Anran Festival was a great mix of food, music and atmosphere

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Anran Festival was a great mix of food, music and atmosphere

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Anran Asian Street Food and Music Festival was a great success last weekend, with a relaxed atmosphere, great music and delicious food. 

After being postponed in 2020, the organisers limited the numbers of tickets available and it gave the event a really family-friendly, relaxed atmosphere where you could almost forget the pandemic ever happened.

The main street food area was light and open 

Myself, my husband Dave and our two-year-old ball of energy Arthur arrived early and saw the food vendors setting up in their magical recreation of an Asian Street Market - if we weren’t hungry when we got there, we were as soon as we smelled the preparations going on at the stalls. 

Asian Food Street 

The aroma of sweet and sticky sauces alongside the Asian herbs and spices were truly mouth-watering, and we sat and listened to a great acoustic set (Arthur clapped after every song) and we waited for the food to be served. 

Arthur clapped after every song 

Lots of different people slowly started to fill up the large open barns and spill out onto the beautiful orchard area next to it. There were families and children of all ages, from tiny babies to one amazing youngster who spent the whole time running around with a cape on. It was lovely to see them not worrying about the pandemic and interacting with each other and their families in the open air. 

There was a workshop venue for kids with crafts and activities and a storyteller, sadly Arthur was a bit young for most of it but there were loads of children there who looked like they were living their best lives and really enjoying themselves. It also meant that the parents could spend some time child-free too. 

Dave said: “It was very cool, it had lots of things going on and the food was amazing. It was small so you felt safe with Covid in mind and the atmosphere was really friendly and bright.”

L-R: Steve Tims (5 Foot Way), Will Smith, Edwin Ho (owner), Michelle Wen Lee (5 Foot Way), Mike Jowett (owner)

Kris Lannen from Cornish/Scottish band Brother Sea called it a “truly wonderful festival” while festival-goer, Dr Mel Forte said: “It was good to get together and dance in such a relaxed way. I had the best time. Another attendee Emma said it was “lovely to be able to enjoy ourselves here without having to worry about the pandemic for a little while.”

The music was amazing, and could be heard coming from all angles to really bring the venue to life. Highlight of the trip for me was All Jazzed Up playing a brilliant jazz version of Fountains of Wayne’s 2003 pop-punk hit Stacey’s Mom. Not something I expected but it was fantastic. 

All Jazzed Up

Importantly, Anran Fest raised funds for Cancer Research UK and Children’s Hospice South West. Anran, which is a luxury wedding and events venue, is owned by couple Edwin Ho and Mike Jowett. They worked for many weeks to make the festival an inclusive, friendly and safe event that celebrated the best of authentic Asian Cuisine alongside some of the best regional and nationally-recognised musicians.  

Edwin said: “It has meant so much to me to bring these wonderful street-food chefs together to our home, here in the South Hams.  They feel like family to me and it felt so good to share that with the local community.”

Mike added: “The pandemic has changed so many people’s priorities and perspectives, including ours. So we wanted to bring the people together in a safe celebration of some of the best things about our creative and culinary passions.  

“Being able to support two great charities that are close to our hearts is the icing on the cake and we’re looking forward to doing the same again next year.”

The decorations all over Anran were beautiful 

The music was managed by local music management company From The Whitehouse and the food vendors included the renowned 5-Foot Way, Shioks Kitchen, Taguchi-Ya Canteen, Yuki’s Kitchen, Café Cloudywaaa, and Malaysian Kitchen Supper Club.  The sold-out festival culminated with an incredible set from the BBC-acclaimed Harbottle and Jonas Trio.

The public and performers responded enthusiastically both on-site and online, with many commenting on the special atmosphere they experienced on Sunday and Monday.

Anran Fest is due to return in 2022. We’ll be there! 


(Main image: Ungku from 5-Foot Way)


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