When I told my friend that I was going to the Good Life Experience Festival she laughed and said that if the Bradshaw's did festivals then the Good Life would be it! Packed full of handpicked music, outdoor adventure and good fun, the Good Life festival certainly stayed true to its name and was beautifully staged to boot. We couldn't all go, such is family life right now, so I took my lovely friend and two goddaughters for a day out.
The lovely Cerys Matthews founded the festival with Charlie and Caroline Gladstone of Pedlars fame and kindly posed for a photo with us. Cerys handpicked all the music from the delicate voice of Georgia Ruth to the London Bulgarian Choir and they were all perfect choices to play in the huge traditional canvas tent.
The boys favourite bit of the fair was the vintage fairground with its huge wooden helter skelter, swing chair carousel and swing boats. It was enchanting and was a magnet for those young at heart.
There were campfires through the site and an amazing amount of bearded gents - such is the fashion! It was only right that the very trendy Mr. Natty was in residence in the Albam tent to style those with more untamed barnets and beards, he even styled the boy with his styling clay and now he thinks he's the bee's knees!
There was abseiling, archery, axe throwing, campfire cookery, rope making with the local Hawarden scout group, food demonstrations by the amazing Bill Grainger and Tom Herbert two of my food heroes, bushcraft, yoga, tai chi to take part in, the spoon carving workshops booked really quickly which was a shame as I'd have loved to have given that a go as it looked amazing, so that's definitely one for next year!
I loved all the little 'Pedlars' touches around the festival, such as this free pear stall next to the vintage fairground and under the most beautiful sycamore tree, we all happily munched on ours whilst in the archery queue. I do love a little vintage styling and really appreciated the flowers on all the tables in the music marquee and the large GOOD LIFE illuminated letters.
The oldest boy was determined to win a coconut at the coconut shy and threw and threw until he won a coconut for us all, what a champ as they really weren't easy to hit at all!
I tried some Tincup Whiskey - crickey I think I did the same face as I did when I first tried alcohol aged 14 and tried not to cough in such an amateur fashion (I'm really not very cool!) - see what I mean about the bearded men everywhere, I may have to wear a fake one next year perhaps?
The guys in the Peckham Print Company tent were printing and selling special festival bags and were fab with the children as soon as we entered the tent, showing them how to screen print and offered us a try at screen printing our own bags.
Festival highlights included speeding down the HUGE wooden helter skelter and swing chair carousel, the amazing location at the Hawarden estate and gorgeous farm shop (which sets the bar for farm shops quite high!) eating pulled pork pizzas from the wood fired oven in the music marquee listening to Georgia Ruth.
We had the most amazing day, everyone was so friendly and the stall holders and guest speakers so passionate about what they do and I even managed to come home with some lovely goodies too, including the new Ernest journal, two school chalkboards, three coconuts, Mr Natty's hair wax, and a map book from the fabulous Best Made Company for the Misters birthday. This was my first ever festival (can you believe it?) and I loved it, I can't wait for next year already.