival

Whilst Daddy swooned over the Weber BBQ’s, Mummy feigned nonchalance (he’s getting one for his birthday) and tried hunting down Mammasaurus Blog at the Gin and Tonic bar. There was fresh trout to buy and slap on a BBQ – genius idea, and way cheaper than the much less tasty stuff we’ve eaten at other festivals. There was local cider, micro-brewed ales, and the Birra Moretti tent, which provided a superb vantage point for the stage, as well as some top-notch “pulled chicken in a beer can” baps. In fact, Daddy was pretty astute in parking us all there for K T Tunstall’s set. Beer, food, and entertainment for the kids – I’m told that’s what adults go crazy for:

Entertainment for the kids at The Big Feastival

There was any number of food demonstrations we could have gone to, including Jamie Oliver himself – we missed him though and by the time we’d realised, he was moshing on stage to the Cuban Brothers! Tesco kept us well supplied with fruit while we learned to make tomato muffins, and Punch and Judy kept us entertained while M&D drank cider (yes I saw you, don’t try to deny it).

The music at The Big Feastival

We’ve been to other family-friendly festivals, but never found one that keeps the adults happy as well as the children. When M&D first met, they were festival goers, attending the V Festival, and T In the Park quite regularly. They’ve missed the atmosphere and the opportunity to see current bands live, and with The Basement Jaxx, Rizzle Kicks, Mark Owen and The Feeling, they were occupied and well-behaved, giving me and my sister some peace to play uninterrupted by their unreasonable demands πŸ˜‰ The only time they whined was when designated driving and tiredness prompted them to declare home-time. Next year we’re definitely camping!

Camping at Jamie Oliver's Big Feastival?

How awesome are these colourful teepees? Really simple to make too, and a perfect activity for the school holidays – check out this tutorial to make a yarn teepee.

I did get grumpy at one point – when we left. Shame Mummy didn’t make the most of this photo opportunity on arrival:

The Big Feastival - a review

* Helen says: disclosure we had press tickets to The Big Feastival, although we made a donation to The Jamie Oliver Foundation:

β€œMy charity aims to inspire people to reconnect with food. It’s all about raising awareness and individual responsibility, resuscitating dying food culture around the world and, ultimately, keeping cooking skills alive.” Jamie Oliver.

There has been a lot of controversy around Jamie’s approach and attitude lately, but I for one applaud his no-nonsense attitude to food education, and so what if he uses a bit too much olive oil? It’s all down to your own personal preference – what matters is that Britain gets cooking, and teaching our children that at a young age can only improve the health of the nation. Nobody’s perfect, but I don’t see any other high profile figures trying to change the way we eat!

More Feastival reviews:

More family-friendly festivals:


36 thoughts on “Jamie Oliver’s Big Feastival the only family-friendly festival you need (review).”

  1. I love the look of this every year. I always love the write ups in the glossies. If it was nearer I’d go. We’ve got a similar thing on tomorrow (no Jamie or Alex unfortunately!) but our local chefs and bands and lots of fun I’m sure!

    Glad you had fun Bug! πŸ™‚ x

  2. Love your pictures, particularly the macaroons (my fav too) and the colourful tents! It was a wonderful weekend at the Feastival. I wouldn’t mind going again but this time I’ll drag all my family with me!

    Thanks for linking me!!!

  3. I went with my husband on Saturday and had a lovely day. We’ll have to take our youngest next time as he’s a real foodie. (The teen wouldn’t come with us as that would be far too embarrassing.)

  4. Booking tickets for next year if only for the pulled chicken beer can spectacular! May also sample some home brew just to be social.

  5. I am so jealous that we don’t have many things like this over here. I’d go for the macarons alone, never mind gin, cider, cheese…….ooooooooooh I’m drooling. This is the kind of day out I’d love.

  6. I love festivals! Trying new food is probably the best thing about them, though I would have to pass on the chili squid (I’m allergic to squid). The gin & tonic bar would be fun a good place to rest ones weary feet.

  7. We took out little one there last weekend and I have to say it was a fantastic festival to take kids to. We were also lucky enough to have free tickets, due to my involvement with the Pimm’s garden through work – we camped for the whole weekend which was fantastic, but value for money wise, I would struggle to pay the Β£275 it would have cost for the three of us. Needless to say, the food was fantastic (when the queues went down!) and the atmosphere was perfect for the little ones.


  8. My whole family would have loved this day out! All that lovely food … mmm. Your photos are great and you have really captured the experience. Thank you for sharing, popped over from #CountryKids.

  9. Love Feastival. Def. going next year. My niece JASMINE HILL was performing on the main stage on Saturday. VERY proud Aunt! πŸ˜‰ x

  10. Ha ha – it was the designated driver that kind of put a dampener on it for me as I stupidly said I was toot tired to drink. I had a snifty Doombar though which has turned my love away from a cider!?! We had a lovely time and will be considering doing the whole weekend next year – once I’ve seen the line up πŸ™‚

  11. Would love to go to this, never heard of it before but it sounds like my kind of festival. I’ve never had a macaron! I’ve just seen your recipe though so I’m going to pin it to try at some point.

  12. What a fab event, I am very jealous that I didn’t go! I bet it was fun to taste the samples and some of the prices seem reasonable as well. Thanks for linking up and sharing with Country Kids.

  13. ooooh love the look of the macaroons, sadly I don’t like gin.

    I REALLY want to go to this next year, all the posts about it have been wonderful.

  14. Love that first photo! And the macaroons πŸ™‚ Sounds like a fantastic day, we would love that, shame we’re not a little bit closer (!) – glad you had such a fun time! #CountryKids

  15. Am I the only one that feels hungry after reading this? I’ve not heard of this festival before. Sounds fun and even better that the whole family can enjoy it. (Off to raid the fridge) #CountryKids

  16. I was wondering if I would bump into any bloggers I know at the Feastival last Saturday but haven’t spotted anyone. My little man and I enjoyed our day out, I have also done a post about it, and two more with recipes are to follow soon.
    Interesting how we all find different things to look at in the same place


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