My lovely boyfriend definitely deserved some brownie points when he bought tickets for me to see one of my favourite bands as a Christmas present last year. I couldn’t wait for The Cure to play in Hyde Park, especially as the line-up for this festival included other acts I enjoy listening to like The Editors. One of my concerns was whether there would be vegan catering during all-day event, especially as organisers were very specific that you couldn’t bring in your own food.
The BST events are running over a couple of weekends and feature headliners like Paul Simon and Bruno Mars. I thought it would be good write about what we found at the festival for those who maybe share my concerns. I’m not sure if the stalls will change from week to week, but I guarantee there will be at least one specifically veggie/vegan place to eat if you attend as the organisers seemed determined to accommodate a raft of dietary requirements.
As we walked through the gates we were wowed by the layout. It was the first time we’d been to a festival and it seemed well organised. There were vendors housed down a makeshift street and then smaller stalls near the swings and beauty bars. You can pay for everything via contactless, which was designed to save the need to carry a lot of cash round. Unfortunately the machines went down a number of times while we were there so it didn’t work out well for Barclaycard!
When out and about we can find it frustrating beers and wine aren’t labelled vegan. While it wasn’t the nicest wine – or cheapest, for that matter, at £25 a bottle – at least we knew we weren’t compromising our principles. This was available across all of the vendors selling alcohol. There was a stand from Coca Cola handing out free cans and Barcardi were selling cocktails. Birra Moretti, which is vegan, had a large bar situated a bit of a distance from the arena and an outdoor seating area. It was a shame they weren’t screening the match (ENG V SWE) as we had to rely on flaky 4G to get any idea of what was going on in the outside world during this important game.
Many vendors also had options on offer too. Pizza Express were even serving up pizza topped with dairy-free cheese on request, which I thought was great to see. Another stall sold Marinara pizza, but for £9 I’d expect more bang for my buck.
I tried out a Salted Caramel Brownie, which also happened to be gluten free, which tasted quite strongly of coconut. It was so rich and sugary that I didn’t mind the coconut, or maybe the wine had an effect by that point! At £4 it wasn’t crazy expensive and was comparative to their ‘standard’ offering. I hate feeling like I have to pay more because I’m vegan.
Curry was on sale from Spice Box, vegan and gluten free options from V Sushi and loaded risotto balls from Arancini Brothers were the 3 vendors with specific menus we saw. At between £6.50 and £9 for a main course the food isn’t cheap, but I’m told it never is at festivals. We were definitely a captive audience because of the stringent rules.
This beetroot and quinoa burger was £8 and came dripping in tangy salsa. We bought a Fishless Finger Sandwich too, which was also £8. These were clearly Quorn, and the sausages on the menu were Linda McCartney. Seeing mass produced frozen options being used shows how easy it can be to provide vegan food, even at a festival where the demand is greater.
A good day was had by all and The Cure were incredible. My only disappointment came when they didn’t play Letter to Elise. Doesn’t every fan quibble over the set list?! I hope the weather is as glorious for anyone else heading to these scheduled events and look forward to seeing who they line up next year. More info about BST can be found here.
Thanks for reading,
Look out for our London recommendations in the next few weeks!