Mulberry's Cara Van at Wilderness Festival, Oxfordshire, England. Mulberry's Cara Van at Wilderness Festival, Oxfordshire, England. © Mulberry

Why you should go to a boutique festival this summer

There is a new breed of festivals on the social agenda. Don your finest cashmere, whip out the designer bunting and relish in fine foods and organic goodness

by 04 September 2014

I love the summer as it brings with it festival season, and what a spell of sun soaked outdoor merriment it has been. The seriously cool Festival No.6 at Portmeirion in Wales this weekend and the classic Last Night of The Proms in Hyde Park now have as much a following as real down-and-dirty festivals like Glastonbury and Creamfields. And while you won't find me camping it out at Reading or busting my moves as day turns into night at South West Four, I am certainly getting my 'posh' festival fix.

You could call me a festival snob, most likely to be found kicking back to London Grammar at Wilderness (Oxfordshire's answer to Coachella) in between yoga under canvas and champagne at the Laurent-Perrier orangery, or gorging on gourmet gastronomy while listening to Laura Mvula at Jamie Oliver's Big Feastival.

    Big Feastival

I am certainly not alone in my love of 'poshstock'. Along with Cara Delevingne at Wilderness and Samantha Cameron at Jamie's Feastival, there is no shortage of middle class mummies in pastel cashmere and fluffy gilets with their Joules clad gaggle of floppy haired little ones at these outdoor weekend jollies. Like me, the appeal is in the ease of the experience. Just because you are socialising in the middle of a field, doesn't mean you can't still enjoy life's little luxuries.

Instead of pegging down a barely shower proof two-man tent, we are checking into bunting clad shepherds huts for a night of candlelit glamping. And rather than binging on fat sodden white van burgers, we are immersing our inner foodies with hand reared pulled pork baps complete with home made organic cider to wash it down. Today's grown up festivals are swapping snacks and bites for banquets and feasts and talks and debates are surpassing the din of wannabe rockstars and out of tune has-beens.

But it is not just festivals that have been waved with the luxury wand... Del Boy and Rodney and their local fruit and vegetable market crew have been turfed out and replaced by organic farmers markets and the local boozer has been given a Kelly Hoppen make-over, replacing beer stained bar stools with ready-made distressed leather sofas. The humble fish and chips has been taken over by precisely cut skin on 'fat' chips stacked high like jenga blocks, Fizz & Chips (yes that's fish and chips and champagne served at The Point at Polzeath, Cornwall every Thursday) and top chefs are turning their hands to the fat fryers including The Ivy ex Head Chef who now runs The Fish & Chip Shop in Islington.

    Wilderness

The fashion world has been hit too. I am sure Coco Chanel never expected her name to be synonymous with the high street, but Chanel's current designer Karl Lagerfeld didn't decline designing a collection for high street giants H&M back in 2004. And he is not alone, with Marni, Maison Martin Margiela and Versace all bringing their designer edge to the humble high street.

And while I am all up for affordable luxury, pimped up fish 'n' chips and five star festivals, I wonder where this trend will stop. En route to Jamie's Feastival I saw a hand written sign advertising a 'Posh Car Boot Sale'. Either nearly new Juicy Couture is being flogged from the back of Audi TTs or Porsche owners are trading engines? Needless to say I won't be going along to find out, but instead attending my local steam and vintage fair – proper posh car boots.

For more info on festival coming up in for Summer 2015, click here