Forest Feastival: My Recommendations for 2023
I had a great visit to the Forest Feastival this week. Nestled amongst the trees on the Merthyr Mawr estate, it's a magical enclave of music and food that springs into life a few months of the year. There are multiple sessions during the day, family-friendly daytime slots and "adults only" evenings. The Feastival was busier this year than it has been in previous years in my experience and it's great to see the event expanding. I've been before and I'm going twice this year but if you're a first-timer, here are my recommendations...
Don't miss the lamb skewer from Straight Outta Canton. I wished I'd spotted this stall earlier as I'd already had a fair bit to eat by the time I found it. On my next visit, this will be my first stop!
Bao buns from Bao Selecta, which was my first stop, are a must-try. Delightfully flavoured and with buns as light as air, these are absolutely delicious. I chose the pork belly and vegetarian "beef" options, because just one of these is not enough.
For a "main course", I recommend ramen from Mr. Noodle. This was a really enjoyable bowl of food and was generous enough to be shared between two people. This definitely falls under my "comfort food" category, I felt very well cared for eating this one! Also, this one is great value for money at £12 for the bowl.
Tried and Trusted Favourites
Fire and Flank have been at every Forest Feastival I've been to, which is a few. Their steak rolls are luxurious and seem to be larger this year than previous. The Steak and chips is also a solid option, if you're craving some carbs to go with your meat. If you're a food festival first-timer, Fire and Flank are a great place to start as they never disappoint.
The Smokin' Griddle are also at the Feastival and whilst you might wonder if a burger and chips are adventurous enough to please your inner gourmand, there's nothing normal about these burgers. The meat really is the star here. I highly recommend the Classic or the Signature burgers, both of which are excellent.
Last, but not least, in this section, is BareBones Pizza. This is my go-to for keeping one of my kids fed and happy. With bases so thin you could shave with them, the wood-fired pizzas from Barebones are also a great "share around the table" choice for bigger groups.
I felt bad that I didn't make it over to the Keralan Karavan on this visit, as I adore their Raj Burger, but even I have to stop eating eventually. I'm back at the festival in a few weeks, so perhaps I'll indulge in a Raj Burger then. (After a visit to Straight Outta Canton)
A new edition to the Feastival is the "Disco Desert", a new area that combines the Coaltown Coffee with a disco jeep (which needs to be seen to be believed) and Feastival regulars Pwdin. I always leave room for a little something from Pwdin - my current favourite being their raspberry and almond bread and butter pudding, with custard (naturally).