We’re back from reviewing our third incredible Camp Bestival. Previously at Camp Bestival I have enjoyed a beer or two in a paper cup while watching acts at the main stage, or a Pimms in the Bollywood cocktail bar. Unlike the festivals of my youth, where alcohol featured high on the agenda, camping, kids and fun packed days mean that a drink is a one or two off indulgence to top a great day. So, if I am going to drink, I would like it to be a really special one.
I think Camp Bestival made some great additions on that front this year, in fact the whole festival is like a great wine, it gets better with age – so many wonderful new things on all fronts as I will cover in other posts. Camp Bestival is so much more than bands and kids activities, and there is stuff for grown ups too, like a spa, massage tents, a literary institute with inspiring speakers and amazing food. Today I thought I would focus on drink.
Just because you are in a field, doesn’t mean you can’t have a really good glass of wine, or a really inspiring cocktail. The jam jar bar, with its caravans serving wine and cocktails was a beautiful space.
I was also lucky enough to go along to Helen’s Knackered Mother’s Wine Club Wine Tasting, while Mr A took the kids to the Lego tent. Helen is a great presenter, full of fun and of course very knowledgeable about wine. Earlier in the day she had spoken in The Guardian Literary institute tent, alongside other authors, DJs and journalists.
Her book Knackered Mother’s Wine Club in the words of India Knight ‘doesn’t just simplify wine, it simplifies life.’ And India loves it, and I have just ordered it.
We got cracking with tasting Prosecco, Helen taught us to smell and taste wine properly, suddenly my mouth was flooded with flavours and I was desperately rooting round my brain to put a name on whatever it was my nostrils were experiencing, pomegranate, passion fruit, cucumber? I guess if you don’t exercise those thought processes very much they are a little slow.
The audience had lots a great questions, including Annie from Mannkesjur - just in case you don’t recognise her under the greasepaint – the theme this year was Circus, in case you were wondering…
The conversation started to flow and opinions started to form, here is Louise from My Gorgeous Boys and Mari.
I learnt early on I prefer Prosecco to Champagne, it’s lighter. Brilliant news for my pocket! Helen had some great tips on where to find the best of both, look out for Asda’s Prosecco which is often on special offer, and the champagne we tasted was made by the same vineyard who make very well known champagnes, but at a much lower price. So Helen’s book is going to save you money too.
It was lovely to spy some old blogging friends under the table, literally, not alcoholically speaking. Mummy Barrow (I know, she is a little disguised here) was in her element, with a jam jar cocktail AND a fine rose. Rose is not for me, but it went down well with rose drinkers.
It was wonderful to see Vanessa from HPMCQ so at ease in a field camping – she’s vowed to go again too! Vanessa is probably also looking so happy because she is drinking what I think was the best wine of the tasting, I shall reveal all shortly.
Mari’s ears pricked up at the sound of Italian wine.
Helen dealt beautifully with an increasingly chatty crowd, including her biggest heckler, her mum, who you can see in the white dress here.
She took a ‘break’ from serving 50 mums to photobomb my picture of Mari and Louise.
I made a new friend, Lisa has a lovely creative business, called Compass Creativity, she makes personalised wall art using maps and jigsaw pieces, lovely idea for a present, especially for special occasions and anniversaries. Speaking of which, Mr A and I celebrated 16 years together on Friday, at our favourite anniversary place, Camp Bestival! In case you are wondering, the yellow scarf is the finger knitting I did in the knitting tent.
I think we were tasting Old Bush Vine Grenache here, a bit potent for me, who is not a huge fan of red, but Lisa enjoyed it.
But I was really surprised by this red, it is a fortified dessert wine and Helen served it to us with a square of dark chocolate. It was like eating the most sublime cherry chocolate pudding, in fact I would happily forgo chocolate cake to eat and drink this combo instead! It would be great to wow guests after dinner.
My overall favourite, the one I will always go for, a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. My nose clearly thought so too and immediately flooded with the names for all I could smell, grass, bonfire, flint, earth – maybe being in a field next to the food tent helped.
Sauvignon is a popular wine, there are lots of poor imitations, so perhaps why it can be so hit and miss. I am going to look out for this one.
While I was being a knackered mother, my husband and children enjoyed the Lego tent. The kids played happily into the evening at a table in the jam jar bar with their Lego, while Mr A and I sampled the wares from the feast collective food tent, where Helen’s choice of wines were also available to buy – more on that incredible foodie paradise coming very soon – Helen did warn us wine wakes up the taste buds!
I’ve just shared 20 things my kids loved and learned over on parentshaped, do go over and find out more about the amazing kids’ activities.
Vita Coco for Alcohol free refreshment
My kids enjoyed the Vita Coco Kids Beach at Camp Bestival. Vita Coco, as you would imagine, is made with coconut, which makes it lower sugar than juice. Its also full of protein and incredibly refreshing. I was pleased to discover my kids really loved it. It’s also for grown ups, Mocha was my favourite, a real summer pick me up!
Tickets for 2015
Early Bird tickets for Camp Bestival 2015 go on sale Friday 8th August 2014, and there is a payment plan, so catch them while you can! I will leave you with some video evidence of all the fun from 2012, why we first fell in love with Camp Bestival in 2012, what we loved in 2013 and a packing list.
I may have to treat myself to some new wine glasses now I am home, I am loving these ones, by Sagaform at Wayfair.
Disclosure – we were given tickets to the festival in return for preview and review and live coverage – in other words, I worked hard to party hard.