Last weekend, I ticked another item off my ‘30 Things to do Before I’m 30‘ list; I took a day off from my day job/real life, hopped on a train to Oxfordshire, and spent the weekend in the blissful Cotswolds countryside at Wilderness Festival with my friends at Hunter.
Now I’ve never been to a festival before, but I’m fairly sure this wasn’t your usual music festival. Set on an aristocrat’s rambling country estate (complete with manor house, rolling hills and meadows and two large lakes), it was a celebration of art, nature, creativity and music. Of course there were bands (we listened to The Temper Trap as the sun set) and an obligatory sea of pop-up tents in a neighbouring meadow*, but there were also literary lectures, philosophical debates, art and craft classes, yoga, horse riding, rowing, vintage markets, a prohibition-era speakeasy, midnight masked balls in the woods and spectacular banquets (Yotam Ottolenghi’s feast was really rather special). The whole weekend had an air of magic about it; from the thespians nestled in the woods telling tales of magical far-off lands, to the festival-goers lazing about in the long grass with flowers in their hair as the sounds of a New Orleans jazz band floated on the warm breeze from across a meadow and over a dale, I felt as though I had stumbled into a real-life reenactment of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.Along with my friend Dearne, I mostly spent the weekend wearing floaty white dresses, raspberry wellies and flowers in my hair (and dreaming of running off to be a ‘Temperley Bohemian’ more often), pondering the meaning of life and happiness, splashing about in the lake, treasure-hunting at the vintage stalls and dancing the charleston to a jazz-age brass band at 1:00am.
Beneath that golden light and restorative air of a summer’s day in the English countryside, I felt as though all my cares in the world melted away. I can’t wait to return next year!What is the most wonderful festival or celebration you’ve ever been to? I’d love to hear your suggestions!
Love, Miss B xx
* I’m slightly terrified of camping (I need a shower and a fluffy bed), so we stayed at the charming Bear Hotel in the postcard-perfect Woodstock just down the road.
Thank you Hunter for the most magical weekend!