Experiences Travel

4 MINUTE READ

Boutique festivals to attend this summer

Words by Georgie Young

14 July 2022

Lots of people dining under a marque outside on the grass between trees at Lost Village.

As the dust settles on Glastonbury, these smaller festivals are taking centre stage.

The return of Glastonbury has set a sizzling tone for a summer of festivals. However, if getting acquainted with wellies and tentpoles sounds as appetising as mud – and plenty of it – our list of alternative occasions is likely to suit. We’ve selected eight boutique festivals that are more along the lines of ‘fine dining and four-poster beds’, with events such as a literary festival at a 17th-century estate, a wild swimming retreat in the Lake District, and a forest fiesta with Michelin-starred menus: truly something for everyone.

Inside hospitality space marquee with round tables and wooden chairs set up with flower center pieces at Savour Inside hospitality space marquee with round tables and wooden chairs set up with flower center pieces at Savour
Small plates displaying food, bao buns, meats, skewers and more in rounded plates at Savour. Small plates displaying food, bao buns, meats, skewers and more in rounded plates at Savour.
Birdseye view of Royal Hospital Chelsea grounds of large brown grand buildings surrounded by sectioned grass and paths, tall trees overlooking the river. Birdseye view of Royal Hospital Chelsea grounds of large brown grand buildings surrounded by sectioned grass and paths, tall trees overlooking the river.
Savour

Savour, London

30th–31st July

London has its fair share of food festivals, but new for 2022 is Savour. Unlike existing offerings, Savour’s ambition is to spotlight up-and-coming restaurants and chefs you may not have heard of but definitely should. The line-up includes luxurious Knightsbridge restaurant Sumosan Twiga, Bib Gourmand holder Legare, tapas bar Salt Yard and more, all of whom will serve their best dishes. Each will also create a Savour Festival competition dish, with diners voting for their favourite. Factor in the bucolic grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, and you’ve truly got an experience to savour.

Birdseye view of tops of white bell tents in between trees at Camp Good Life. Birdseye view of tops of white bell tents in between trees at Camp Good Life.
Portrait shot of Hawarden Castle between grass and trees. Portrait shot of Hawarden Castle between grass and trees.
Group of people paddle boarding in wetsuits and lifejackets on a lake next to a tiny wooden lake hut surrounded by moss and tall green trees. Group of people paddle boarding in wetsuits and lifejackets on a lake next to a tiny wooden lake hut surrounded by moss and tall green trees.
Camp Good Life

The Good Life, Wales

Summer Camps run every weekend from 1st–25th July; Autumn camps from 16th–18th September

Based on the fabled summer camps of American coming-of-age movies, this is more a series of micro-festivals across four long weekends in July, plus one ‘last hurrah’ weekend in September. Just 100 guests are welcomed per weekend to explore the Hawarden Castle estate, swim in a secret lake, soak in wood-fired hot tubs, and workshops by world-class experts – including Sir Ranulph Fiennes – all worthy pastimes. Bell tents come with reasonably comfortable four-poster beds and plenty for children to get stuck into.

Huge white blown up figure with hands with a person stood between amongst a crowd at a stage with blue lights at Bluedot.
Worms-eye view of tall round colourful stage which is covered in red, blue, yellow lights and white flowers in between tall green trees.
Bluedot

Bluedot, Cheshire

21st–24th July

Locations aren’t much more unique than Bluedot, which sets up camp beneath the Lovell Telescope. Back after a three-year hiatus, it blends science, culture and music and is headlined by Groove Armada, Metronomy and Björk – the latter of whom will be accompanied by Manchester’s Halle Orchestra. On the science side of things, there’ll be talks from Professor Jim Al-Khalili (host of the BBC’s The Life Scientific) and leading space scientist Monica Grady, with interactive experiments, exhibitions and games suitable for little ones, too.

Crowd of people watching a colourful firework display across a river between green trees at Lost Village. Crowd of people watching a colourful firework display across a river between green trees at Lost Village.
Outside stage at Lost Village with a crowd of young adults dressed in funky colourful festival clothing dance together between the trees to the dj in an outside hut. Outside stage at Lost Village with a crowd of young adults dressed in funky colourful festival clothing dance together between the trees to the dj in an outside hut.
Large white marquee with Eating House sign at a festival with people dining inside, walking outside next to tall bell tents and tall flags. Large white marquee with Eating House sign at a festival with people dining inside, walking outside next to tall bell tents and tall flags.
Fireworks at Lost Village by Carolina Farulo | Stage at Lost Village by Justine Trickett | Eating House at Lost Village by Carolina Farulo

Lost Village, Lincolnshire

26th–29th August

Set in the depth of a Lincolnshire Forest, this four-day festival is staged around an abandoned village, with stages including an old airport and an abandoned zoo. Despite its distinctive setting and a line-up including Bonobo, Jamie T and Tom Misch, what sets Lost Village apart is its dining. Pop-up restaurants from some of London’s darlings are littered amongst the trees, and new for this year is the Chef’s Table in the Woods: five-course tasting menus by the likes of KOL’s Santiago Lastra and Da Terra’s Rafael Cagali. To stay, book the boutique glamping, which includes a 24/7 concierge service and a private cocktail bar.

View above audience sat on rounded tiered grass watching white centre  amphitheatre stage with man talking on top of purple carpet. View above audience sat on rounded tiered grass watching white centre  amphitheatre stage with man talking on top of purple carpet.
Ampitheatre

Amphitheatre, The Cotswolds

Throughout summer

The Cotswolds has a storied cultural heritage, yet this manages to be the first outdoor amphitheatre ever constructed here. Carved out of ancient wold, the five-hundred-seater space opened in June and runs a roster of arts, comedy and theatre throughout the summer. Fine dining is available in the on-site pavilion, but you’re better off getting your food to go and picnicking in the nearby 12-acre wildflower meadow. Make a weekend of it by booking a stay in one of the pretty Cotswold cottages in neighbouring Stow-on-the-Wold.

Crowd watching band play inside colourful rainbow printed marquee with lights.
Image
Jupiter Rising by Aly Wight (L) and Claudia Coursey (R)

Jupiter Rising, Edinburgh

26th–28th August

Now in its fourth year, this artist-led festival is set in a sculpture park on the outskirts of Edinburgh. Every detail, from the tents to the stages, is carefully curated by the artists themselves, with long-table dining in the woods also available. It’s small – just 1000 attendees – but a convivial atmosphere is created through regular performances and workshops by up-and-coming artists and musicians. The sculpture park is filled with works by big names, including Antony Gormley, Anish Kapoor and Cornelia Parker, all littered throughout the wild landscape. There is a good selection of luxury bell tents to stay in; however, we recommend checking into luxury landmark The Balmoral – 30 minutes away by car – instead.

Inside hotel room white double bed with red pillows, mirrored wardrobe, printed wallpaper and tall glass windows. Inside hotel room white double bed with red pillows, mirrored wardrobe, printed wallpaper and tall glass windows.
Women and two men dressed in wetsuits and swimming gear facing the view of Lake Windermere and the green hills surrounding it. Women and two men dressed in wetsuits and swimming gear facing the view of Lake Windermere and the green hills surrounding it.
View of entrance to Silverhome Manor overlooking Lake and hills. View of entrance to Silverhome Manor overlooking Lake and hills.
Silverholme Manor

Yoga retreat, the Lake District

26th–30th September

There’s never a wrong time to bask in the beauty of the Lake District, but this relaxing retreat provides even more reasons to head for the hills. It’s five full days of rejuvenating and reconnecting, with each day beginning and ending with meditation and yoga alongside a daily wild swim in neighbouring Lake Windemere. In the afternoon, you’ll return to your home for the week: the sumptuously decorated Silverholme Manor, the only five-star Georgian manor also to be carbon neutral. Here, you’ll while away the time until dinner with massages and wellness treatments before finishing each day with a vegetarian, locally sourced meal.

Inside grand luxury room with printed red carpet, velour red sofa's and yellow chairs with large arched windows, a fireplace and huge plant decor. Inside grand luxury room with printed red carpet, velour red sofa's and yellow chairs with large arched windows, a fireplace and huge plant decor.
Audience on chairs facing two men on a stage sat on luxury chairs in front of red grand fireplace doing a panel discussion at Cliveden. Audience on chairs facing two men on a stage sat on luxury chairs in front of red grand fireplace doing a panel discussion at Cliveden.
View from driveway of Cliveden House a grand white building with lots of lights on surrounded by grass and trees at night. View from driveway of Cliveden House a grand white building with lots of lights on surrounded by grass and trees at night.
Cliveden House

Cliveden Literary Festival, Berkshire

15th–16th October

Missed Hay Festival? No matter; head to what philosopher Alain de Botton calls ‘the most dignified and beautiful literary festival on the planet’. This literary festival is not just about books; it’s a forum for discussions, debates and ideas from some of the world’s leading critical thinkers. The line-up is yet to be confirmed, but past speakers include comedian David Baddiel, vaccine pioneer Kate Bingham and politician Michael Gove. And the atmospheric location for it all? Cliveden Hall, a 17th-century manor house with 400 acres of land and over 400 years of royal and political history.

For more info or to book a festival, please contact your lifestyle manager.

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