12 August 2013

Homelanz, an antipodean festival

What do Maori Poi Dancers, Aussie Pies, Hangi, an M4 overpass, Braai and Kids with Kiwi backpacks have in common? Why, the Homelanz festival of course!
 


Haere mai, harae mai...! (Welcome, welcome!)

We trundled along, not quite knowing what to expect; a drunken Antipodean rave up, standing awkwardly in a London park or relaxed vibe where we could set up a picnic, listen to music, catch up and eat Kiwi treats. Well, thankfully it was the latter.
An early view of the corner soundstages - it got much busier as the day went on, don't worry! 
 
 
  
Full of families when we got there, the lovely Miss R and I spent a few hours catching up and nattering perched on a table, generally enjoying the atmosphere, most of the bands and some stonking coffee. Oh and...

I'm making my own mouth water.
 
These pies (although surprisingly Australian {sorry, that's a bit country-ist I know}) were delicious. One of the things I miss the most about New Zealand (behind my family of course!) are the dairies (corner stores) that have a pie warmer in pride of place selling pies with flavours running to; Mince, Mince & Cheese, Steak, Steak & Cheese, Chicken, Bacon & Egg and maybe Butter Chicken or Apple. They are the mainstay of working New Zealand, and their crispy outsider and soft contents are the things my homesick dreams are made of.
 
I love Britain, and I enjoy Pork Pies but they are a totally different story to a warm golden flaky pie with just the right temperature filling, full of meat, a bit of gravy and the right amount of cheese sauce. We are really spoilt having so many Kiwi things over here in London, but this is the one I haven't found yet. And no, pies served in pubs with vege and mash don't quite count as you have to be able to hold a pie in your hand IMHO. The closest I've found weren't golden crispy and found randomly in the East End (and Cooke's Pie shop in Shepherds Bush).
 
Just look at that flake and softness of pastry, but well put together enough to hold in your hand without any help.

We also treated ourselves to a rather delicious Pavlova with all the fruity trimmings. Delicious!


I loved the humourous elements dotted over the park, such as the multilingual sign for the loos;


And the classic decorations (I don't know what happened to the Australian flag, I swear it wasn't me!)...



It was pretty easy to get to, a 10min walk (or 15min drive with several U-turns in our case as the roads are pretty spaghetti-like) and I think I'll be back next year if only for the pies. That's if I can't find another dealer supplier pie-company.

 Oh, hai there Mr M4 overpass
 
The tickets this year were £30.00 which I felt was kinda steep considering you didn't (to my knowledge) get anything except entry for it, but I totally understand that it costs to hire the equipment and park, bands, security, marquees etc. We were lucky to get a 2 for 1 deal which was pretty fair. I will be back though, those golden delights are calling my name (and no prizes for guessing who ate all the pies - it was me!)
 
It is fab to see a little slice of New Zealand on the sunny parks of London-town. Keep it coming!
 
Would you go to a festival? If not, why not?
And any London pie recommendations would be gratefully accepted!

3 comments :

  1. ahhh pie! I like the signs, they should have done copies of the crazy signs that are dotted around NZ, I've got lots of pictures of them for reference if they want :)

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  2. We just went to a pie shop here in Southern California that two Aussie guys started and we ate them with our hands and they were so good so now I want to try one with cheese like you described!

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  3. I was craving those pies too!! I had 2 but my third suffered badly as they had the pie warmer turned up too high so it was hard around the edges, gutted!
    I reckon most people took advantage of the £20 ticket deal that most organisations were selling online. But £30 is a steal when you take into consideration there were about 30 entertainers there and all the free stuff available on the day. This was the third Homelanz and I have loved them all, and am so glad the weather stayed good too!

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