Budapest Bread Festival: Carb-loading on Hungarian street food

I’m trying this thing at the moment where I basically eat a paleo caveman diet about 80 percent of the time, and it’s going surprisingly okay, but when I’m on holiday I like to eat. I’ve enjoyed two excellent carb and cheese-loading trips this year, which I’m feeling very nostalgic for right now. The first was to Budapest. I had an idea that it would be indulgent holiday full of heavy, hearty food – Hungary isn’t known for its delicate soups and salads after all — but then we stumbled on the bread festival and embraced the gluten on a…

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Why glamping at a festival isn’t just a cushy copout

I was put off camping in the UK at quite an early age by attending a festival many British school teachers like to refer to as the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme. Oh sure, it was fun enough the first time — we walked a bit, set up our tents, lay out on the grass in the summer sunshine eating our supernoodles and marshmallows listening to Glastonbury on a portable radio. One boy even brought a guitar and as darkness fell we all sat around the fire solemnly singing Karma Police and mulling over whether to quit school and set…

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Instagrammed: The Isle of Wight Festival

If there’s one thing Instagram feels as though it was designed for, it’s festivals. My somewhat cynical theory behind this is that festivals tend to be a pseudo-nostalgic experience for most people — especially the young. They’re a way of temporarily appropriating a hedonism that’s really the property of a different era and projecting it onto our lives. It means we can pretend to ourselves that if we’d been born earlier, we all totally would have been hippies, no question. This explains the flower garlands perching on every other teenage festivalgoer’s head. The morning before I went to the Isle…

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Pigging out at the Pig in the Wall

I really do hate to squeal, but I just can’t keep a secret like this to myself. I went to the Isle of Wight Festival last weekend, and I did it the grown-up way (by ‘glamping’ — more to come on that soon). I was determined for the whole trip to be the relaxed break I really needed, and so before I took to the high seas, a civilised lunch was in order. I’m a northerner through and through, but Hampshire is by far my favourite southern county and I spent several happy summers in the New Forest when I…

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Holy snakes! I see dead people!

Carried by the crowd, I moved from the searing heat into the shade of the church. The priest muttered quiet prayers and incantations, and approached me with his arms outstretched before him. He raised the snake and pressed it to my forehead, to my lips, to my chest. He turned to the old woman next to me, a widow, and repeated the gesture. She clutched her walking stick and received the blessing gratefully with a series of sharp nods which sent the tail of her black headscarf billowing into the air. It was the hottest part of the day in…

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