Lots of you ask why we still go to festivals. We opened the restaurant in 2020 (during a lockdown – this is another story) and it’s not a great look to be open/closed/here and there now that we have our bricks and mortar.
There are so many different answers. The first that always comes to mind? Nomadic life is in the blood. Yeshi gets restless in one place – he has to up sticks every once in a while, and cooking in a field is second nature to him. New pastures, new people, softer water – for Yeshi the grass is always greener on the other side.
Then there’s the kids. They’ve grown up at the back of the stall, and as the years pass they get more and more excited for festival season. Soon they’ll be manning the Taste Tibet tent with their mates. Before they get there, they’re enjoying all the freedoms. This year Glastonbury gave us a new pitch location by West Holts stage. According to the festival website, West Holts is “party central” come nightfall. Our little one (she’s 9) asked if she could bring some friends…
We go for the kids, but we go because we love the festivals too. Yeshi likes to be around lots of people. He lived in India for twelve years and got used to the hustle and bustle. He loved running our stall in Oxford’s Gloucester Green Market, where we’d feed a couple of hundred people of a lunchtime. Our restaurant, on the corner of two sleepy, residential streets, can feel too quiet for him.
And this is another reason that the festivals call – they help to prop up the day to day. Restaurants are closing left, right and centre at the moment. Skyrocketing rent, soaring energy prices and snowballing inflation have sounded a death knell for many small, independent eateries around the country. In east Oxford we face an additional challenge – traffic calming measures have frightened off many people who used to drive to the restaurant. We feel lucky that we still have the festival tent: the summer months give us a mental and material boost.
A reminder, then, that you can join us in the fields over the next few weeks – Glastonbury if you were lucky enough to snag a ticket, or KITE (this weekend!), which offers something for everyone: David Baddiel, Alastair Campbell, Dave Gorman – and the Pretenders. If you are local to Oxford it’s a hop, skip and a jump away. You can come for the weekend or just for the day.
See you soon,
Julie and Yeshi
CLOSED THIS WEEK
REOPENING JUNE 29TH