My list of 5 'Must Sees' at Camp Bestival this year

Every year I plan lots of things to see at Camp Bestival and we usually manage about 50%. Mainly because the festival is large, we are easily distracted and extremely lazy.

So I'm making a list this year of just 5 things that I absolutely MUST see.

A Fantastic Food Festival in Sunny Sussex

A couple of weekends ago I dragged Mr TentSniffer along to a food festival. I say dragged, he wasn't that reluctant but he's not really a foody so it wasn't his favourite choice of things to do. As it was mostly outside we were able to take Fizz.

She was much admired and she didn't beg for food either! What a good girl.

We visited a cafe called The Hungry Guest for some coffee, we couldn't really say no as they had a board outside suggesting we try Fizz in the courtyard! We did and she liked it very much.

Mr TS rather fell for the Podgy Pieman, or at least for his wares. though the pies were slightly more than the penny of the nursery rhyme, they were delicious. Mr TS had a sausage roll with sundried tomatoes and fennel seeds and I had a shredded beef, beetroot and horseradish pasty. Yum!

I also enjoyed a cocktail made with gin from a small distillery in Scotland. Another triumph. I'm still cross I didn't try the Arbikie Chilli Vodka!

There were so many great things to sample and choose from we were spoiled for choice. Really nice day with an excuse to eat! Olives, fudge, bread, cakes, thai food, sausages, real ales, pies, you name it, it was there.

There are more food festivals across the country - check if there is one near you here.

How to budget for food at a festival

One of the nice things about festivals is the choice of food that is available. From cheap and cheerful fish and chips to more exotic haloumi fries with pomegranate salad, via wood fired pizza. But are the fish ad chips cheap? and what of the pizza? Can you afford pie and mash for the whole family? and three meals a day?

burger bear burgers at wilderness festival

So first things first. Festivals don't make a lot of money - despite what you might think, they have a huge turnover but actual profits are often low. Many festivals, Glastonbury included, continue to run not because they are a money spinner, but because the organiser loves festivals! One of the way festivals make money is via onsite sales, this includes food and drink stalls and is a reason many festivals ask you to buy booze at the bar and to try the food. So by buying your rations onsite you are helping the festival.

But we all know that money doesn't grow on trees and there is a fine balance between helping a festival, enjoying the food and becoming bankrupt! So how much should you budget for a festival and what's good to eat? Depending on the age of your children you can save money by buying a meal and splitting it bewteen children. Many kids wake up hungry so rather than splashing out £3 each every day for a bacon butty why not take some cereal bars or breakfast biscuits and fruit and start most days that way.

girls in fancy dress eating pancake

Try having a snack lunch and larger dinner or vice versa. Share some pizza or chips at lunch time, and then go wild on pie and mash for dinner for example. In my experience meals range in price from  about £6 to £12 so you could easily spend £50 for a family of 4 per meal if you are not careful!

I'm lucky as I only have DD and I to worry about. I frequently skip lunch altogether, surviving on beer, crisps and snacks and then we spend about £20 on an evening meal. Drink is pricey too of course, so pace yourself. Most festivals have cashpoint machines but they may charge £1.50 to withdraw anything and can have long queues, but remember to store cash carefully, split it into separate amounts and don't carry it all together.

How much do you budget for festival food? I look at £10 per person per day, with extra for alcoholic drinks. We have snack breakfast and snack lunch. Don't forget to pack small cartons of drink for the children and taking bottles to refill at the free water points too.

Pop over to TentSniffer on Twitter to chat - or comment over on FaceBook.

Curious Arts - what I want to see most

Last year I missed the Friday at the Curious Arts Festival as DD was still at school, this year as a teen she has finished her GCSEs and so we will be there for the opening at 12 noon.

This means that hopefully we can catch the Curious Arts cricket match, as while I don't like watching cricket on TV I do love a live match, especially at a festival, with gin...

Put to the Test - Liquiproof waterproofer

I am a camper so I'm very familiar with water, getting soaked, ruined trainers, soggy jeans, etc etc you get the picture. After all I live in the UK, home of damp summers and wetter springs, saturated autumns and drowning winters.

liquiproof waterproofer and some canvas shoes

When I was asked if I fancied reviewing Liquiproof I was keen to try something new, I've used water proofers in the past of course, famously I had to respray the tent and used rather a lot of Fabsil. The trouble with most water proofers is that they smell really bad so you have to use them in well ventilated areas and they stink the place out as they dry. Not so with Liquiproof! I was suspicious when told this but also intrigued, how could something water based be water proof? My tiny brain couldn't cope
"The solution works by bonding SiO2 particles to the individual fibres of the fabric, creating permanent bonded layers which forms an invisible barrier that keeps water and oil from ruining the shoe surface.
The cutting edge formula is effective for everyday situations allowing even suede shoes and jackets to maintain permanently stain free from the rain and spillages. The cost effective formula enables a permanent  protector for all shoes and clothing without affecting the look, feel or breathability of the fabric."
So I gave it a go. I tried it on my favourite new material summer shoes, the instructions are pretty easy, Start with clean items, spray until the surface is damp, work the liquid in with a brush (I use a toothbrush, a clean one, not Dear Husband's) and then wait 10 minutes and spray them again. Then wait 24 hours before testing them in the sink...the testing them in the sink is optional but it's so much fun!! (I cannot wait to do my denim jacket!)
So my review is - Liquiproof is amazing, easy to use, no smell and it works! I haven't tried washing a product treated yet but apparently it lasts several washes, I'l let you know after I've treated the jacket. I am very impressed. (and now I'll be able to wear my favourite summer shoes even in a British summer!)

You can see the product impressing the Dragons on Dragon's Den here.

You can find out more about it here and buy Liquiproof at a selection of U.K Stockists, Office, Selfridges, Offspring, Urban Outfitters, Birkenstock, The Natural Shoe Store or grab some on Amazon

Prices start at £10

I was sent a bottle of Liquiproof for the purposes of this review but the review above is my own!

Liquiproof says :
"Everyday, the clothing, furniture and footwear that we buy is exposed to the risk of dirt and damage, and the greatest hazard is from the accidental spills that often occur when we eat and drink.
The classic example that springs to mind is the nightmare of red wine spilling onto a spotless cream carpet. But imagine if the wine was unable to soak in and remained in beads on the surface, ready to be cleaned up without leaving a stain…. that’s the result of Liquiproof Fabric Protection.
By protecting your apparel and furnishings with Liquiproof, you can enjoy the carefree lifestyle of knowing that your belongings will be shielded from damage, stay cleaner and look smarter for longer."

Eat what you like, it's a holiday

At home I'm a fairly strict parent. I'm all about balanced diets, five a day, no fizzy drinks and minimal crisp munching. We make homemade cakes so that they are not over sweet or full of E numbers. Most of our meals are made from scratch. In fact DD is so used to having 'meat and two veg' that she's not that keen on junk food!

But when we are on holiday (which for us usually means camping, all of that goes out the window (or the tent flap).

I suddenly favour things that will 'keep' without a fridge. Snacks that are prepacked (and thus insect proof) and easy to carry, cartons of juice, bags of crisps, 'breakfast' bars (that we all know are just sugar thrown at some oats), of course nature has given us the banana, the perfect snack food, also the easy peel satsuma, but other than that I'm looking at manmade all the way.

teen eating an apple at a festival

Camp Bestival Planning

As you know I find half the fun of a festival in the planning and the preparation. Don't get me wrong, the festival is the best bit, but all the sorting of camping stuff, thinking about fancy dress (in 2012 I dressed as a horse!) , deciding on food and things to take for 'emergencies' - I love all that too.

So today I'm rounding up some advice from other Camp Bestival bloggers, both old hands and newer ones, in case I have forgotten any thing, and to spy on their plans. Hopefully it will help you plan for festivals too.

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