Flavour of the month

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Flavour of the month

The intention is to showcase the greatest hits from Scotland’s larder at Connect. Emma Newlands brings you a taste of what’s to come

Food at festivals is too often hit and miss. At best you may find some culinary treat that shocks and delights the pallette, while others are there to fill a hole as you rush from stage to stage between bands.

But the organisers of Connect are confident that the three day event will become renowned for its food offerings, with ‘a wide variety of food available, ranging from traditional Scottish cuisine to oysters, organic beef and vegetarian specific food stalls as well as all the usual tasty festival scran.’

A spokesman for the festival explains: ‘The food at Connect is going to be a bit special, with more unusual and wholesome food.’ There will be burgers, they acknowledge, but they will be 'organic and mouthwatering' rather than having the all-too-familiar consistency of a greasy beer mat.

The organsiers are also rightly aiming to make the most of local produce made on their doorstep.

‘Truly Scottish food is also a key feature of Connect, with local Loch Fyne suppliers, and there will also be organic and healthy foods, making for a different twist on festival food. This is one of the few festivals that you will be able to grab yourself a hot bowl of Scottish porridge in the morning, then an oyster lunch topped with an organic beefburger in the evening? Hungry already?’

Vegetarians are rarely top of the list when festival catering is concerned, but there will be a Linda McCartney stand promoting their new range of veggie treats. And the Loch Fyne Oyster Bar will be on hand to provide something from fresh from their larder in their own inimitable style.

The firm, based in Argyll, at the head of Loch Fyne, said: 'Loch Fyne Oysters are dedicated to bringing you excellent quality food to Connect, and included in our produce on offer will be Loch Fyne oysters, hot salmon rolls and smoked mussels, fresh from our seas and shores naturally.’

No music festival would be complete without a few alcoholic refreshments, and there’s plenty of intersting options on offer. Thirsty festival-goers can head to the Kopparberg Cider Garden, a special chillout area where fans can relax, listen to fantastic DJs and enjoy a Pear or Apple Kopparberg. The cider is made in the town of Kopparberg in Sweden, and the recipe dates back to 1930, combining pure Swedish water with the finest fruit.

If you'd rather have a beer, then you'll be well-catered for by Fyne Ales. Not only will they have a selection of five or six beers on sale at the real ale bar over the weekend but they've even brewed a beer especially for the occasion. Called ‘Broadband’, to reflect the broad selection of bands playing, the 3.8 per cent ABV drink has a refreshing and coppery taste. And the firm's director, Tuggy Delap, believes it is great that makers of local and high quality products are taking part.

‘I think it's nice that the people who live here will be able to sell their wares, and I think there will be a good cross-section of people attending.’

Scotland’s national drink will also be present, and the 45-foot long Loch Fyne Whisky Bar in the Circuses and Bread Field promises to find the perfect blend for everyone. I it will hold some of the world’s rarest, hand-crafted and rare whiskies, including a Springbank 1971, and Richard Joynson and his team in Inveraray say they will be bringing ‘whisky with personality’ to the festival: ‘Whisky and music have a long association and we aim to bring that association to a whole new audience at the Connect Festival without losing any of the traditional boisterous ceilidh atmosphere of music, friendship and good old Highland hospitality.’

The Circuses and Bread Field is open from 9am Saturday and Sunday

Connect

Returning for a second year after its successful debut the boutique festival has corralled headliners Kasabian, Manic Street Preachers, Bloc Party, Paolo Nutini, Grinderman, Franz Ferdinand, Sigur Ros and Goldfrapp. There will be five stages: 'The Oyster stage', 'Guitars and other Machines', 'Manicured Noise', 'Unknown…

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