After a wet week we had a glorious Saturday – just what you need for an open-air music festival. Now I’ve never been to T in the Park or any other music festival for that matter and I imagine this one – at Newport-on-Tay – was a wee toty bairn in the festival family. It took place in the car park of the Newport Hotel, which faces right onto the river (or maybe it’s really the sea at this point). Who would have thought there would be room for such a thing in this space? Although it’s such a gorgeous wee site that it’s wasted on car parking. As you stood and watched the bands playing, you could see the RNLI lifeboat racing up and down the river behind.
I was watching the Black Cat Jook Band strutting their stuff and eyeing the Pulled Pork stall when a familiar body parted the crowd, bearing trays of – well, pulled pork probably – and strode down to the sea wall. I had a tremor of celebrity recognition … I knew I’d seen him before … it was the 2014 Masterchef winner who, as you may remember, came from St Andrews. I remember being xenophobically proud to have a local lad – and a rather bumbling and shy one at that – winning out over all those smooth Southerners. So now I’ve checked on Google and sure enough – Jamie Scott now has his own restaurant – The Newport.
Saturday’s festival wouldn’t have been any kind of culinary challenge for Jamie and in fact the only food obviously on offer (music and beer being the main point) was the rolls stuffed with pulled pork, as previously spotted. The Troubadour eschews eating ‘anything with a face’ so I asked about vegetarian options and of course there was one (so why didn’t they advertise it?) – aubergines and tomato on flatbreads. We had one of each and there was a certain grumbling about the lack of implement for eating the veggie option (none was needed for the pork as it was all snugly wrapped up in the roll). In itself it was tasty but maybe pitta would have made it easier to balance with your beer while you applauded the bands. On the stall there was a tasting menu which looked intriguing and would be well worth returning for. I liked the way all the provender was identified by its place of origin – including ‘Newburgh Chicken’ – I didn’t know there was such a thing, and will cause enquiries to be made.
Anyway the festival was great fun and really family-friendly, with the glass walls of the restaurant thrown open to let in the sun. And the music was fantastic. Big congrats to the organisers and I hope there’s another one next year.