Streakers during fantasy cricket matches, Ottolenghi long-table banquets, and mass yoga classes at sunset, Wilderness is as much about the festival experience as it is about the music. In my attempt to visit some of the smaller festivals I finally made it to ‘the poshest festival in the UK’ based in Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire.
I never thought I’d say this but, the camping was a delight. It was exceptionally easy to find a pitch, despite arriving late on Friday afternoon, and how can one moan when you’re setting up a tent in wildflower meadow? I had the best night’s sleep I’ve ever had at a festival too!
…is it too soon to talk about the food? Let’s talk about the food. THE FOOD, my God. It was spectacular. There were long-table banquets from the likes of Tom Kerridge, Thomasina Miers, The Pig at Brockenhurst, Petersham Nurseries, you name it, I ate it. Although actually I didn’t because the long-table banquets are nottttt cheap, but that’s what you get when a Michelin Star’s cooking you dinner. It’s no wonder this festival has a reputation of being ‘posh’. What I loved though, is that most of the ‘posh food tents’ had takeaway canteen sections for the likes of you and me! Petersham Nurseries served up barbecued lamb skewers with a mint yoghurt dressing and the BEST chickpea salad I’ve ever had the good fortune to come across. The Pig (quite appropriately) were dishing out Hog Roast Rolls with piccalilli and apple sauce, and one morning I had a bacon sandwich and a cuppa on the top deck of a double decker bus.
Wilderness really does have something for everyone: you can hire a rowing boat a mess about on the lake that runs through the site, you can book yourself in for a massage at the lakeside spa, or you can take part in a debate about what socialism is today. Or (like me) you can spend a whole afternoon in the Pimms tent soaking up the sun and playing croquet!
Wilderness is also the perfect choice for festival first-timers so if you’re yet to tick one off your bucket list, make sure to get your tickets in early for next year!
You can buy my outfit here: