With a monster line-up of headline acts, theatre and wellbeing on the cards, Wilderness has now announced a series of unmissable foodie experiences. Our Shekha reports…
While Wilderness is guaranteed to have an incredible list of the best in the music world performing at Cornbury Park this year – confirmed headliners Justice, Nile Rogers and Bastille – are just the tip of the iceberg in a genre-bending programme, the pioneers of festival dining have pulled out all the stops this year for its non-musical offering.
So what to look forward to?
Wilderness will be welcoming a selection of the most exciting names from the restaurant world at the moment to feed festival goers from August 2 to 5.
An unrivalled programme of the finest culinary talent from the UK and beyond features more than 100 street food traders, communal feasting, restaurants of all sizes and, of course, the return of its legendary banquets – featuring a roster of Michelin-starred chefs.
The Long-Table Banquets host 400 revellers, featuring at least four courses. This year, Wilderness welcomes back Yotam Ottolenghi, who says: “Food is the ultimate way of breaking down barriers and getting people talking, so the benefits of eating en-masse are clear. I’m thrilled to be joining Wilderness again for what will be an incredible year.”
Saturday’s Banquets are the brainchild of Stockholm’s Joel Åhlin and Filip Fastén, whose 24-seater restaurant Agrikultur has just earned its first Michelin star. This will be a rare chance to sample their food in the UK.
They add: “As a small restaurant specialising in locally-sourced produce we’re so looking forward to cooking at Wilderness with the fine produce found around the area in August, the peak season for vegetables.”
While, on Friday, the All-Star Banquet, is an exciting collaboration between five talents from the London scene.
The first course comes from renegade chef Lee Tiernan from Black Axe Mangal. Next is Michelin star chef, Merlin Labron-Johnson, executive chef of Clipstone and Portland restaurants and holder of the prestigious GQ Restaurant of the year in 2017. Joining the gang is Tomos Parry (2014 Chef of The Year), who has just opened his restaurant, Brat, in Shoreditch.
Robin Gill (2016 Good Food Guide Chef of The Year) comes next, with the likes of Noma, The Ledbury and Sorella under his belt. Finally, Australian pastry chef and founder of Happy Endings, Terri Mercieca will create the dessert course.
Ben Quinn of Woodfired Canteen and Simon Stallard of Cornwall’s Hidden Hut are hosting the Opening Night Banquet, using the best Cornish produce, cooked over fire.
Alongside the banquets, The Chef’s Table, a 24-seat open kitchen with a view of the lakes, will feature tasting menus from cutting-edge chefs This year’s programme features Tim Spedding, head chef at Coombeshead Farm in Cornwall; Santiago Lastra, the nomadic Mexican chef; Sam Buckley of Where The Light Gets In, in Stockport and James Lowe of Lyle’s.
Giving partygoers a fresh way to dine in the field, The Counter will provide an open kitchen with a different team of chefs cooking each day. Thirty diners will be able to sit around the kitchen, sipping a welcome cocktail and enjoying lunch or dinner from a hand-picked collection of restaurants: Shoreditch’s Som Saa (Thursday and Friday), Shaun Searley of Quality Chop House (Saturday) and Salon Brixton(Sunday).
The Feasting Restaurants will also be returning, with Angela Hartnett bringing Cafe Murano back for a second year, for sumptuous Italian feasts and a wine bar collaboration with Passione Vino. Petersham Nurseries’ brand new opening in Covent Garden, La Goccia will be there, together with Wilderness’ first pizza joint, headed up by Mark Wogan’s Homeslice. Berber & Q are inviting festival goers to get lost in the madness of the medina, a sensory cacophony of sights, sounds and smells around a huge fire pit – think grilled meats and desert beats. And Patty & Bun return for a fourth year, once again bringing burgers, BBQ and the signature Patty soundsystem.
Festival hang-out The Dining Room returns, featuring six London restaurants and The Cellar wine bar, allowing diners to try a dish from each one, and gather at communal tables to eat. This year the line-up boasts MAM, BAO, Breddos, The Good Egg, Smokestak and Happy Endings. All set to the soundtrack of Daniel Willis from Clove Club and Ed Wilson of Brawn on the decks.
Last but not least , Wilderness has outdone itself on the street food front – with more than 100 traders dotted all around the lush grounds, including Chop Bar, by Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen, Slingin’ Poboys, The Piadina Project and Smokin’ Lotus giving just a taster of what’s on offer. This is truly one not to be missed.
The Food line-up, just announced…
~ Long Table Banquets ~
JOEL ÅHLIN & FILIP FASTEN AGRIKULTUR, STOCKHOLM
FRIDAY ALL STAR BANQUET WITH
ROBIN GILL, MERLIN LABRON-JOHNSON,
LEE TIERNAN, TOMOS PARRY & TERRI MERCIECA
WOOD-FIRED BANQUET with WOODFIRED CANTEEN & HIDDEN HUT
~ Feasting Restaurants ~
ANGELA HARTNETT’S CAFE MURANO
BERBER & Q / PATTY & BUN / HOMESLICE
~ The Chef’s Table ~
TIM SPEDDING Coombeshead Farm
SANTIAGO LASTRA Mexico
SAM BUCKLEY Where The Light Gets In
JAMES LOWE Lyle’s
~ INTRODUCING The Counter ~
SOM SAA / THE QUALITY CHOP HOUSE / SALON
~ The Dining Room ~
MAM – BAO – BREDDOS – THE GOOD EGG – SMOKESTAK
– HAPPY ENDINGS
~ The Cellar ~
With our favourite restaurant DJs
DANIEL WILLIS Clove Club / ED WILSON Brawn
ED & SAM Leroy / MARK & NICHOLAS Salon
~ The Finest Street Food Stalls ~
THE MAIN STAGE supported by BBC MUSIC
NILE RODGERS & CHIC / BASTILLE / JON HOPKINS
KAMASI WASHINGTON / BAXTER DURY
!!! (CHK CHK CHK) / IAMDDB / PALACE
JOY CROOKES / DAN OWEN / MY BABY
BILLY LOCKETT / MAHALIA / CONFIDENCE MAN / CARMODY / STEREO HONEY
And featuring an afternoon with BBC MUSIC INTRODUCING
~ Late Night Parties & Revelry ~
GROOVE ARMADA DJ SET
GEORGE FITZGERALD / PEGGY GOU
WAZE & ODYSSEY / SEVERINO
MIKE PICKERING HACIENDA
THE ATRIUM supported by TIME OUT
~ World Class Music, Dance & Performance ~
RONNIE SCOTT’S PRESENTS: ‘THE PEE WEE ELLIS FUNK ASSEMBLY celebrating
‘50 YEARS OF COLD SWEAT’ with support from ‘SCOTT MCKEON’S SUPERJAM’
AFRIQUOI / MY BABY / HENGE / KOKOROKO / THE SCRIBES
SADLER’S WELLS / TAVAZIVA ‘IZINDAVA’ / MASSIVE VIOLINS
~ Ceremonial Celebrations ~
THE WILDERNESS ORCHESTRA PRESENTS ‘GOD’S JUKEBOX’
HIP HOP KARAOKE / OH MY GOD! IT’S THE CHURCH
SIT DOWN, BE QUIET with MICHAEL WONG Founder of BOYS of YOGA
GROUND-BREAKING IDEAS & LITERARY ARTS
~ Welcoming Back ~
~ Inspiring Conversation ~
LONDON REVIEW OF BOOKS
THE SCHOOL OF LIFE / SUNDAY PAPERS LIVE
REFINERY29 / TOGETHERNESS / THE RSA / 5X15
THEATRE & ARTS
~ Leading Lights ~
ROYAL ACADEMY OF ARTS
V&A PRESENTS FASHIONED FROM NATURE & FRIDA KAHLO’S WARDROBE
THE BRITISH FILM INSTITUTE
~ Cabaret, Comedy and Variety ~
INTRODUCING… THE BE ALL AND END HALL
KABARETT VERBOTEN WITH MISSY FATALE AND GUESTS
BOURGEOIS & MAURICE
HACKNEY SHOWROOM presents LUCY McCORMICK & TRAVIS ALABANZA
PECS DRAG KINGS / ELLE & THE POCKET BELLES
SOLE REBEL TAP / STUMBLE TRIP CLOWNS / SWING PATROL
THE WILDERNESS CHORUS LINE WITH THE BEE’S KNEES
~ Spectacular Shows, Parades & Happenings ~
‘A SERIES OF EXTRAORDINARY EVENTS’
~ Open Air Theatre, Happenings and Eccentricities ~
THE CLUB HOUSE PLAYING FIELD’S NIGHT GAMES
ROGUE THEATRE’S ‘WICKED AND WONDROUS TALES’
‘UNDERCOVER’ FIRE HAZARD GAMES
THE EMBERS COLLECTIVE WOODLAND STORYTELLING
Brand new music stages…
THE TRAVELLING BARN with Woodburner
The Great Brain Robbery Presents THE HEREAFTER
THE CAROUSEL with Shangri-La Superstar Chris Tofu & Continental Drifts
THE GREAT OUTDOORS / THE SANCTUARY WELLBEING
THE KIDS AREA / THE ART STUDIO
And much much more…
Tickets from £168.50 + booking fee
Teens: £115 & child: £5