Daylesford Summer Festival

The Daylesford Summer Festival has been a highlight of my year. A day that sees Daylesford’s COTSWOLDS FARM come to life with stalls, workshops, debates, crafts, dog show, singing, dancing and an array of delicious food — this year the theme of the festival was Save the Bees. I was blown away by that festival-feeling of great joy and positivity that exuded from the staff and the guests of all ages; and was astounded by the level of organisation that must of gone on behind the scenes, to create such a wonderful day!



This year, the Summer Festival central focus was around the bees, with tonnes of bee related activities from honey tastings, to gardening advice and tours of the bee hives.



Fine Food and Drink is at the heart of Daylesford and is without a doubt one of they key elements to their success. Whilst a light scatter of rain fell upon the festival, my party and I sought refuge inside, to take advantage of the Daylesford Farm Shop, Restaurant and Wood oven Pizzeria — we had a terrific brunch. However, as soon as the sun shone again, we were out sampling local artisanal foods, from external producers, who had been invited to Daylesford. A couple of strawberries later. We headed to sample some of Daylesfords finest Angus Beef, which was slowly roasting on the Argentinian fire pit — a real show-stopper!


Among the guests were many proud owners and their trusty dogs. So many in fact that it could have been a festival for dogs. These fury creature were pride and place at this festival, with their own tasting of Lily’s Dog Food and a costume competition where they could really strut their stuff.



Daylesford’s farm turn petting zoo was a veritable delight for the children. It was adorable watching children tentatively stroking the Donkey named Gladys and little boys hay in hand trying to feed the baby lambs and calves. It must have been rather terrifying for the animals, but they were clearly had excellent British breeding and were very well behaved.



This year I was delighted to enter into the the exclusive cake decorating competition — by pure fluke! Judged by our founder Carole Bamford, food writer and journalist Rose Prince and Head of our Patisserie Stephen Tarling, it was set to be a highlight of the day. Sadly I didn’t win any prizes, however after burning two cakes, I finally did come up with a cake to be proud of with chocolate covered almond bees, a hexagonal hive structure and show stopping naturalistic flowers. I’ve discovered that cake decorating really is a lot of fun and so is taking part in competitions, even if you dont win, its the perfect opportunity to get creative.


The Bamford Barn can be found adjoining the Fountain Courtyard. Housing the latest range of exquisite Bamford clothing, accessories, homeware and botanical bath and body products, it also played host to a number of classes such as yoga and treatments to help one find peace and serenity.



Its been a while since I visited the original Daylesford Farmshop in Kingham and I was absolutely delighted to see their new florists shop, which was full to the brim with flowers from this Spring/Summer season. I stepped into the perfume area, to be immersed by the most delightful natural scents from Geranium to Vine Tomato. And then went on to observe the floristry workshops, where the Daylesford staff industriously created jam jars filled with sweet peas and flower crowns for the little flower girls.



The cow shed transformed into a wood work and weaving workshop space for the day, with local artisans weaving baskets and creating tapestries.