I am on a UK theatre tour with "Hormonal Housewives", I'm travelling the UK with a wonderful team of women. It is the first theatre tour I have done and it is teaching me a lot about who I am and how I work (I thought I already knew, but I'm still learning it seems)
There is a lot to learn and discover about being on tour, both personally and logistically. I will be sharing some of my experiences and advice with you in a number of different blogs and here is the first...
So I'm starting with the basics - eating.
It seems pretty obvious really doesn't it? Buy food, eat it, happy days. However, being on tour means that it is not as simple as that. What if there isn't a shop or supermarket within walking distance? What if there isn't time to stop in a café? What should I buy and where do I store it? How much food should I buy?
I'll try to answer some of these questions below...
Five food tips
1. Supermarket stock up
It is not always possible to get to a restaurant or café for meals (and even if you could, it would be pretty costly to do that every day) so finding a supermarket and stocking up is key. Watch out you don't over shop though! Carrying around bags of food that you just aren't going to eat or simply perishes before you have the opportunity to do so isn't fun. I find that buying enough food for 3-5 days works well.
2. Don't rely on a fridge
Finding food that you can tour with you that lasts and doesn't rely on a fridge is pretty important. Don't get me wrong, most theatres have a fridge so there is opportunity to cool those cucumbers for a few hours each day, but it does make you stop and think about what to buy. A hotel windowsill is great too, although, not all hotel windows can open (and when the weather gets hotter, this wont be an option either)
3. Don't reply on a microwave
Eating a hot meal on tour is a real treat. Finding a microwavable meal is well worth it, they are cheap and tasty and because it is warm, it feels like you are having a proper meal. However, if you are staying in hotels, there aren't microwaves in your room and not every theatre has them either. So it can be worth checking to see what facilities the theatre has before setting your heart on a hot microwave meal that day only to be disappointed.
4. Kettle clever
As I just said, eating a warm meal is a treat and stops you feeling like you are surviving on snacks. I am 99.9% sure that there will be a kettle in the theatre and hotel, so finding something that can be made with hot water is well worth it. Couscous, noodles, porridge...
5. Feeling saucy
Inevitably meals will become repetitive as you'll find yourself heading for the same few things that you have discovered you're able to tour with, therefore inevitably, they start to get a bit boring and uninspiring. So get saucy. Spice up those meals with different dressings or sauces and suddenly the same meal takes on a whole new persona.
Touring must haves
You can start the day with a warm mug of porridge in your hotel room, it is a great way to get going for the day. Keep your eyes peeled though as LOADS are made with milk powder. Tesco do their own multipack of six sachets, it is really cheap and there are three different flavours in each pack. It is great having a variety of flavours to choose from. They recommend putting it in the microwave to make it, but just adding hot water works just fine.
There are other tasty brands too, but they are more pricey.
Rice or noodle pots
These delicious pots of joy are brill. You can grab three or four when you do your supermarket stop, they last for ages and are really light so carrying them around isn't an issue. There are loads of flavours to choose from and plenty of vegan options too. YUM!
Rice cakes and peanut butter/marmite
These are a must have whether you're on tour or not in my opinion, so they are an absolute necessity in this situation too; late night snack; quick interval snack; pre show snack; breakfast; van munchies. They are so versatile, you can add fruit on top of the peanut butter to add a little sweetness; add a slice of cucumber or tomato on top of the marmite for a hint of freshness. They last for ages and you wont regret knowing you have them as back up.
Choose wisely as some fruit and vegetables just aren't made for the touring life. I have found that cherry tomatoes, cucumber, tangerines and blueberries are my go to options. They are pretty resilient. Although you may need a Tupperware tub to keep those toms and blueberries safe and to save you having a sludgy mess at the bottom of your bag! (Also, make sure when you are stationary you get them out and take the lid off to get some air in the tub, otherwise they will go bad pretty quickly!)
A jar of olives is a great shout too!
Yup, trusty old popcorn. I don't really need to say much more. The Proper popcorn peanut butter and almond one is particularly brilliant!
Decaf tea bags are great. When you get back to the hotel room, you may want a cuppa and if you're anything like me, having a caffeinated cup just ruins any hope of getting to sleep.
If, though, you haven't got milk sitting on your windowsill, then go fruity and herbal. Peppermint tea is always a good option!
So there you have it. I hope that helps. I'd love to hear of any tips that you have discovered! Equally, if you have any questions please get in touch!