To me there is nothing that sums up an English summer better than music festivals and on the 2/3 July my favourite one at Cornbury near Charlbury set in the beautiful Oxfordshire countryside was bathed in sunshine. Cornbury is a family friendly, boutique event; a very English open air party and I love it. From baby to grandma there is something for everyone and everyone is made to feel welcome. If you're a festival newbie this is the place for you.
The music on both stages was fantastic and a real mix and in the mid-afternoon sunshine Buddy Guy's blues was just fabulous. The Noisettes were full of fun and energy and got everyone up and dancing… all the musicians were brilliant.
There were stalls full of the unusual and the wacky and a wide variety of food choices and drinks on offer. My particular favourites: a mid afternoon visit to the massage tent, Bay Breeze cocktails at the Waitrose chill out lounge, quesadillas from the Mexican food stall and hot chocolate and brandy when the sun went down. But my very favourite thing of all is just to sit and watch the people and their amazing outfits; bright pink wigs, tutus, angel wings … British eccentricity at its very best.
For the first time ever we weren't camping (next year work will not get in the way of me enjoying the camping or perhaps the glamping) so this year deciding what to wear was far easier. I was able to leave my decision until Saturday morning and dress to the weather, which anyone who camps out knows is not the case…. then you have to take clothes for pretty much every eventuality, even in summer we can get four seasons in one day.
We planned to stay all day and through to the last act, David Gray so we knew we would be there until late in to the evening when it would chill off and the damp would start to come up through the ground. But getting ready to go in the morning it was glorious sunshine and hot. The key to coping with the change in temperature is to layer up. So I wore jeans (if I'd have been staying I would have probably worn a dress and changed later but it was more to carry), a lime green spagetti strapped top, over that a short sleeved t shirt and packed a fleece, parka & sun hat. I wore canvas pumps and packed flip flops to change into when we arrived. Finally I popped a bright pashmina in the bag … just in case. Don't be tempted to leave your hat out because you'll be in full sun all day and even if you're a sun worshiper like me it gets too much. But if you do forget your hat there are plenty of funky styles on offer at the festival.
Remember too your suncream, camera and blanket (make sure it has a waterproof side because the damp comes through as the sun goes down). If you're feeling particulalry energetic take fold up camping chairs for that added bit of comfort.
Cornbury truly is a one of a kind music festival and it makes me smile whenever I think of it, will I be back next year …. you bet.