My First Reading Festival & How It Did Me the World of Good | #ThisGirlEats

I’ve wanted to go to Reading Festival for YEARS. I might’ve missed its glory days as the number one festival for emo kids (my mum wouldn’t let me go – I was still in school and wanted to spend the weekend alone with my older boyfriend, to be fair to her), but that doesn’t mean it ever lost its place on my bucket list.

When this year’s line-up was peppered with hope for my lost teenage years – Fall Out Boy, Panic! At The Disco, Papa Roach – as well as some newer bands I love, I decided that 2018 would be the year for my first ever Reading Festival. And you know what? It was probably the most fun weekend I’ve ever had!


I knew jamming to some of my favourite bands and drinking all weekend would be a laugh, but I didn’t expect it to do me quite so much good. I left feeling ten times better in myself than when I arrived, despite stinking to high heavens, and I realised just how much I needed this.

Not looking in a full-length mirror for five days is something I’d highly, highly recommend. It didn’t even cross my mind, but when I left I realised I hadn’t actually checked my body’s reflection the entire festival. It felt amazing. I didn’t worry about if my hips bulged or my butt looked big, I just threw on whatever clothes I’d packed and that was that. If only it was always that simple!

I didn’t worry about what I ate, either. I picked at chips, treated myself to burgers and halloumi fries, and just generally ate whatever I fancied, whenever I fancied it. I didn’t have to plan ahead or cook for anyone or worry about calories and honestly, it was such a weight off my mind – no pun intended!


Okay, so it wasn’t perfect. I don’t know a single thing about camping and our tent ended up full of muddy puddles, and we weren’t exactly the youngest people there. I never want to see another can of Strongbow in my life, nor will I ever take white boots to a festival again (seriously, what was I thinking…).

But still, it’s probably the least self-conscious or anxious I’ve ever felt, for longer than I would’ve ever thought possible, and that’s a pretty big deal for me. I spent all weekend in a damp tent and dirty fields but it turns out it might as well have been a spa weekend!



Since When Did Festival Food Become So Fancy?! | #ThisGirlEats

Festival food used to be questionable, at best. Smelly, grubby food trucks selling your bog standard burgers, chips and, if you’re lucky, a bacon roll in the mornings – more often than not, food poisoning was just a chance you’d have to take if you wanted to eat. Salmonella and chips, as Del Boy would say.

It was all about convenience; if it soaked up the beer, it did the job. But now, that’s all changed. Festival food is all part of the experience – everything has got to look the part, picture perfect and ready for online exposure. You can’t upload greasy food in a floppy polystyrene carton to the ‘gram. It’s this social media demand, I think, that has led to the new crazy-good quality of festival food.

King of the Yorky: all the best bits of your Sunday roast served in a giant Yorkshire pudding bowl. 

For a start, the sheer variety has come on leaps and bounds. Gone are the days of chips, chips and more chips – at a decent sized festival, you can chow down on just about anything. From ostrich burgers to vegan buddha bowls, oven-baked mac ‘n’ cheese to Mexican burritos, we really are spoilt for choice.

Even your most basic options have upped their game and evolved from their classic foodie forefathers. A quarter pounder becomes a double beefburger dipped in gooey cheese sauce and topped with onion rings. Hot dogs become gourmet German sausages smothered with anything from fried onions to chilli con carne. A plain ol’ portion of chips becomes a plate of crispy sweet potato fries. We’re not in Kansas anymore, folks.

Shaken Udder Milkshakes: choose your favourite chocolate bar or biscuit and turn it into a delicious milkshake

The downside of this is, of course, the price. The more pretentious – sorry, I mean delicious -, the more expensive. We all know these things are overpriced, we know we’ll pay a fiver for a warm pint and have sadly made our peace with that. But when it starts creeping up to near a tenner every meal, that’s a serious chunk of your hard-earned cash. We’ll be at Reading Festival in a couple of weeks for four days, so we’re spending at least £40 a day on food (!!!) with just one meal a day, and I’m not a ‘one meal a day’ kinda gal. So it better be bloody good!

Price tag aside, I think it’s awesome that festivals have integrated food to become such an integral part of the event. We want a whole experience from a festival, especially when we’re forking out so much for weekend tickets. It’s not just about watching a few bands anymore, it’s about everything in between – and these days, you can’t have a bangin’ festival without some bangin’ food.

All About the Sausage: over ten flavours of foot long sausages and endless topping combos.