Every year spawns several new food-art-music festivals, it seems that there is an ever increasing demand for outdoor events that feature culture, local producers and good food at the centre of their offering This year we are abandoning larger festivals in favour of smaller, quirkier and more interesting events. Here are three not to be missed.
Port Eliot Festival
The Port Eliot Festival will be held from 19-22nd July 2012 in the 100 acre grounds of the stately home at St Germans in south-east Cornwall. The festival encompasses 100 different performances on ten different stages on subjects ranging from literature to music, fashion, food and film. There are flower shows, talks, demonstrations and wild swimming.
The food part of the festival takes place in the Georgian kitchen, and this year’s line-up includes: dinner lady Sarah Husband on cooking for 200; godfather of fusion cuisine Peter Gordon; Chef Nathan Outlaw, who has two restaurants at the St Enodoc Hotel in Rock, including the 2 Michelin-starred Restaurant Nathan Outlaw; presenter and ‘food adventurer’ Stefan Gates; Chris Sherville - resident chef at Port Eliot and Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Cornwall.
The House at Port Eliot has been lived in for over 1000 years. Augustinian monks were there from the year 937, while the earliest remaining evidence of a dwelling on the site is a 1500-year-old glazed tiled floor, dating from the late Iron Age. The Grade I-listed mediaeval priory and house were remodelled in the 18th-century by renowned British architect Sir John Soane and sit in gardens and park created by landscape gardener Humphrey Repton, which stretch down to a secret estuary of the river Lynher. Today, Port Eliot is home to the 10th Earl and Countess of St Germans.
Follow the team on Twitter: @porteliotfest
Wilderness Festival will be held from 10-12 August 2012 in the 500 year old 1700 acre ancient deer park and grounds of Cornbury Park. This is a festival like no other, a magical medley of crafts, food shops, foraging, music, theatre, mime, pantomime, lectures, masked balls, pop-up gardens and fancy dress.
There are large tents where you can dine at long tables with feasts prepared by Yotam Ottolenghi, Moro, Fergus Henderson, Valentine Warner and Thyme At Southrop. Wildflowers, candles, foraged food and local specialities make the evening events very special.
There is even a salubrious boutique camping option: a selection of tipis, huts, yurts, Blue Bells, Squrts and even a luxury bus called Beryl are all available for hire. Other facilities include separate access to the festival site, luxury toilets and showers for exclusive use to boutique campers and a relaxation area.
Wilderness Festival: www.wildernessfestival.com
Follow the team on Twitter: @WildernessHQ
Cheltenham Food Festival
The Cheltenham Food and Drink Festival 2012 will be held over three days from Friday 15th – Sunday 17th June 2012. The natural grocery store, Whole Foods Market, is the headline sponsor.
The Festival, which will be held in Cheltenham's Montpellier Gardens, was set up five years ago to showcase the best of Gloucestershire's food and drink industry. It now draws exhibitors from all over the country but the focus is still local and despite the weather, in 2011, over 19,000 people visited the event.
As well as big brand names such as Taittinger Champagne House, Brindisa Spanish foods, Fever Tree tonics, Pieminster, Hotel du Vin et Bistro and Jamie’s Italian, there will also be over 200 small artisanal food producers, from butchers to bakers, fishmongers, preserves makers, chocolatiers, brewers, confectioners, cheesemakers and even potters.
A wide range of wine talks, street theatres, cookery demonstrations, children’s entertainment and live music will be showcased during the event. For more information you can visit the
Cheltenham Food Festival: www.cheltenham-food-festival.garden-events.com
Follow the team on Twitter: @Garden_Events