The beautiful approach to River Cottage
The approach to River Cottage is beautiful; nestled on the crest of a hill, the 15-minute walk down from the festival car park gave wide-ranging views of the teepee village and the festival all laid out waiting below.
Our first foray was in the Kitchen Garden, familiar from our television screens, where the talented Emma at Meadowsweet Flowers made us a beautiful floral crown, which my daughter and I shared throughout the day.
We admired the handmade jewellery from The Library of Flowers, enjoying the story of each piece and finding out the meanings of the real flowers used to create each item.
Our floral crown!
Making gypsy flowers from hazel wood
In the courtyard we looked around the sleek and beautiful teaching kitchens and had a coffee in our reusable mugs (the festival is as plastic free as you would expect and we were reminded in advance to bring reusables - excellent!!)
The kids each enjoyed carving a gypsy flower with Dave Ewers of the Dorset Coppice Group and we headed into the fields to enjoy the live music, meander around the stalls and sample the delicious food.
We chatted to the lovely Emma from FfolkyFelt who runs amazing needle felting courses - her little foxes, badgers and moon gazing hares are just gorgeous.
Needle-felted hare from FfolkyFelt
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Anita Rani
I listened in on the panel discussion 'What are we going to do about plastic?' with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Anita Rani, and it was great to see the practical steps taken at the festival itself. We even bumped into Dave from our local town of Cardigan, back in Wales, who runs the company LitterPickers and were doing a fine job at the festival. The rubbish sorting and recycling was second to none; there were huge, well labelled bins everywhere, as well as plenty of drinking water taps to refill our bottles, which was very much needed as it was a scorcher of a day.
We spent a long time enjoying fun and games with Bubbleman and chatting with Lisa who runs the clothing label Mabli, producing adorable linen dresses and merino knits.
Bubbleman: loads of fun and games for kids
Let loose with a real bow and arrows - yeah!
We discovered Wildway Bushcraft who were offering an exciting array of survival workshops as well as the chance to have a go at archery. We were thrilled to discover there was no age minimum, which made our 3 and 5 year olds very happy!
The River Cottage festival is truly family friendly, very spread out and relaxed, so that even with 3 little humans in tow, we managed to keep them (mostly) in sight and everyone happy.
Now home, we are busy reading the books we bought; Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Much More Veg and Gill Meller's Outdoor Cooking, and dreaming about the courses on offer for our next visit to River Cottage HQ!
Thank you for having us!
Did I mention the food yet???