River Cottage Festivals
We have been lucky enough to be invited along to both of the River Cottage Festivals which are right on our doorstep. The Spring Food Festival and the Summer Festival (on over the August Bank Holiday Weekend) are lovely events. The Summer Festival is a larger version of the Spring fair, spread over two days with the addition of music and camping.
I thought it was time to share our experience and photos from our visits (which were gifted in return for a review). Please note there are no festivals in 2020 but they will be back for 2021.
What to Expect
Set in beautiful East Devon countryside, the views from the car park are something else. There’s a park and ride system in operation or VIP parking. On arrival it’s a steep walk down to the farm or you can wait for the fun tractor and trailer ride.
The Spring Fair really had something for everyone and looking at the River Cottage website the Festival looks even better.
Explore River Cottage HQ
Take your time to look around the Old Park Farm farmhouse where the filming takes place and you can enjoy a farmhouse feast in the old dining room.
Wander around the beautiful garden, full of herbs, flowers and seasonal veg.
Peer through the large glass windows at the chefs hard at work, many of whom are here under the River Cottage apprenticeship scheme.
Children can enjoy a range of fun activities at the Fairs and Festivals, many are free but be prepared to pay for some things.
This weekend there’s entertainment from the Swamp Circus, a mime artist, circus skills classes and Rainbow Gecko and his giant bubbles (we loved him).
Kids can try pottery on wheels, play art junk modelling, felt making, monster modelling, play time in the sandpits, a mud kitchen, a dress up area and lots more.
For really little ones look out for blissed out babies – baby yoga, baby massage and sensory bliss.
Most Festivals are all about the music – so if it’s your thing get your tickets for the August Bank Holiday festival. You can enjoy acts throughout the day or just buy a ticket for the Saturday or Sunday evening events with great bands and partying along to the headliners.
Food, Masterclasses and Talks
At the Festival you can sample great food, watch and learn from the chefs or take part in a masterclass. The choice is yours.
There will also be guest speakers, ranging from chefs and food producers to environmental activists as well as Hugh in conversation with Philip Lymbery (CEO of Compassion in World Farming & author).
River Cottage Spring Fair & Summer Festival
Add in a range of craft stalls, local food producers and other interesting things to browse there’s plenty to keep you occupied. Oh and let’s not forget spotting your favourite TV stars!
These River Cottage events are good value to attend with children going free, but do be aware to expect Festival prices for food and the activities that you have to pay for. That said there’s lots to do that is free and you can have a really enjoyable day out without spending a lot.
I was also lucky enough last Christmas to enjoy a fantastic 7 course meal at River Cottage, prepared by their amazing chefs. If you are looking for a real treat then this is a great experience. You can read about that event by clicking through here.