Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Green Man Festival 2013

This year was one of the best-ever Green Man Festivals. Held in a beautiful location every August near Crickhowell in the Brecon Beacons, it’s about far more than just the music (though the music is great), with the good food being one of the attractions.

This year, four new stalls joined the regulars. One of the newcomers was London-based Anna Mae’s Southern Street Food. Founded in 2011, they offered their signature mac n cheese.

A new discovery for us was French and Grace, who are based in Brixton Village Market. I really enjoyed my F&G chargrilled halloumi Lebanese flatbread wrap, which included fresh mint leaves, a pickled chilli, ‘slaw and tahini dressing. The company is run by Rosie French and Ellie Grace, and their first cookbook ‘Kitchen and Co’ was published last year. I had a flip-through at the stall and it looked good.

We were camped near another newcomer, The Hurley Burley. This campsite Theatre Café proved very useful for morning teas and coffees. Alongside a range of breakfasts and appealing vegetarian food options they had live music, with the staff taking time out to do a few song-and-dance and circus routines. It’s one to watch out for in future years. Other breakfast (and late night hot drinks) needs were met by Cwmdu Community Stall, as they are every year.

The first essential artist at Green Man 2013 was Patti Smith on Thursday night. She ate at the Rotisserie Chicken (Walled Garden) before her set and pronounced it very good from the stage. What higher recommendation could this Green Man regular want?

During their set, before singing their song ‘Kingfisher Pies’, the singer of Midlake said he was making for the Pieminister van afterwards. I don’t have the info on what was ordered. However, this year, my festival Pieminister pie was the Matador (beef, chorizo, olives).

I enjoyed a coconut chicken curry from Roots Caribbean catering, while listening to some soul in Chai Wallahs (the stage with global, jazz and urban music). The curry was very good (dark rum, spring onions etc). Other options included jerk chicken, braised mutton and Shropshire beef, served with sides of rice, plantain, dumplings or coleslaw.

A vegetarian falafel hit the spot one lunchtime - falafels deep-fried in filo pastry served with lemon, hummus and salad - from the Café Moor, who specialize in North African and Arabic Souk Food. We didn't get around to the Goan Fish Curry outlet this year, so that will be high on the list next time!

On the last night, having set up the youngest (a vegetarian) with a vegetable chow mein from the Oriental food stall, I found room for a vension burger (with onions) from the Welsh Venison Centre. I also helped the kids finish a fine vegetarian pizza from Green Pepper Red Tomato in the Mountain’s Foot area; some tasty Mexican food from Bristol-based Poco Loco; and some tomato and basil pasta from the Pizza and Pasta outlet in Chai Wallahs.

The family vote for best chips at the festival went to The Hippy Chippy in the Walled Garden ('Frozen Chips? No Thanks').

The ice cream of choice was Shepherds, who are based in Hay-on-Wye (est. 1978). The youngest always goes for Chocolate, but I decided to explore the more adventurous end of the menu with a Mango Chilli ice cream. This was an enjoyable, albeit one-off, experience: creamy mango with a delayed chilli kick. The two Coffee and Cake stalls (Walled Garden and Courtyard) kept us in coffee and doughnuts.

I mainly drank the excellent Growler, the Wye Valley Brewery ale brewed especially for the Green Man Festival. There were 100 artisan ciders and beers, largely from Welsh breweries in the festivals beer festival tent. The queues at this bar were the largest, with so many barrels for the staff to negotiate and people asking for samples before buying the unusual perrys; so although I would have liked to work through the list, I tended to seek out the Growler in the quieter bars.

The best meal I had at Green Man 2013 was [drumroll] a Seafood Paella from Jamon Jamon. This Green Man regular on the hill looking down on the Mountain Stage consistently delivers.

Not surprisingly, I managed to put on weight during Green Man 2013!

My favourite music acts included Stornoway, Patti Smith, Lau, Midlake, Band of Horses, Rozi Plain, Johnny Flynn, Kings of Convenience, Jon Hopkins and British Sea Power.


Green Man 2012

Green Man 2011


1 comment:

  1. I think the improved flavor was due to sitting outside in the sun and brewing for well over an hour, as opposed to the few minutes of brewing with water straight from the kettle. healthy tea perth