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Good gourd! Daylesford Harvest Festival is looking so thrilling we’re packing away our sliders and SPF right this minute. If we had to choose one autumn-themed date for our diary then it would be this sensational, seasonal knees-up. Spread across two fun-packed days, you’ll find a ton of brilliant stuff to see, do, try and buy; we’re talking celeb speakers, wellness sessions, interactive arts, craft and floristry workshops. organic food and drink and a dog show judged by Richard E Grant!

Harvest Festival has come a long way since two cans of baked beans and a leaf collage in the church doorway, in fact it’s having a renaissance all over the UK, with Daylesford’s festivities covering two days for the first time to celebrate the Farm’s 20th anniversary.

Lashings of food and fun is the best (and only) way we can think of sliding into autumn with a spring in our step, and we’re embracing every single cider-swilling, pumpkin-picking moment of it.

Fancy getting in on a final fling with nature and nurture before we hunker down for winter? Then read these 12 terrific reasons to get down to our favourite organic farm on 17 and 18 September (plus keep reading for the chance to win four tickets and a luxury Harvest Festival Picnic Hamper – worth £270!).

1. Go to the first Harvest Supper Club

Alongside the Daylesford chefs, This Morning‘s resident TV chef Clodagh McKenna will be transforming Daylesford’s propagation tunnel in the heart of the Market Garden into a stunning dining space. Hosting this inaugural event on the Saturday, she will be cooking up seasonal sharing platters using the very best organic ingredients harvested within sight of where you’ll be sitting, along with produce from her own sustainable garden Broadspear. The star chef will talk you through the inspo behind the evening’s menu before you get to tuck into an array of mouth-watering morsels.

2. Hitch a ride on a hot air balloon ride

We kid you not. NASA’s space launch ain’t got nothing on this! How about floating high above the divine Cotswold countryside in a hot air balloon? The Festival’s giant balloon will be tethered at the top of the Market Garden, flying right over the farm. Tickets can be purchased on the day, just book a time slot and witness the Festival in all its glory from a bird’s eye view.

3. Do a dog show judged by Richard E Grant and Christopher Biggins

Could a dog show be more cool? We think not! Cotswold resident and A-list actor Richard E Grant and TV legend Christopher Biggins will be on the mic and judging the famous Daylesford Dog Show on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. If you think your fur baby is the cutest, bar none, enter them into this hot ticket event. Get your paws on a trophy for The Waggiest Tail, Best Dressed Dog, Dog Most Like Its Owner and more. Arrive half an hour before your category begins, there’s no need to register in advance.

4. Catch a celebrity speaker

Make a beeline for the Tent Talks taking place across the weekend in the Market Garden. The stellar line-up includes Texas singer Sharleen Spiteri talking about her love of gardening (line up those questions pronto!), nutritionist and herbalist Rhaya Jordan chatting wellness hacks, Andy Cato from Groove Armada, Craig Sams, co-founder of Green & Black’s, Diana Verde CEO of Positive Luxury and more.

5. Chill out to live back-to-back music

New for 2022 is Barn Beats, a live music area located at The Dairy Barn. Pull up a bale and chill out to emerging and established artists including Weekend Warriors, Minna, SOL Collective, Lexi Berg, Matt Bragg, Paul Cowley and Alan Power and The Cash Cows. Banging tunes more your vibe? Then come for DJ Henry Crudge and Daylesford resident DJs and Phoebe D’Abo who’ll be playing all weekend long. Plus enjoy all kinds of pop-up entertainment, from a roaming saxophonist to comedian Matt Bragg.

6. See the Dancing JCB Diggers

They have curtsied for the Queen and twirled for TV, and now the world famous JCB Dancing Diggers are tearing up Daylesford turf. We can’t wait to see these pneumatic prima donnas strutting their stuff. Watch in awe as the 80 tonne earth movers perform a show worthy of the West End, all in a little corner of the Cotswolds.

7. Check yourself into Cookery School

Daylesford Organic’s famous Cookery School has a demo tent in the Market Garden and it’s pipped to be hugely popular. Chef and author Melissa Hemsley will be showing us how to use up fridge leftovers to create a family feast, there are butchery demos from Cook & Feast and Masterchef Finalist Giovanna Ryan, and a breakfast club with Otis & Belle Artisan Bakery. Still want more? Stay for elevated wild cooking with Tait’s Kitchen and watch Eve Kalinik, author of Happy Mind, Happy Gut prepping some super healthy meals.

8. Go on a Foraging Walk

Ever fancied a rummage in the undergrowth? Now’s your chance. Discover nature’s bounty on one of the special walking tours taking place on Sunday with The Cotswold Forager, Rob Gould. Book your free tour when you buy general tickets. These mini food forays will take you on a trail to the Festival from The Wild Rabbit to the Festival, or go with the Daylesford Sustainability team from The Fox pub.

9. Get your bake-off on

Aprons at the ready contenders, we want to see your soggy bottoms. Enter as many categories as you like in the Daylesford competitions, including Best Harvest Chutney, Best Carrot Cake, Best Homegrown Dahlia and Best Fruit Jam. Register what you want to enter in advance and drop off your pride and joy produce by 11am on the day for judging. Plus, there are two special categories for the kids so they don’t outshine you; Best Wildlife Drawing and Best Hedgehog Habitat. Get prepping now people, all winners get a prize.

10. Take part in a wellness session

Prepare to unwind in a way you never have before at the fabulous Bamford Wellness Spa. This nirvana of the mind and soul will be welcoming you in to try out a taster of treatments and classes. Have a go at a breathwork session, sound healing, dance and even puppy yoga! Kids in tow? No problemo. There’s a Kids Meditation session while you get an MD Dermalux tester or snap up a shoulder massage, facial or file and polish with a special discount.

11. Feast on delicious artisan food and drink

If for no other reason, come for the food. Feast on flame-grilled meat from Daylesford’s Fire Pits, but save room for the Farm’s festival cider, craft beers and organic wines from the fancy Chateau Léoube. Then head to the Dirtea Bar for mushroom organic teas, coffees and cacao for a shot of natural energy. Look out for samples from the Farm’s own patisserie and creamery or pick up a treat from one of the artisans at the Producers Market.

12. Keep the kids entertained for two whole days

They won’t be bored at this family-friendly event, your only challenge will be dragging them home. There will be vintage fairground rides to whizz around on, outdoor games and activities, and loads of interactive arts and crafts to get stuck into. Meet Beanstalk the Shetland pony (star of the Holly Hopkinson books) in the kids area and enjoy storytelling, face painting, a pumpkin treasure hunt and more.

You’re in? We’ll see you there. Want our last top tip? Add on a Harvest Festival Picnic Hamper, created especially for the 20th anniversary, ideal for sharing (or hogging to yourself obvs) packed with organic snacks, sweet treats and rosé wine.

For more information on the Harvest Festival and to book tickets, visit Daylesford Organic Harvest Festival, email or head to Instagram. The Festival is on from 10am to 5pm at Daylesford near Kingham, GL56 0YG. Adult day tickets start at £20, under 12s are free and under 18s are £5.

*** PLUS ***

Want to WIN four free tickets to the Festival and a luxury artisan Harvest Festival Picnic Hamper? Of course you do! Head to our Reader Treats page here and scoop the lot.

The post 12 Reasons you can’t miss Daylesford Harvest Festival appeared first on Bucks & Oxon.

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