As far as festivals go, it seems that in the UK its one long summer brimming with everything from food, music, dance….you name it! Family festivals are becoming bigger and better with even the great Glastonbury calling itself ‘family-friendly’!
While I didn’t quite make it to Glastonbury this year, however we did get to the Big Feastival. This is definitely my kind of festival filled with good music, good food and a whole lot of good children’s entertainment.
For those that haven’t heard of the festival, it takes place annually over bank holiday weekend in August. Popular celebrity chef, Jamie Oliver, and Blur bassist, Alex James, are the brains behind this operation that takes place on Alex’s Cotswold farm.
The ethos is focused on bringing together Jamie’s passion of food and Alex’s of music together in a very middle class setting that is chilled and relaxing making it a haven for adults and children alike.
Running from the Friday to Sunday, you’re likely to find the crowd quieter on the weekday, however it’s a popular festival so there will still be thousands of people. There’s the option to camp (or glamp) and make it a fun weekend with this extra adventure thrown in, however we decided to do the day and exhaust ourselves from morning to night.
I have visited this festival a couple of years back in its infancy and what’s nice is that it’s kept all the things that really made it memorable for us. Upon entry, you walk into a huge field that is brimming with pop up food stalls, cookery tents, food sampling, arts and crafts, workshops and so much more! Our first stop was to one of the vibrant children’s tents filled with arts and crafts, beanbags and a library of books. Grabbing a drink my husband and I sat back and read the children some stories before having to conjure them out with only the bribe of some food!
Spolit for choice
For foodies, you really are spoilt for choice, representing most of the countries and delicacies of the world, the food stands and trailers push the boat out more than your typical fast food pit stop. Dishes range from delectable seafood paellas, luxurious mac ‘n’ cheese concoctions and slow cooked meat variations. In addition, the market stands are an intriguing exploration where you can pick up paired locally produced cheeses and wines, bakery goods and exotic fruits. Thinking back is making me salivate at the thought, and I recall the most stressful part of the day was in deliberating what and where we should eat!
In addition to eating the food, celebrated chefs are also on stage hosting a number of demos so whether you want to work on your Chinese food with the Dumpling Sisters, your fine dining with Raymond Blanc or learn to put together a master Bake Off creation in the style of the Baker Boys, there’s a chef for each occasion showing you just how to do so.
The schedule of music is plentiful. The main stage features the headline acts for the weekend, that this year included artists such as Groove Armada, Norman Jay, Ella Eyre and Paloma Faith. It’s evenly spread so it’s more a sit down with your picnic blanket while quaffing a champagne and enjoying it as opposed to moshing so very much a safe haven for little ones as well as adults keen to enjoy. Music is also present in various tents, and if you’re lucky enough you may catch Alex doing the odd DJ set.
Children’s entertainment is also big on the listing with Cbeebies favourites Justin Fletcher, aka Mr Tumble, along with other TV favourites such as Peppa Pig and the Gruffalo. The Little Dudes Den, onsite farm and fair ground rides will keep children amused for hours.
For us it was a fantastic day out that we were able to break up into some great family time spent exploring and getting creative with the children, binging on some yummy food and relishing all the entertainment on offer, an amazing day out.
For more information and to purchase tickets for The Big Feastival 2016 visit www.thebigfeastival.com