Lost Village began life last year as an house techno music festival teaming an impressive musical lineup with with a big emphasis on production. Covered in dayglo, giant tribal ornaments and littered with floating lanterns, Lost Village’s secluded forest setting became the ideal location for festival goers to dance to the sounds of Mano Le Tough, Eats Everything and DJ Koze. The formula proved successful for its creators, DJ’s Jaymo and Andy, as this year they returned with a bigger festival. Along with a an extra night, a secret stage and hot tubs by a lake, a banquet has come into the mix.
Not doing things by halves, a lineup as impressive as its musical headliners was enlisted to head the banquet as Michelin-starred chef Michael O’Hare and Typing Room’s Lee Westcott were announced as banquets chefs. Quite an interesting mix considering considering Lee Westcott is a champion of locally-sourced produce famous for foraging ingredients while Michael O’Hare made a name for himself cooking avant-garde cuisine and his gothic aesthetics. And so we headed to Lost Village to try out what was promised to be a euphoric celebration of food and drink.
On the first evening of the festival, we found the tribal banquet tent hidden away in the Lost Village woods. Grey Goose was on hand to prepare cocktails as we arrived while we were greeted by unusual actors dressed up as woodland creatures. We were then shown to a long stretching communal table, laden with ivy leaves and grey goose vodka bottles, where the feasting was about to begin.
Things were off to a good start when we were presented with Pork Belly XO topped with Oyster Cream and Pickled Shitake to begin. Wrapped in a lettuce leave and daintily garnished with edible flowers (presumably foraged by Wescott from the woods where we later danced) the greens provided a nice contrast to both the taste and appearance of the smokey XO pork and the smooth oyster sauce. As a first course, this seemed like a pretty good example of how both chefs cooking techniques worked in unison.
Next up was the beef tartare – always a favourite of ours. Beautifully dusted with a green matcha like powder, nicely in keeping with our surroundings, the oyster emulsion and capers in the tartare gave it a punchy taste. And although the beef was chopped too finely for our liking, the wonderful addition of the salt baked turnip gave it a surprisingly nice twist.
Despite the main not fitting in with the woodland theme of the other dishes, it was probably the most eagerly anticipated dish on the menu, having previously appeared on BBC’s Great British Menu when O’Hare was a contestant. It definitely looked like an O’Hare dish – the completely black food was strikingly served on a black plate. Taking a top down shot of the dish proved that this was probably one of the least instagramable dishes out there. Yet, we were really impressed by the originality. The tender black cod had a sharp contrast thanks to the vinegar sauce and a beautiful texture was given by charred matchstick chips.
Unfortunately the dessert didn’t quite match up to the rest of the dishes in terms of inventiveness, as the yoghurt, strawberries and basil held little surprises unlike the rest of the meal. An easily forgettable dish but this probably wasn’t helped by the fact that the free flowing wine had helped create a full on party mode, with diners itching to be unleashed into the depths of this fabulous festival! Overall though, it was a great success and shows that festivals needn’t be dodgy burgers and chips, gourmet food definitely deserves its place on the bill!
The organisers are well aware that today’s festival goers have a taste for quality and therefore employ a whole host of stellar street food names to feed the Lost Village crowd. We enjoyed giant slices of New York pizza from Dalston favourite Voodoo Ray’s. At £4.50 for a slice they may be on the pricey side but their flavour combinations are second to none and they don’t half fill that hangover hunger. Billing itself as the best bacon butty in town, Le Swine appeared to live up to this statement with the incredible Le Swine Butty which has the heavenly addition of a beautiful runny duck egg. Elsewhere The Cheese Truck fuelled the night with molten cheese cascading out of delicious cheese toasties, which kept us dancing till dawn!
Lost Village is still in it’s infancy when compared to other festivals but the incredible setting and attention to details that lie beyond the music simply made it one weekend we won’t forget in a longtime!
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We The Food Snobs x