ernaleon_4

The Big Feastival 2014.

IMG_8713

Well, I’ve been meaning to write up this post for a long while now! But, the usual happened… Lots going on with work, Eli running riot, holiday shopping, going on holiday (INCREDIBLE HOLIDAY – post to most certainly follow), more work and family time.

SO! Where do I begin?

We had the most amazing weekend at The Big Feastival and we were so sad when it came to an end! From start to finish – from the delicious food and drink we had the pleasure of tasting, actually watching and meeting our favourite Chef’s and of course, the absolutely incredible activities and performers for the kids. (I *even* loved the camping part too!). Quite literally, our perfect festival! We cannot wait until next year!

This post is most likely to be quite photo-heavy.

So here it goes!

Screen Shot 2014-10-08 at 14.54.10

Our journey there (and back) was brilliant. No traffic and beautiful country roads as we travelled from our Essex-home to the Cotswolds. Eli slept a lot which was also great. We’d been up since 5am, so we hoped he’d sleep in the car to catch up. (We also could have done with sleeping en route too – we barely slept a wink for the excitement!)

10642887_893569894378_799965430_o

10603294_902635387058_3577261665513180151_n

Our car was brilliant going across the fields – finally, proper off-roading in our off-roading car! It was raining and really quite chilly when we arrived on site, at Alex James’ farm.  We decided it best to hire a Mr Trolley, because as you can see, we did not travel light! I don’t know how we would have managed without it to be honest, lots and lots and lots of trips back and forth to the car I guess! Which, frankly, isn’t ideal with a toddler and drizzle! We hired the trolley when we arrived and again when we were packing up on the Sunday. We hired the trolley for the minimum time of 30 minutes. We weren’t far from the car so filling and emptying the trolley and returning it back to the Mr Trolley stand took no time at all! We located some flat land within the Family Campsite and set to work…

10653864_902635446938_675743811878133411_n

10547540_902635486858_2030623565750486698_n

10627988_893568911348_812093874_o

10639394_893569644878_152731003_o

Our wicked tent cost just £50 from Halfords! I honestly cannot recommend this tent enough. I’m not a camper, by any stretch of the imagination, (although after this trip, I might be a camper now!), but this tent was perfect! It took about 15 minutes to put up and about 10 minutes to take back down again (thanks to the help from Mr Eli of course!). It was sturdy and roomy inside; and it felt like really good quality. We’ve had a ‘pop-up’ tent previously (unfortunately, this tent is lost somewhere between France and Newcastle due to friends not returning it back to us, post-2008 Surf trip . They know we’re not happy about it…) and the new tent is by far a better product! I look forward to camping with this tent again.

We decided that we didn’t want to sleep on the floor of the tent – let’s be honest, we’re too old to be sleeping on the floor now. I also refused to sleep on a blow-up bed or with a sleeping bag. We purchased two very, very comfortable camp bed’s for a tenner each from eBay (brand new, inc postage!) and we took a long our Winter duvet as it tends to get very cold on a night, even in August. I suppose you could call us Glampers in respect of this. Eli also equally had his Glamping cap on with his Little Bird by Jools Oliver sheets and blankets in his travel cot.

10492427_902635631568_1717440888639703917_n

Never before have we been to a festival where there are food stalls on the camp site. The main ‘arena’ didn’t open until after 10, so the stalls were much-needed for our breakfast before you head into the main area. Of course, this isn’t any old food van on a campsite! This is a “Le Swine” van by Bruno Loubet! Also wanted to mention that on each campsite there are an amazing amount of loo’s, showers and an area to use a cooking stove should you wish. There were no camp fires allowed on the site, at all. I thought this was brilliant. I was of course worried about other people using gas around out tent due to there being several tragedies in the past few years, so this set me at ease. And how nice is it waking up and not smelling of fire?! Definitely made for a lovely camping experience.

10672214_902635661508_1661377812330341732_n

And… we’re in!

10353090_902636055718_2641229870501363382_n

10614185_902635995838_7411180123226510388_n

10606261_902635726378_3077229522215378685_n

10665233_902636444938_4606142936920920936_n

We watched DJ BBQ for a wee while and then decided to head for some late-lunch!

10353021_902636400028_69369602428159250_n

Mr Memoirs headed straight to the DJ BBQ stall where he ordered this incredible pulled pork burger! YUM!

10663025_893568277618_956847857_o

Me, being me, opted for Risotto… because that’s what you have when you arrive at a festival, right?

10178152_902636729368_7093565588704121363_n

10580205_902636664498_3053739390084968650_n

10662926_893567778618_1527959764_o

We then spent some time at Adam Henson’s farm. Eli is a massive animal-lover so he was in his element being able to get up close and personal with all the lovely animals!

10621457_893567683808_1389003842_o

We then caught Mr Levi Roots and his Reggae band.

10642822_893580528068_1837297364_o

10663282_893580473178_1510233156_o

The Doom Bar tent by Sharps Brewery was particularly awesome, with its beach and secret tasting rooms! I had a lovely pint of IPA which tasted like honey.

10639331_893585063978_485362068_o

We’ve been going to festivals for over ten years now. But this festival was special. We had our beautiful, and well-behaved, little boy in tow – it literally could not have been any better!

10007497_902637378068_7201296665201421003_n

Dancing at the main stage!

10526040_902637442938_6439329338135593912_n

Having a drink with one of our favourite people, Mr Gennaro Contaldo. Last time we caught up with Gennaro, Eli was fast asleep and we were sat they didn’t meet properly. This time, Eli was more than awake!

10650451_893620278408_2013854964_o

Time for the Hello Apparel to come out! This lovely sweater is available in store and online at Southwood Stores.

10641261_902637657508_5176310674546534847_n

Want to also do a massive shout-out to the ever-so-brilliant ladies from the Up All Hours tent. They provided a cosy, home-from-home environment in which you could change and feed your little one’s. I loved chatting to you both over the weekend! Thank you for making our festival experience a fresh and clean one! (And cheers for all the goodies you send us home with too!).  Up All Hours is a new parenting platform that connects, entertains and most importantly supports parents who are ‘Up All Hours’. sign up, here> Up All Hours.

10642981_893625567808_1443294617_o

The Katsu curry from Yu Kyu was so good I had it TWICE over the course of the weekend.
10638859_893629864198_2120922637_o

Crepes from Crêpe Lucette to satisfy my sweet tooth.

10349219_902637976868_6157069486627017621_n

It went A LOT higher and faster than I expected… and seemed to be never-ending!

10628447_902638156508_6055779517163860417_n

Only bumped into our favourite off of Countryfile! Mr Adam Henson!

1555558_902638261298_8515689043057543414_n

We went for ‘Number 5′ from Alex James’ Cheese Hub – and what a choice! It was so delicious and creamy – and went really well with our red wine back at the tent.

1966789_902638425968_3548025521730016276_n

I will have to do a blog post on everything Little Bird by Jools Oliver related – too much to talk about!

10647028_902638820178_1135433280092333146_n

One of our festival highlights was watching the lovely Justin Fletcher from CBeebies.

10665084_902638765288_3499874216950575719_n

I can’t bare these… but Mr Memoirs do love a Bloody Mary! He thoroughly enjoyed this one from Little Devil. It didn’t half have a kick to it!

10650498_894925183368_2140321340_o

Well, this was dreamy! Amazing smoked short rib in a brioche bun with salsa and a fried egg. RIDICULOUSLY GOOD! It was the salsa that really did it for me. This was from the stunning Barbecoa van.

10636200_902639364088_6285780522865879726_n

Oh heck, it’s only David Loftus and Bruno Loubet!

10649927_902639433948_4523832721611241601_n

Chatting to David Loftus while we wait for Jamie and Jools to come from round the van!

10647270_894933307088_57155858_o

These two people, right there, are my favourite people. I adore Jamie and Jools (I know you’re all so sick of hearing this now!) but I do. We’re huge Jamie Oliver fans – every recipe we’ve ever cooked and in every Jamie restaurant we’ve ever dined, we’ve always eaten the most tasty food our tummies could muster. And Jools, well, Jools has given me the chance to dress my son in beautiful clothes that suit US as a family. Our son wears clothes that reflect him as a person and he looks so damn cool it’s untrue (not even being biased).  Oh, and while we’re on it…

10418289_902639823168_1823147818479583345_n

Speaking with Jools Oliver is probably the most star-struck I’ve ever been! (Even after meeting all those rockstars… and indeed the actual Queen!). She’s just beautiful, isn’t she?!

10643099_894933122458_1872339466_o

We had a lovely Gin and Tonic while the boy slept, from the great guys over at Fever Tree. We love their soft drinks (mixers), they go amazingly well with Sipsmith Gin and Chase Vodka too!

10614476_894950322988_1542224422_o

Watching Daisy Lowe bake (who knew she was doing that now?!) with her Mum Pearl Lowe and Danny Goffey standing infront of us.

13623_902640027758_6644733245856068044_n

Seeing Jamie and Gennaro cook together in real life was an absolute pleasure. The relationship they both have is wonderful. They were so funny, informative and so full of passion.

10677634_894989239998_201916248_o

10639451_894989190098_219698304_o (1)

My path recently crossed with Alex James’ via work. I would have loved a chat and a proper photo with him but unfortunately his P.A wouldn’t let me. Such a shame! I took a #selfie irregardless, ha!

10649503_902640287238_4677622128341709060_n

We waited for what felt like hours for our pizza’s from Rossopomodoro – but when they arrived, my goodness, they were goooood! Worth the wait!

10450348_902640392028_75130731126359088_n

10410674_902640521768_7343151027225599208_n

10673233_896059405378_1321193597_o
Fat Boy Slim was incredible! We hadn’t intended on staying for the set from Norman Cook, but we got sucked in! Eli was fast asleep and the crowd was just so happy – the atmosphere was amazing!

10663221_896105268468_1700778274_o

The next morning was our final day (booooooo). Mr Eli helped us pack up the tent so we could then go into the main arena and enjoy the rest of our last day at the festival.

10667866_896104480048_1778356830_o

Eli and I had lovely bacon rolls and Mr Memoirs opted for Kedgeree from What The Dickens!

10649598_902640651508_3856957489901790942_n

10649672_902640766278_1729589138533557446_n

Our first stop (and possibly my actual highlight of the festival!) was seeing the delightful Mr Bloom swoon. Eli was in absolute awe – he was so mesmerised, it was beautiful to watch him!

10645078_902640841128_1144693188244488740_n

Then we went to see Jamie and Adam Henson…

10665155_902640901008_3901095165516536330_n

…followed by Monica Galetti (who was surprisingly lovely in real life!)

10403661_902641000808_2069433759574131243_n

Then we spotted Mr Nathan Outlaw.

10653878_902641045718_6975522376316863183_n

10647352_897270677978_1342975822_o (1)

10643090_897270363608_959089030_o

10639143_897269400538_93032645_o

After a final mooch around the site and a spot of lunch (yes, we went and had a Katsu Curry again) it was time to get the car packed up and drive home. We literally had the BEST weekend – we had the time of our lives, all of us. This is the perfect festival for a family – and of course, a foodie.

I must also take this opportunity to thank the brilliant folk over at Jamie’s Italian without whom we would not have had tickets The Big Feastival! We sadly missed out on the Early Bird tickets for the 2015 Big Feastival as it was while we were on holiday (we didn’t time that well did we!) but we will certainly be booking up when they’re available for general release.

MANY THANKS AGAIN BIG FEASTIVAL – YOU WERE EPIC!

MM.

 

 

ernaleon_4

The Big Feastival 2014 | We’re ACTUALLY going!

TBF2014

I enter competitions on a whim. I forget about them. I entered The Big Feastival competition via the Jamie Oliver ‘Gold Club’ back in December… at the time, I remember saying to Mr Memoirs, “We should keep that weekend free, just incase!”. His obvious reaction was “No need, we never win anything…”. He’s eating those words right now, because I DID WIN!

We’re so so excited, I can’t even put it into words! And that is saying something.

I’m even excited about the camping part! Which is DEFINITELY saying something.

We’ve always wanted to go to The Big Feastival – as we’re huge fans of Jamie Oliver, and Alex James fan’s to boot (I was always on team BLUR, of course). This is literally the perfect festival for us, especially with Eli in tow too. It’s hugely family-friendly (heck, Justin Fletcher A.K.A Mr Tumble and actual Mr Bloom swoon are there too!). There are dozens of activities and area’s to keep little ones entertained. Plus, and most importantly, this is a foodie festival. With all our favourite chef’s in attendance! You can see the list of who’s-who, here> CHEF’s.

IMG_9500

The marketing team at Jamie Oliver have been absolutely fantastic. They’ve been super swift to reply to any queries we’ve had and have kept me up to date with everything. The tickets landed on my doormat this morning, giving me a new lease of excitement – WE’RE ACTUALLY GOING!

So – what’s the plan when we get there?

Well, we’ll unload the car and get the tent up as soon as possible – and get settled in! We tested the tent a few weekend’s ago and it was super easy to assemble – which is good news because I would get bored so quickly otherwise! For the first time ever, we also have a camp bed; there was no way we could sleep on the actual floor for a few nights (we literally have the bones of elderly people!).

We’ll then head into the festival, which open’s at 11am!

We’re really looking forward to seeing presentations/tasting’s with our favourite Chef’s, as well as joining in all the toddler activities we can feast on! Eli is very, very good with his food, so we’re certain he’ll get stuck into munching whatever he can. As reader’s of my blog, and friends of mine IRL, will know, I’m massively mildly obsessed with Little Bird by Jools. Basically, there is little else that I will dress Mr Eli in, other than Little Bird. It is my imaginary children’s fashion made reality (and probably better than my imagination to be honest!). And guess what? Little Bird will be at The Big Feastival too! Last year there was even a catwalk (I can’t cope!), which I’ll so be FROW of with Eli. Hoping he doesn’t gatecrash though – I know he has a soft spot for Jools and her design’s too! I’m literally so excited I can’t even contain myself!

Just look how adorable these kids are man! LOVE LOVE LOVE Little Bird!

So the countdown is officially on, now that tickets are in hand! T-minus 13 day’s! This weekend we’ve bought Eli some new threads to keep him cool or warm and dry across the Big Feastival weekend. That’s the only trouble with a British festival, you really need to pack for ALL weather! I’m certain we’ll have an amazing time whatever the weather will be. There are adventures and memories to be made… and that’s the main thing.

 

MM.

 

PS – any tips you have for camping with a 2 year old would be greatly appreciated!

Here is the line-up (in full, more or less).

feastival-poster-3_8_14 (1)

ernaleon_4

The 5:2 Fast Diet | And so it begins…

52shutterstock_113201323copy

I’m rubbish with diets. I like food and wine far too much. I don’t really exercise; but I do walk 2 hours a day, everyday, to take Eli to nursery and back. So I’d say I’m lightly active. I’ll be honest here, because I think it’s important, I need to lose around a stone. Maybe even a little more. I feel dreadful. I’m exhausted, I’m sluggish, I’m bloated – and for some reason have recently acquired a sweet tooth. The 5:2 diet is brimming with health benefits, as well as the incredible weight loss results. Without going into the massive science and logic behind the diet… it sounds like the perfect for us. Due to work, I barely have lunch until 2/3pm anyway and we never have our tea before 8:30/9pm due to it taking Mr Memoirs so long to get home. We I do however have trouble with portion control – I cook for a family of ten, so we eat for a family of ten! Always have.

A friend had started the 5:2 diet a few weeks ago and has had great results so far. It took a while for me to get my head around it. Giving up food for an entire day, not once, but twice a week? NO WAY, GET REAL. No way could I do that! But actually, as a female, I get 500 calories for my fast day. If you’re lucky enough to be male, you get 600 calories. Bonus round. It doesn’t sound like a lot – but if you’re clever, and make the right choices, you can actually still have 3 meals a day! YES WAY!

Yesterday was my first fast day. It is advised by fellow 5:2’ers that you try and miss breakfast (I know, it goes against everything you’re taught growing up!) and try and last as long as you can throughout the day without food. Meaning you have more of those important calories left for your evening meal. I’m already a massive water drinker. I don’t drink tea or coffee. I don’t drink fizzy drinks. So at least I don’t have to give extra’s like that up. I kept gulping down the pints of aqua till around 12, when I quite literally felt like my stomach was eating itself. I also had a headache. Not wanting to ‘waste’ my valuable calories on paracetamol, I opted for a 13 cal beef OXO cube drink! This replaced the salts that my water intake may have been taking away. I somehow, managed to get to 3:30 and had my Knorr soup, 172 calories. I then had a medium-banana on my way to pick Eli up from the nursery, a around 89 calories. And for my big meal of the day, we had the below – Halloumi salad, at 215 calories, at 9pm. I don’t think I’ve enjoyed agsalad so much in all my life. I will be continuing to collate 5:2 recipes over on my Pinterest, here >> 5:2 Diet Recipes. I had a total of 489 calories yesterday and I SURVIVED! I feel proud to get through Day 1 of fasting.

Screen Shot 2014-06-18 at 15.37.40

Halloumi Salad, by 5:2 Recipes Blog. Serves 1, 215 calories.

This is by far the most yummy salad I’ve eaten… I’m not sure if it was because I was so looking forward to my evening meal though! But it was delicious, calorie counting or not. You could easily slip some chicken in there to bulk it out. But it was zingy and filling – am looking forward to having this again!

Do you have any swear-by 5:2 recipes? I would to hear your recipe ideas and experiences with 5:2!
MM.

ernaleon_4

Up to 50% off at Cath Kidston!

I was just having a wee online shop around and noticed that there is a wonderful (up to) 50% off at CathKidston.co.uk!

As their Sale creative says, this means that the Sale is now “Cheap as chips” 😉

Shop the Sale online now>> CathKidston.co.uk

ernaleon_4

Cath Kidston: 15% all styles, one day only!

Cath Kidston (UK)

I know a lot of you are huge fans of Cath Kidston, just a really quick one to update you all on the exclusive promotion that the brand are running! Until 31st March at 8am, receive 15% off all styles at CathKidston.co.ukicon with the below promotion code!

Offer: 15% Off all items
Enter promotional code: EGGS
Valid from: Thursday 29th March, 6pm GMT.
Expires: Saturday 31st March, 8am GMT.

Click here to take advantage and shop now at CathKidston.co.uk>>

Don’t forget to enter that promotional code at the online checkout!

Let me know what you purchase!

I’m off to the dentist now – so will be making my purchases upon my return.

MM.

ernaleon_4

Cath Kidston Sale: Up to 70% off!

Cath Kidston (UK)

I absolutely LOVE Cath Kidston – and now is the perfect time to shop their amazing printed goodies! They have a massive (up to) 70% off all their Sale styles! Have a look below for some recommendations!


Chelsea Roses Nappy Bag (and essentials) – NOW £40.00

Toy Print Baby Gift Set (perfect for New Borns!) – NOW £7.00!

 


icon

Dinosaur Kids Drawstring Washbag – NOW £6.00icon

Zoo Reversible Duvet Set – NOW £22.00!icon

Shooting Star Laptop Case – NOW £12.00

icon
Dotty Fondue Set (perfect for catch-up’s with friends!) NOW £12.00!
icon