One of the hottest food events of the year, Wilderness festival in Oxfordshire combines the off-beat fun of the modern British music festival (woodland walks, feasts around the campfire, wild swimming, and, of course, a top-notch music line-up) with seriously good food.
Join one of the long table banquets to enjoy fine wines and bespoke menus from Virgilio Martinez, Skye Gyngell and Raymond Blanc. Or sit in one of the festival’s beautifully decorated ‘field restaurant’ tents – try Moro’s vibrant Mediterranean dishes, a seasonal menu of zucchini blossoms, crab and prosecco jelly with summer berries in the Petersham Nurseries tent or British classics such as heritage beetroot salad and Dorset Blue lobster in the HIX tent.
Some of the country’s top chefs will also be hosting chefs’ tables – cosy up to Christian Puglisi, Robin Gill of The Dairy, Tomos Parry of Kitty Fisher’s and Lee Westcott from the Typing Room. With appearances from many other restaurants – including Quality Chop House, Duck & Waffle and Maze Sushi – this festival is a one-stop trip around some of Britain’s finest restaurants.
4 – 7 August, Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire; wildernessfestival.com
Port Eliot Festival
This celebration of words, music, imagination, ideas, nature, food, fashion, flowers, laughter, exploration and fun (try and tick them all off during its four-day line-up) is set in the grounds of Port Eliot House, a stately home in the far east of Cornwall.
Like the rest of the event, food talks here have a literary and ideas-driven focus. More a place to question your own approach to – and relationship with – food than to pick up cooking tips (though there will be plenty of those too), guest speakers this year include Russell Norman, Mark Hix, Nathan Outlaw, Peter Gordon, Ben Tish and Tom Parker Bowles.
One of the best street food line-ups of the summer festival scene, highlights include triple-cooked Somerset chips with Montgomery’s cheese from Chip Off The Block, and monkfish curry and Moroccan chicken from Katie’s Cornish Hot Pots. Pop-up cafes, restaurants include outposts of Comins Teahouse, Polpo and Sipsmith.
28 – 31 July, Port Eliot, Cornwall; porteliotfestival.com
River Cottage Festival
In 2016 River Cottage is launching its very own music festival. Based at River Cottage’s Devon HQ, expect a relaxed affair complete with local cider, a Devonshire artisan produce market and puppet shows for the kids. River Cottage streetfood will join forces with local producers to make sure no-one goes hungry while enjoying the music. And if you prefer a proper sit down meal there will be hearty festival feasts in the farmhouse.
More reasons to visit? River Cottage’s wild food expert, John Wright, will lead foraging expeditions around local hedgerows to gather botanicals to infuse into drinks while Heron Valley will be offering sweet apple mojitos, gin and elderflower fizz and wild nettle infused Pimms. Don’t fancy pitching your own tent? Opt for glamping in the bell tent village.
17-18 September, Axminster, Devon; rivercottage.net
The Big Cwtch
The Big Cwtch celebrates Wales’ best food producers and emerging Welsh artists in a bewitching lakeside setting. Rock down to the street food alley where you can grab a clay oven pizza from Blas O’r Tan, local rare breed pork dishes from Slow Pig and filing wraps from The Wrap Shack. Or make for the lakeside and chill out with a signature champagne cocktail from Ginhaus Deli.
For retro comfort food, pop into the vintage tearoom for afternoon tea, or make up your own pick-and-mix from the selection at The Big Cwtch Sweet Shop. There will also be pop-up pubs to relax in, including the Wonky Table and Prospect Inn, where you can enjoy local craft beers and wines.
10 September, Crugybar, Carmarthenshire; thebigcwtch.com
Smoked and Uncut
Four mini festivals taking place at the three Pig hotels and the slightly fancier Limewood hotel across four afternoons this summer, each Smoked & Uncut event promises local bands, blankets and hay bales as well as gourmet food stalls, local ciders and ales and the odd glass or two of English sparkling wine. How very civilised.
Get ready for the legendary BBQ with short ribs, venison burgers, corn-on-the cob and more. Book a ticket with accommodation and you can stay overnight in the chic hotels, or go for grown up glamping at the Bath event and enjoy breakfast, and campfire dinners.
June to September, Dorset, Hampshire & Somerset; smokedanduncut.com
The Big Feastival
A star-studded line up, with the likes of Mark Ronson and Kaiser Chiefs sharing the spotlight with Jamie Oliver, Raymond Blanc and Tom Kerridge, this Cotswolds festival caters as well for music lovers as it does for food lovers.
Some of our favourite street food trucks will be there to offer sustenance after dancing the night away – try Le Bun’s French-American burger twists, The Cauldron’s epic sandwiches and Le Swine’s legendary bacon butties – or head to the NEFF Big Kitchen where award-winning chefs Jose Pizarro and Thomasina Miers will demonstrate what they can do in the kitchen. Wellness talks, masterclasses and The Allotment Project will also be part of the festivities.
26 – 28 August, Kingham, Oxfordshire; thebigfeastival.com
The magical coastal village of Portmeirion hosts one of the UK’s most unique boutique music festivals, complete with a full-blown carnival, a Welsh produce market and dream-like spectacles.
Enjoy headliners Noel Gallagher, Hot Chip and Bastille with a proper pint and pulled pork sandwiches, or get involved in the Michelin-starred long table banquet and fine dining in the Portmeirion hotel and Castell Brasserie. Go a bit more casual and indulge in the street food village with fresh Thai food from Bangwok, Italian dishes with modern twists such as poppy seed pappardelle with slow-cooked pork ragu from Cooking Cooks, and a proper pie from favourites Great Northern Pie Co.
1 – 4 September, Portmeirion, Gwynedd; festivalnumber6.com
The spectacular Brecon Beacons provide an idyllic backdrop for this boho music festival with a great foodie offering. Meat eaters rejoice, as there will be a selection of hand-salted bacon and sausages from Charcutier Ltd, burgers from Cardiff-based The Grazing Shed and spit-roasts from Roaming Rotisserie. For a taste of the sea, try Weldhman’s caviar and laverbread from street food joint Café Mor or crab burgers from Claw.
Wander around enjoying the music with a portion of Spanish churros to keep your dancing feet fuelled or pull up a picnic bench in the walled garden with a pint of Growler from the Green Man Pub.
18 – 21 August, Brecon Beacons, Wales; greenman.net
The Dorset outpost of the Isle of Wight festival has a lot to offer foodies in its Feast Collective food and drink section. Highlights include demonstrations from Hangfire Smokehouse, Martin Morales of Ceviche, Steven Lamb of River Cottage and many more while pop-up bars and cafés from Caravan Coffee, The Knackered Mother’s Wine Club and S’Juice Me will keep you going while you enjoy the music.
Book tickets for one of the festival’s sought-after supper clubs: Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen will serve Ghanaian food such as goat leg curry, spiced rice and okra fries on long feasting tables. Join playful, visually led supperclub Cuisine+Colour in the Hotpoint Festival Kitchen or get up early to catch The Little Gloster’s breakfast club where you can learn how to make your own sausages and cure your own bacon.
28 – 31 July, Lulworth Castle, Dorset; campbestival.net
Musicians from around the world will congregate in Wiltshire next month to share and celebrate world music, food and culture. Listen to the likes of Anoushka Shankar, Roots Manuva and Otava Yo then head to the Taste The World stage; here, artists cook their favourite dishes from their home countries, leave them to cook while they play their gigs then return to let everyone taste the results. While you’re waiting for your food, try Australian wines from family-run Yalumba winery in the Barossa Valley.
Just want to graze? Feast on homemade dumplings with chilli sauce, applewood smoked meats and Philippine noodles from the weekend’s line-up of streetfood stalls.
28 – 31 July, Charlton Park, Wilthsire; womad.co.uk
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