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Buckland Court

Cotswolds, England

A feast of fun in the Cotswolds

Posted by Jonathan Broom on May 11, 2018
A feast of fun in the Cotswolds

It may have passed you by (though really, how could it?) but in the mid to late 1990s the UK was considered the coolest of the cool. Euro 96 made football fun again; in 1997 the nation elected a young, charismatic Prime Minister who promised to sweep away years of political sleaze; fashion (though drawing heavily on previous decades) was self-confident, with more than a hint of swagger; and simultaneously defining and reflecting the zeitgeist was Britpop: edgy, anti-establishment and as catchy as measles, and spearheaded by two rival bands – Mancunians Oasis, and Essex boys Blur.

Fast-forward two decades-plus, and one-time Blur bass player Alex James is living in the Cotswolds, making cheese and hobnobbing with the great and good: as establishment as they come. But he’s still up for a party, and would like you to attend.

Now in its eighth year and staged in partnership with celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, James’s Big Feastival serves up the finest in food and drink, with music to match.

Provender-wise, the pair (and their guests) are keeping stellar company: doing their cheffy thing will be Marco Pierre White, Raymond Blanc, Gizzi Erskine, Pierre Koffmann, and many more; they (and others) will be in action in the NEFF Big Kitchen, producing undreamt-of delicacies to feed the hungry crowd.

Elsewhere, there’ll be street food galore, served up along Street Food Alley by some of the leading lights of the street food and pop-up restaurant scene, Table Sessions where you can learn from the masters (and mistresses) of all things victual, and cookery classes where you can put theory into practice. James will (of course) be showcasing his own cheeses, as well as introducing curd-lovers to other cheeses from around the UK and beyond – and, musician that he is, spinning a few disks.

Talking of which, the musical line-up is taking shape, and includes household names like BRIT-nominated Paloma Faith, currently riding high in the album charts with The Architect

multimillion-selling former ‘garage’ star turned smooth R&B soulster Craig David

and ex-Spice Girl Melanie C – who, if the rumours are true, may soon be reunited with her erstwhile bandmates.

In fact at the time of writing no fewer than 20 top-line acts are on the bill, and the number continues to grow.

The whole event promises to be a real treat – for the ears, the eyes, and the tastebuds.

The Big Feastival takes place from Friday 24th to Sunday 26th August – the Bank Holiday weekend – at Churchill Heath Farm, Kingham, Chipping Norton: Alex James’s farm. If you’re lucky enough to be holidaying at Buckland Court, it’s an easy, half-hour, 17-mile drive away. Tickets are available through the Big Feastival website, which you can access by clicking here.

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Jonathan Broom
Author: Jonathan Broom

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