Saturday, 7 August 2010


I've been trying to write this post for a few weeks now, ever since we got back from Secret Garden Party. A wonderful festival near Cambridge 70 miles north of London. Festivals are one of our most favourite things, we go to many different ones each year and this was our first time at SGP. I would describe this festival as a visual feast, more of an art space full of fairies, zombies, spacemen, circus performers and bizarre experiences than a music ferstival. For us the music was second to the adventure of exploring the garden and all its unique offerings.

Anyway, being foody types we are intrigued by the pop up restaurant on at SGP and decided it would be a great idea to book a 3 course meal to eat on the Sunday night of the festival. We were wrong. In retrospect that was a very bad idea. I will never make that mistake again, its not what your stomach needs 3 days in to a festival.

I think UK festivals excel in quality food, there was good coffee, a great katsu curry and many organic, fair trade and vege options to select from. Soulfire was a unique concept I'd not tried at a festival before, they did really well. The restaurant looked lovely, the entertainment delightful and the food delicious. If only I had an appetite.

The price was £30 for a 3 course dinner which was booked for in advance. On first impressions the security guards out the front seemed a bit over the top, we didn't feel particularly welcomed. The waitresses were nice though, a little slow, but hey its a festival and they'd been there for 3 days as well so we'll cut them some slack there.
We were seated at a candle lit table. Our waitress introduced herself and bought us bread and wine. We were ravenous by this point.
On the stage in front of us the band was setting up, a jovial and energitic string quartet called Bojangles. They were really entertaining while we waited for our meals.

What we ate:

Beetroot soup with horseradish cream
Salmon blinis
Rack of NZ lamb with cous cous stuffed roasted tomatoes
Guinea fowl with sweet potato dauphinoise
Chocolate brownie with vanilla icecream
Summer berry brioche

So as you can see the food was of a good standard. What can I say, I liked it, it was tasty but i'd say there was too much soup, I could have done with a lot less. The berry brioche was made using currants that were really tart. The Salmon blini had too much salmon on it, it was over powering. The guinea fowl was really nice, but rich.
I mean to be honest I wasn't really up for it at the time and afterwards I felt very full. It would be a long while until I'd digested it. I would caution anyone at this point not to go smash it hard with everyone to party away the final hours of the festival. What happens is you drink a few quick beers and then you start feeling really sick. Then you get to see the food a second time whilst cowering the in the bushes hoping no one can see you.
Not cool, not a nice way to remember the meal or end the festival.

So anyway I haven't been able to look at the pictures and write a glowing report because of that. I'd like to say they had a great idea setting up the restaurant, but its not for me. I'll stick to something a bit lighter in situations like these in the future. 


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