|The lake at Wilderness|
Wilderness Festival is held at Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire - a rambling country estate with shady dells, wide-open fields and lakes for midnight swims. I went along as a guest of Wilderness last weekend to check out what has been billed as Britain's 'foodiest festival.'
The food was several dozen levels above the dodgy offerings at most festivals, with stalls from The Breakfast Club, Liverpool's Bold Street Coffee (great flat whites), The Bowler's meatball van and Anna Mae's southern comfort food (I love their mac n' cheese) among the many highlights...
|Cheeky sign from The British Sausage Company stall|
|The Moro souk tent at Wilderness|
An adorable sweet shop in a shed in the children's area...
|Sweetie time at Wilderness|
|Anna Mae's - one of my favourite street food vans|
Setting up for Ottolenghi's feast inside the banqueting tent...
|Ottolenghi feast at Wilderness...|
|Aubergines with buttermilk and pomegranate|
|Ottolenghi's pan-fried sea bream with harissa and rose|
Another festival highlight was Future Cinema at Wilderness. Here's the cinema stage by day, opening onto the fields beyond. By night the area was transformed for screenings of Bugsy Malone, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and La Haine with a live score by Asian Dub Foundation...
|Secret Cinema at Wilderness|
|Skinny dip world record attempt at Wilderness|
There was so much more than food, movies and spontaneous nudity though. One of my favourite things about Wilderness was that everyone there could have the kind of festival they wanted. The food lovers could eat dishes cooked by their chef-heroes. Children could run amok in the family area with storytelling, games and singalongs. And - Daily Mail word alert - revellers could go crazy at The Old Vic Tunnels' Midnight Masked Ball deep in the forest. There was an outdoor spa with hot tubs, music from The Temper Trap and Rodrigo y Gabriella, a 1920s speakeasy where we learnt the Lambeth Walk, talks on everything from the Congo to the art of slow travel, and lots and lots of yoga.
What a weekend.
Sun sets on the beautiful Cornbury Park Estate...