Does anyone else have a festival bucket list? Of course on mine are the big ones like Burning Man, Coachella, Tomorrowland… But I also have lots of home grown British festivals I have yet to try! One I’ve heard so many things about is 2000 Trees festival in the Cotswolds, with an alternative/rock line up, some of the friendliest people, and a eco-focus. Hopefully 2019 will be the year I finally find time to go!
My blogger friend, the lovely Kimberley Smith of The Colour Chronicles, was at “Trees” this year (as it’s known!). She knows I love my festival food and am trying to choose more veggie & vegan options, and as a vegetarian herself she offered to write me a piece about her time at the festival and in particular the incredible vegetarian and vegan food they had on offer. How could I turn that down? Prepare to drool a little on your laptop! Over to the lovely Kimberley…
Kimberley Smith at 2000 Trees Festival – what choices did a vegetarian like me have?
Attending festivals when you have certain dietary preferences, needs or requirements can be difficult. Being a vegetarian, it’s certainly easier for me to find food at festivals than someone with, for example, an allergy – but does this allow for enjoyable food?
I’ll start off with an intro to the festival itself – 2000 Trees is a tiny little 10,000-capacity festival set in the middle of a forest just on the outskirts of Cheltenham. Full of independent, mostly-British bands, board games tents, positive mental health stalls and hammocks between trees, it has an atmosphere like no other festival around.
Welcoming to families and groups of friends alike, as well as giving smaller bands and buskers a shot on its mini campsite stages, it really is an experience covering the best up and coming bands from indie to sludge metal and everything in between.
I’ve said ever since I started going that 2000 Trees has the best festival food of any event I’ve ever attended, and 2018 was no exception. While at some festivals (no names mentioned) the veggie/vegan options are nothing more exciting than a veggie burger and/or chips, 2000 Trees has just as many entirely vegan or at least veggie options as it does meat-based.
My personal highlight of the weekend was the Hungry Toad stall. I don’t say this lightly, but they made the best halloumi burger I’ve ever had in my life. I have a personal rule at festivals that I never go back to the food stall twice because there’s such a good range and I love being able to try out places and find new favourites. I broke that rule within a day. It was all in the name of that halloumi burger.
A very honourable mention goes to Manjula Catering, a vegan Thai curry stall serving out the back of a blue horse box. A stall I’ve not seen at Trees before, they offered mushroom or butternut squash curry with rice or salad and even Thai burritos. Having tried both over the weekend, I can confirm they were probably the best value food, the most filling and very tasty. Also approved by my vegan friends who were also in attendance. (Jessi says: I tried Manjula at Blissfields 2017 and LOVED it! One of my favourites!)
Another entirely vegan stall was Nomads, serving vegan buns. Their weekend options, while limited, were some of the best. A choice between either a Philly Cheeze Steak or Barbecue Jackfruit bun might have looked lacking to the watchful eye but what they lacked in quantity, more than made up for in quality. I treated myself to a Barbecue Jackfruit bun complete with sriracha mayo and salad which was utterly incredible and if I had the money or time I’d absolutely have gone back for another. I also got to try the Philly Cheeze Steak and while I’m not a massive fan of vegan cheese or seitan, I was instantly converted. Would recommend if you catch them around the festival circuit.
Got more of a sweet tooth? Poffertjes UK is where it’s at. Offering mini (vegan) Dutch pancakes with a variety of sauces and festival specials such as banana and salted caramel, these were incredible. It took me til the very last day to have some (despite recommendations from all my vegan friends) but man, was it worth the wait.
A firm 2000 Trees favourite, if you’re after a snack Becky’s Bhajis is where you need to go. Becky and her team have been there every time I’ve been to Trees and I will always make sure to visit once a year. Simple onion bhajis? You really can’t go wrong. Range of vegan dips? It’s a tick from me.
If you’re off to 2000 Trees sister festival ArcTanGent on 16th August, or any other festivals this summer, keep an eye out for any of these!
Huge thank you to Kimberley for sharing her experience!
And me being me! I just love getting opinions from lots of different sources! I thought I’d ask my vegan friend Luisa-Christie (you may have seen her on this blog before 😉 ) to give her opinion on the vegan food at 2000 Trees. It’s one of the festivals she attends every year so she was more than happy to tell me a little about it!
I had another amazing year at 2000 Trees watching some absolutely amazing bands! Some for the first time, like: ho99o9 & Fatherson, aswell as a bunch of my faves, including: Enter Shikari, Twin Atlantic, Creeper & the Xcerts! My favourite vegan food option at the festival was 100% the subs from Nomads Food! They were to DIE for. The Philly Cheeze Steak one is my absolute fave – can’t wait to have it again soon!