Chefs and restaurants headline this summer’s festivals, as the Wilderness festival (12-14th August) in Cornbury Estate Deer Park, Oxfordshire, has started a new phenomena of putting festival food first.
Food is an essential part of any festival experience, but that usually involves over-cooked chips or a dodgy falafel wrap that doesn’t merit the 20 minute queue. Wilderness Festival are changing all that, however, as Michelin-stared chef, Skye Gyngell from Petersham Nurseries Café and Sam and Sam Clark from Spanish-inspired Moro restaurant will make their festival debuts and ‘headline’ two unique banqueting experiences.
Chef Thomas Hunt will host a seasonal Friday night feast, with Moro cooking up the Saturday night banquet and Skye Gyngell creating a sumptuous Sunday afternoon feast. At £27 for three courses, wine and the most elegant table setting you’ll see at any festival – it’s much better than standing in that queue for the falafel. Moro’s menu, for example, will include tapas and mezze such as prawn ceviche, slow roast pork and chiparones squid. Main course will be a choice of charcoal grilled lamb or grilled aubergine with a rocket salad, with yoghurt cake and pistachios for dessert.
Since every farmer and his entrepreneurial dog seems to run a festival in his field these days, it’s refreshing to find an event that has a genuine point of difference. Curated by the organisers of Secret Garden Party and Lovebox, Wilderness knows a thing or two about how to make a festival feel both authentic and fun.
The chefs are recognised as artists in their own right who deserve to be listed alongside the other big stars playing this weekend, including Anthony and the Johnsons, Gogol Bordello, Mercury Rev and Laura Marling, as well as featuring the London Folk Guild, a masked ball and a one off late night party ‘Where the wild things are,’ hosted by Secret Garden Party.
Wilderness festival is not all about the food, however, as this multi-arts festival also hosts biology classes, lecture on didactic farming poetry, theatre from the Old Vic, debates and talks, a Wilderness Spa, children’s entertainment, lake swimming, boating and hot tubs!
Tickets are still available from the Wilderness website, starting at £27.50 for one day and up to £120 for the weekend.