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Thurston Food and Music Festival

100 points to 'Knox Entertainment' for hosting a very successful Food and Music Festival in what I've also thought was a under utilized space in Suva City.

Thurston Gardens holds a very special place in my heart. It's where I go to have a coffee at the Ginger Kitchen and commune with the lush green foliage. I don't know what it is about the place, but it gets me! Which is why I quickly snapped this picture (below) How awesome is that, the stage framed by all that lush tropical green. I was already in a great mood, all I needed was my beer.

Thurston Gardens used to be known as the Suva Botanical Gardens but its name was changed in honour of the fifth Governor of Fiji, Sir John Bates Thurston, who was Governor from February 1888 to March 1897.

Side fact: Did you know Thurston Gardens are built on the site of the original town of Suva that was burned in 1843 in one of the bloodiest fights in Fiji’s history. Many of the inhabitants were killed and eaten by the people of Rewa. Pfooaaarrr we were SAHHH-VAGE!

Back to the event, we arrived at about 3pm at the gardens and got tickets and a quick scan of the grounds had me breathing a little easier because of the robust security. I am happy to fork out $20 to have peace of mind for the kids to run around knowing we're keeping the riff raff out and it's also got us access to some awesome musicians and some of the best food vendors in the country.

As we marked our spot and got comfy we were treated to 'Via Ni Tebara'. A little known fact but my husband is crazy about Fijian music so needless to say he was impressed. Tee hee 'Toso mai Suva'. Also awesome was seeing my good friend Dave Lavaki a.k.a 'Mr Grin' on stage after a while, always good to see him dropping beats with 'Drixtar' and revving up the crowd. To be honest, I think he did a better job at MC-ing than the other guy. You need someone with charisma who can feed off the crowd and get a party going in the early stages of the event.

Food, glorious food! That's what I came for, specifically Niu Grillz but dammit they closed late afternoon to prep for dinner, somehow I blamed my husband and gave him the 'stink eye' cause that's what marriage is. On to the next stall 'Taste Fiji', need I say more.

If you've been to their place in Nadi and perused their menu, it states where the produce is sourced and what the dish is. Their 'Eat Fresh, Buy Local' motto is refreshingly simple and hits home with its goodness. So its safe to say that their sweets and savory treats is something to behold and their stall did not disappoint.

Their lemon meringue tarts always leave me wanting more! Lots more.

And the coconut tarts are so good, I actually went back for thirds with a cup of coffee.

I am a sucker for pepperoni pizza and 'The Establishment' stall had a steady supply of $6 slices of pizza

Unfortunately we had to vamoose out of there early but I will say this, it was a bloody good effort for a first time event. Unfortunately the on and off drizzle had people leaving early but I guess that's always a gamble when you're hosting an event in Suva outdoors. A friend of mine went to bathroom and warned me that it wasn't exactly hygienic so I waited till I got home, maybe they can work with Suva City council to get the toilets in better condition for next year.

I am definitely going again next year with every intention to spend the whole day! Well done to Knox and Ellana.

P.S Check out the awesome video by Paradise Beverages shot by the awesome 'First Fighter' Crew and shoutout to my man Jim Tora, vinaka Joske's thumb....KAILA!



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