So last week I ventured off to my first ever festival, Glastonbury, and now I have no idea why I’d
left it so long to go to one. Glastonbury is probably the biggest festival in the UK, but I don’t think I appreciated just how big it was until I arrived – the site is like a small city that pops up for a few days a year, and it has so much more than just music! I thought it might be helpful for anyone thinking of booking a ticket for next year if I wrote a short post about the vegan options on offer: there were a lot and they were incredible.
Whilst festivals are usually known for their burger vans, I can tell you that Glastonbury has so many other options available for everyone including veggies, vegans, health-conscious eaters and coeliacs. The range of cuisines really was astounding and it was truly a vegan heaven! Below is a list of a few of the places I ate at, although there really were so many more. I may have to go back for the next ten years just to try them all…
Bhangra Bus (Indian)
This is a little yellow school bus that you can takeaway from, or you can sit inside its colourfully decorated interior packed with vibrant patterns, scarves and cushions. They serve vegetarian Indian food – we had the lentil dahl and chickpea masala with lots of rice and mango chutney. It was so fresh and tasty you wouldn’t believe that you were in a field!
This large tent in the Green Fields area serves all veggie fare – I had a vegetable coconut curry with brown rice and was seriously impressed by their generous portion sizes. They also sell coconut water and other organic drinks as well as coffee and tea, a range of vegan milks to add to your coffee, and snacks including vegan brownies and bliss balls. What’s more, the tent is decorated with bunting and carpeted, so you have to remove your wellies to sit on cushions around the low tables – cosy vibes all round.
Happy Maki (vegan sushi van)
Happy Maki make fresh nori wraps right in front of you – think large rolls of sushi rice with a range of tasty fillings. I had the ‘Avocado Kiss’ (avocado, red pepper, cucumber, soy sauce and sesame seeds) with extra wasabi and pickled ginger – so good that I’ll have to try to recreate it myself at home.
Although I never managed to eat here, I’ve heard rave reviews of this healthy eatery and their menu looked fantastic: the veggie stir fries, potato and coconut curries, dahl and bruschetta are all favourites of some of my friends. Next time I’ll be there!
As well as the places listed above, there are also countless falafel and veggie burger vans to be found everywhere – I had a salad box of falafel, tahini, hummus and veggies from one, and a delicious falafel and salad pitta from another. There are also lots of other totally veggie stalls selling food ranging from Indian curries, Thai tofu stir fries, noodle boxes, freshly made pasta, baked potatoes, fresh fruit stands, bakeries, and everything in between.
If you’re not a drinker or get sick of the freshly pressed cider then there are also plenty of fresh smoothies and juices all over, made to order right in front of you. I had some delicious green smoothies and a beetroot, carrot and apple juice that was the perfect way to rehydrate after dancing all day. I even found a tea stand serving matcha lattes made with almond or soya mylk, iced matcha lattes, iced teas, and a big range of herbal teas.
However, Glastonbury isn’t just great for vegans from an eating perspective; it also has a wonderful eco-friendly focus so is a haven for anyone who is vegan for environmental reasons (as I primarily am). The Green Fields are the place to go if you are interested in natural, sustainable goods and pursuits: their Craft Field is like a Hobbit-town full of craftspeople selling wooden sculptures, oriental treasures, incense and crystals, and there are also lots of workshops going on that can teach you how to make everything from cruelty-free bath products to pottery. Definitely check out the Healing Field for an uplifting spiritual atmosphere and incredible positive vibes – they run free yoga classes, massage workshops and meditation groups all day, and also host a maze of stalls and charity stands for you to buy goods from or get involved with their work. There are also Greenpeace areas where you can learn more about their campaigns, join in with fun activities and meet others who support them (they even have a ‘Green Kids’ area that has fun things for little ones to do!)
I really cannot convey just how amazing the atmosphere at Glastonbury is, especially from a spiritual, environmental and vegan perspective. Yes, the food was unbelievable, but I was also blown away by the atmosphere created by so many people sharing the same ethics and sustainable values as me – it was truly life-affirming. And that’s not even mentioning the music! Whether or not you’re health-conscious, love rock and roll, are a yogi in the making or a cider fanatic, you’ll love this festival. Eating vegan at an event has never been more of a joy. Just make sure if you’re booking a ticket for next year to save one for me!