Much like The Desolation of Smaug, the 3rd part of my FyneFest 2018 article serves no purpose, adds very little to the story and is completely unnecessary. It's little more than self-flagellation at this point in time and doesn't even feature Billy Connolly to wake you from your slumber with a "What the actual fuck?" moment. But here it is - revel in the fact that after this, that's it done and we can all get back to normal afterwards
So as you probably noticed in the part 2 of my FyneFest 2018 ramble, I finally got round to mentioning the beer. This, you may agree, is probably an important thing for a beer festival to have and the short shrift I gave it here probably (definitely) didn't do it justice. For that, I can only apologise. I had grand ideas of tweeting my progress over the weekend, but the signal just wasn't good enough to let me do this - and you may also remember that I'd had 17 beers, so I wasn't exactly in a fit state either. (I did somehow manage to find my way to the port-a-loo, in the dark, half canned, without my specs on and all the way back to the tent afterwards too. So go me).
What I haven't mentioned yet though, is the food. Oh my... the food. I know I was primarily there for the beer, but a big part of the attraction of Fynefest for me, was the promise of proper street food to help wash the beer down. And - from what I tasted over the weekend - the food definitely matched the quality of the beer on offer.
I guess it's going to seem strange how much I remember of the food at Fynefest, but how little I remember (at least going by part 2) of the beer. Look, it's pretty simple - 1) I had less food than beer, so it sticks in my mind better; 2) the quality was tremendous and 3) whisper this a lot of the beer actually started to taste really similar after a while. I'm not panning the beer I drank; I'm just saying, that when you drink 4 or 5 different IPAs using Citra/Cascade hops, they do start to seem very, very similar after a while. Above average, definitely not pisswater - but very ...samey. The beers mentioned by name in part 2 were definitely stand outs though, so kudos to those brewers. Don't worry though - I'm not about to change the name of the site to www.foodwotihaveeaten.co.uk (although there's an idea...). We're still all about the beer.
Anyway, back to the food. The range and quality of food on offer at Fynefest really was first class. I haven't been to one of these festivals in previous years, but as far as I can tell, most (if not all) of the caterers on site are regular attendees at FynefestFynefest, which I think can attest to how popular they are. There was a great mix of styles too; Mexican, Indian/Asian, Italian, burgers, traditional fare. And I can vouch that everything I had was top quality.
I want to give a shout out to three of the caterers in particular though; first, the little green van that housed Bowl Food, was amazing. We bought food from here twice - once on Friday afternoon and then again at breakfast time the following morning. The chicken satay and Korean beef bowls we had on Friday went down a treat, as did the porridge and fruit the next morning. And even the banter from the guys was great too - although my awful Chewbacca impression failed to win me any free food!
Next, Chick and Pea. I was a bit dubious at the thought of 'super-tasty healthy foods and experimental flavours' (taken from the FF programme) but I shouldn't have been. That tagline there describes the little van perfectly. And they also introduced me to halloumi fries, which may just be my new favourite thing ever.
And lastly, the Crema Caravan. Mainly for the amazing crème brûlèe's they make to order. Myself and the missus both agreed that we hated crème brûlèe before we went to the van. Our experience of them up to that point was something bitter, burnt and sour tasting. Oh how wrong we were and we've clearly been eating the wrong cream puddings over the years. Really, really great stuff - the crème brûlèe topped with brownie and toffee sauce in particular was ridiculously good.
And that about tops off my Fynefest recap. I've missed a massive chunk of the festival out, by not talking about the music. To be completely honest, other than hearing the party blasting out through the night, we didn't hear much of it and it was more of a background thing for us. As we were there with my 3 year-old son, who just wanted to chase balloons all day, it didn't seem fair to take him into the main tent while the music was blaring out, even if he did have ear protectors (that he didn't wear) with him. So apologies to all the musicians - I'm sure you were all great.
Which brings us nicely to the end of my Fynefest 2018 piece. To summarize, the whole thing was a great experience. From the staff working the gate, to the stewards, the bar staff and everyone we interacted with at the festival, every single person was friendly and helpful. I think for the price of entry - something like £50ish each for the weekend (shorty in for free) - it offers great value for money. If you're thinking about going next year, I'd definitely recommend it - just be aware that its a hike from the car park to the camp site, so bring a trolley or something for all your gear! And bear in mind that there is limited shower facilities, so be prepared to stink a bit for the weekend! And if you have a fear of port-a-loo's, well ...the less said about them the better!
But if you're after a fun, friendly, beer-filled, foodtastic weekend that may or may not be a wash out (this is Scotland after all) and can put up with a few thousand million midges, then make sure you book your tickets for Fynefest 2019 as soon as they become available.