The wine feastival that is Wilderness Festival

I just got back from the feastival that is Wilderness Festival. In its seventh year held at Oxfordshire’s Cornbury Park, not only is it a family friendly festival, it is an absolute food and drinks haven.
This was four days of serious food and drink indulgence. Not a greasy burger or pint of Brother’s perry in sight.

From Jose Cuevo margaritas to Orchard Pig cider. There was a Peacock tail cocktail truck, a Sipsmith gin bar, Pimm’s double decker bus complete with croquet lawn and a Veuve Clicquot tent (yes, really). The Ketel One Kitchen served vodka fans, and the twinkly Meantime bar and Heineken Hall kept those seeking a decent pint happy. Not that I tried them all, I hasten to add!

Then there was wine.

Picture this: Saturday evening. Wood smoke and folk in the air. Tired legs from dancing and piggy backs. Then taking a pew to share a bottle of Crianza at the Wines from Rioja terrace. Festi-bliss!
But that’s not all. There was more wine… and the food… the food…

If you weren’t organised enough to book Thomasina Mears or Yotam Ottolenghi or Angela Hartnett, or just not the kind to plan ahead, no fear.

For instance, if you’d missed a table at The Pig or Petersham Nurseries, takeaway was available.

Our preference was to head to The Dining Room where we gorged on gourmet Breddos tacos, top notch samphire pakoras from Kricket or soft, steamed Taiwanese Baos, washed down by a glass or two of Provençal rosé from The Cellar wine bar.

The wine may stop there, but the food was never ending. Gourmet street food lined the site at each and every turn. Favourites included Anna Mae’s mac ‘n’ cheese, more tacos, Chip Off The Block cheesy chips, Bubble Dogs (sans bubbles), burritos, gyoza and so much more. The Wholefood Heaven Buddha bowl went down a storm with my healthy CrossFit loving chum.

Some may say it’s all a bit corporate, but I felt the balance was about right and I certainly left feeling contentedly full, having done my bit for caterers big and small.
With early bird tickets for Wilderness 2018 being released today, I’m still recovering from this weekend so won’t be booking quite yet. But if you enjoyed Tom Kerridge’s Pub in the Park but just wish it had lasted longer, I’d totally recommend Wilderness Festival – just swap the wax jacket for sequins.

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