It’s that time of year again. Evening sunlight scorches the tops of buildings and there’s a golden hue of daffodils illuminating the fields. Social media and my inbox are filled with reports of food and festivals and sunshine, and the days have just got longer.
Springing from the embers of the previous Elephant Fayre, Port Eliot is reminiscent of these glowing narcissi for two reasons. It shines through in the spring, bringing joy to its aficionados and it calls to mind the delightful gold of the surrounding fields when passing through St. Germans in the summer months.
This year’s festival is no less exciting, with its array of cool grooves and amazing eats.
Watch out nearer the time for top tens in food, and watching as yours truly tries to review everything on site in only 48 hours!
Accustomed as I am to staggering around the fields and playing Hunter Wellie bingo, Port Eliot is a stunning location for ‘slebspotting’, since just like Cornwall itself, there is no class system or VIP area. You’ll party with the stars, under the stars and ‘til you see stars and be able to dine on a variety of street food and incredible elaborate restaurant cuisine served in tents around the site.
From delicious Persian delicacies prepared with ingredients from along the south coast of England to the lovely looking St. Agnes based Thyme & Tide – the street food is world class at Port Eliot and this is where I am building the whistle stop food tour challenge!
Modestly titled Muffin Man serves homemade English muffins filled with sausage, pork belly and bacon jam, smoked eel and scrambled duck eggs with sweet potato and kale hash made by a Michelin-trained chef. I am really excited about the winners of the best burger in the South West Street Food Awards Cheeky Burger being there and giving Falmouth’s Meat Counter a run for their money.. Other food of note is The Cheese Truck and Thoroughly Wild Meat Company for meat and cheese respectively. I am going to be one full and happy writer after Port Eliot this year.
As always, some firm favourites will give talks and demonstrations. As always TB is a huge fan of Nathan Outlaw who will be there, and this year I am looking forward to seeing Gizzi Erskine too. Something we should try and get along to, following the foraging fest, is when expedition chef and international mountain leader Kieran Creevy will set up his own mountain basecamp at the festival and teach us all how to be cooking on gas. And fire.
Port Eliot is a fun festival, and this year’s musical line up looks to be one of the best, for me, with Saint Etienne and This is the Kit playing, as well as the myriad new discoveries we will happen upon. I first heard the Secret Sisters at Port Eliot a few years ago and their heartfelt harmonies still bring memories of that riverside home. From fireworks in the daytime to swimming in the wild river, there is always something to entertain, so hearts and bellies will be full.
Hop on down to Cornwall’s greatest festival and lose yourself in words, food and music.