Forget soggy cheesy chips and questionable burgers, festival food has had a gastronomic make-over. Look no further for a guide to the top fine-dining festival experiences this summer
We currently find ourselves slap bang in the middle of festival season but it’s not just music and performing arts that people are looking for, food seems to be playing an increasingly central part in the festival experience. Here’s our guide to the most enticing places to grab a bite at this summer’s festivals!
With two Michelin-starred chefs (Simon Rogan from the soon-to-reopen restaurant at Claridges and Angela Hartnett from Murano) and a whole host of top restaurateurs opening shop at this year’s Wilderness Festival, whether you’d call yourself a foodie or if you simply love food, this is a must. Each day a different top London chef will host the Chef’s table’, an intimate gastronomic experience offering diners a tasting menu of 8 courses or more set against the backdrop of the lake. The chefs participating are James Knappett (Bubbledogs and Kitchen Table), Scott Hallsworth (ex-Head Chef at Nobu) and James Lowe (Young Turks and Lyle’s) but places are filling up fast, so if you’d like to get a seat and a taste of something innovative and exciting, book now before it’s too late.
A name that evokes quality and British-ness, Fortnum & Mason will this summer be making its festival debut at Port Eliot. Located in the picturesque grounds of this beautiful Grade 1 listed house, Fortnum & Mason will be setting up an outpost of its award-winning restaurant, The Fountain. Festival goers will be able to enjoy an all-day breakfast and brunch of some of The Fountain’s signature dishes, including Welsh Rarebit, Scrambling Prawns and Oeufs Drumkilbo. In the evenings, celebrated chef Mark Hix will be cooking a selection of dishes from the menu at his extremely popular East London joint Tramshed. For the perfect complimentary drink there will be a pop-up bar adorned with decorations from the Fortnum Piccadilly store. The bar will serve Fortnum’s Brut Champagne and cocktails including the signature Hix Fix’.
The Feast Collective is back at Bestival with the likes of the Knackered Mothers Wine Club, a safe-haven for anyone looking for respite from the excitement of the festival in the form of a glass of carefully picked wine. Hungry but not sure what for? You won’t have any trouble getting your hands on some of the most exciting dishes from the country’s best street-food vendors and culinary geniuses. Why not head over to the Surplus Supper Club where you can enjoy a three course fine dining experience made from food that would have otherwise gone to the landfill. Alternatively, head over to the Matua Sessions where you can enjoy a musical line-up created to compliment the wine you’ll be drinking brought to you by Matua – the first winery in New Zealand to produce Sauvignon Blanc. Good food and amazing wine whilst enjoying a top line-up – what’s not to love!
Diners have the choice of enjoying organic and locally sourced festival food on site from countless street-food vendors or heading to either the Hotel Portmeirion, which proudly boasts 2 AA rosettes or the Castell Deudraeth Brasserie which has its own impressive 1 AA rosette. Modern Welsh dishes and freshly caught seafood, a drop-in champagne and oyster bar are some of the few stand-out features of this unique festival.
What happens when you bring together a rock star and a TV chef? You get The Big feastival – a wonderful celebration of food and music brought to us by beloved TV personality Jamie Oliver and Blur bassist, Alex James. Guests will be able to enjoy four courses from some of the best chefs on the supper club scene at The Friday Night Supper Club, with all proceeds going to the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation as well as dishes cooked by Gennaro Contaldo, Monica Galetti, Ashley Palmer-Watts and Levi Roots but to name a few. Festival goers will also be able to sample the very best dishes from Jamie’s very own restaurants Barbecoa, Jamie’s Italian, Jamie Oliver’s Fabulous Feasts and Union Jacks.
The sister festival of Isle of Wight’s Bestival, Camp Bestival has a huge amount to offer in the way of mind-blowing culinary experiences. The Feast Collective is a must as it’s the ultimate event in outdoor dining; with its big communal tables, diners can enjoy some of the finest artisan dishes from the most creative and celebrated independent chefs and street vendors. Head over for dishes from renowned Dalston-based eatery White Rabbit, the delicious British Street Food Awards nominated Dorshi, Biblos fusion street food and many more. This is a family-friendly festival and with a list of food vendors as long as the list of performing artists, there is sure to be something to satisfy even the fussiest taste buds. 31st July-3 August 2014, Lulworth Castle, Dorset