Audrey and I went to the Canteen Festival in March 2018.
- Dog Friendly: 10/10
- Blog On A Dog Approval Score: 9/10
- Value for Money: 9/10
‘Canteen’ is hosted by Rogue Village at the Archerfield Walled Garden, East Lothian. Blog On A Dog has previously reviewed the Walled Garden, here. It’s roughly a 30 minute drive from Edinburgh, and parking is free and plentiful. A trip to Canteen could easily be combined with a visit to Yellowcraigs Beach just a couple of minutes away. (Note that you do have to pay for parking at the beach).
What is Canteen?
Canteen is run by Rogue Village, an arts and events company based in East Lothian. Their aim with Canteen is to “create a family-friendly carnival atmosphere with a carefully curated line up of street food traders at one of the UK’s leading events of its kind”.
We attended the first event of the season (it’s a monthly event), and sadly the weather was not on their side. However, they did announce the day before the event that they were bringing the event “indoors”. They managed to cover the area in the middle of the food trucks with a canopy marquee. Considering they did this with a days notice, it worked very effectively. There was an additional indoor area in the open sided barn where the DJ’s and kids activities were. Perhaps the most popular attraction were the 2 fire pits which provided some very welcome warmth.
Canteen is partnered with the Archerfield Walled Garden, which means there’s not just the food festival to keep you occupied. There is also The Walled Garden, the fairy trail, a playground, in addition to the centre with cafe, bar, brewery, gift shop and deli.
The Food Trucks
My only disappointment about this event was that I couldn’t find a list of vendors that were going to be there in advance. I think it would have whet the appetite!
Once we were there we could see that there were roughly 10 trucks, including 3 bars. The line up changes every month. This months traders (apologies to any I’ve missed) were:
- Bostock Bakery Doughnut Van
- Crema Caravan
- Poco Prosecco
- Fox Hat
- Herringbone Horse Box Bar
- Edinburgh Pizza Geeks
- Spice Girl
- Archerfield walled Garden Courtyard Bar
Between our group we tried the Bostock Bakery doughnuts, Spice Girl, Fox Hat and the Herringbone Horsebox Bar. I would recommend them all. The star of the show in my opinion was Spice Girl. We arrived just after 1pm, even though the event runs until 6pm be aware that some of the stalls did run out of food through the day. So my advice would be to go early to avoid disappointment. Prices were as expected for this kind of set up (£7/8 for a main dish).
Perhaps the only disappointment at this event was that hot drinks weren’t readily available. It was such a freezing day that this was a shame. I assume there’s some sort of arrangement that Archerfield will provide the hot drinks, as none of the stalls were serving any. Inside, they couldn’t seem to cope with the sheer volume of people looking for some warmth. There was only one counter serving take away hot drinks (the deli) and they just couldn’t keep up with the demand. Hot drinks were available at the bar and cafe but they are table service only which we weren’t looking for.
Canteen Dog Friendly Score (10/10)
At the food festival itself, dogs are welcome everywhere. It advises on their website that dogs must be kept on a lead and be comfortable in busy environments. Even with the atrocious weather it was extremely busy, so that last sentence is notable. I think an anxious or nervous dog may struggle, just because of the sheer volume of people, noise etc. On a nicer day it would be easier to find a quieter space away from the busy stalls if your dog is nervous.
Dogs are also allowed in the Walled Garden, and all of the outdoor attractions on the Archerfield Estate. Indoors, dogs are welcome in the bar area, but not the cafe or deli. The bar is spacious and this arrangement works well.
Blog On A Dog Approval Score (9/10)
Canteen is a fabulous event, and I am thrilled that it is so near to us (we live just down the road, in North Berwick). It feels even better that it is hosted by two local East Lothian companies (Rogue Village and The Archerfield Walled Garden). Despite the horrendous weather the turn out was excellent. In my opinion this popularity is well deserved.
Canteen is run on the last Saturday of the month, from March until September. Entry fee is £1 for adults, kids go free. A few of the vendors were cash only. There is an ATM on site, but I would advise bringing cash with you. The overflow car park is in a field, so bear that in mind when choosing your footwear. There are Billy & Margot dog treats available to buy from the deli, in case your dog is feeling left out!
Canteen Website: here.
Archerfield Walled Garden Website: here.
Address: Archerfield Walled Garden, The Archerfield Estate, Dirleton, East Lothian, EH39 5HQ
Admission: £1 per adult.