If the past two years has taught us anything it’s that shared experiences are magic. That’s definitely what seemed to be hanging in the air at Paul Ainsworth’s Travelling Feast Festival in Cornwall. Or was that the aroma of Korean glazed fried chicken and Cornish hog roast?
We were invited to Travelling Feast after helping promote it on my Instagram account before the summer. I wasn’t asked to write a review so this isn’t an ad, but I like to keep you in the know.
For three glorious, child-free days – yep, we left the kids and dog with Tin Box Grandma and Grandpa for this adventure – we ate, danced, sang and ate some more! It felt so good to be back at a festival for the first time in two years.
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About Travelling Feast
Travelling Feast was a new festival in 2021. Yes, good things can come out of a pandemic!
It is the brainchild of chef Paul Ainsworth who wanted to support the events sector and showcase some of the awesome food and drink businesses in South West England.
The result was a touring foodie and music event that visited three venues in Cornwall over a two week period. You could attend for a day, a few days or you could travel with the festival for two whole weeks.
We joined Paul Ainsworth’s Travelling Feast at Scorrier House in Redruth. The other venues were Boconnoc Estate and the Royal Cronwall Showground.
The festival itself was evenings only, with gates opening after 4pm until 11pm. This gave us time to get out and explore Cornwall during the day and party with our tummies full each evening.
It’s no surprise that the food was delicious at Travelling Feast, with plenty of choice so we could try different dishes both nights.
On the first night of the festival we tucked in to wraps whipped up by Michelin-starred chef Niall Keating before sharing a whopping sundae from James Martin’s ice-cream truck.
And on day two we visited the Alfresco Theatre’s Double Decker Bus where dishes by Atul Kochhar and Tom Kerridge were being served. I had a delicious vegan chilli while Mr Tin Box tucked into chicken curry and naan.
And with just so much choice, we treated ourselves to sides of Cornish oysters and Paul Ainsworth’s incredible four cheese and Cornish salt beef Manrara toasted sandwich.
There wasn’t a greasy bacon bap in sight.
Around the arena, there was also space for lots of local food and drink companies like Tarquin’s Cornish Gin, the Cornish Flapjack Shack and the Cold Start Coffee Company. Mr Tin Box and I particularly enjoyed the rum cocktails from lockdown start up 8 Track Spiced Rum.
The music line up for the festival was right up our street with a good mix of retro bands and newer acts performing across all three dates.
At Scorrier House we loved seeing Top Loader, Brand New Heavies, Jake Bugg and Judge Jules smashing it on stage.
Sister Sledge headlined on the Monday night and were absolutely brilliant. I had no idea I knew so many of their songs. They were the absolute highlight for me. If you get a chance to see them, do!
It really wasn’t hard to get a good view at Scorrier House. The field sloped down towards the stage, so even if you were at the back you could see what was going on.
Without the kids in tow we had plenty of time to pick up a bite to eat, go to the loo and find that all essential local beverage between sets. I felt like a teen hanging at the front of my first gig!
No festival would be complete without a few extra fun things to do.
This being a food festival there was a small arena where the celeb chefs did demonstrations and Q&As, as well as a fireside chat area. You had to be quick to bag a seat at these.
There was a small fun fair with big wheel, swinging boats and fairground games. Some of the traders had also put out games and extra seating where you could chill away from the main stage.
There wasn’t a huge amount going on for kids so we were glad we’d not brought our girls along. Having said that, there was a family-friendly vibe about Travelling Feast and quite a few kids were there.
If you bought VIP tickets you got fast tracked entry and there was an area to the left of the stage with seating on higher ground. You also had access to a bar in a marquee where you got three free drinks.
We didn’t have the VIP package, so I don’t know if there were any other extras that weren’t advertised, but the price difference between a standard ticket and a VIP ticket was considerably more than three drinks worth.
We also got faster entry with camping wrist bands than the VIP ticket holders who were at the festival for one day. They were queuing to have their COVID documentation checked when we walked straight into the festival both days.
Camping at Travelling Feast
We had camping tickets including a camper van/caravan pitch. Vans were supervised to park in rows and we felt we had loads of space. There was even room for frisbee throwing with other campers in front of our pitches.
The showers, toilets, hand washing sinks and water points for our part of the campsite were very close. These were being checked daily and, with the exception of the toilets on the last morning, were clean and tidy. We’d brought our own loo roll just in case but only needed it once.
Of course, the foodie festival continued on the campsite where you could grab breakfast, brunch and coffee supplied by local artisan food vans.
This was the second time we’d camped at a festival and we were really impressed with the organisation and facilities, despite the loos suffering a heavy last night.
It’s worth mentioning that the loos in the festival were really good. They were clearly being checked and restocked with toilet roll and there was a proper hand washing sink as well as hand sanitiser.
If you’re wondering what to pack, check out my festival essentials guide.
I really hope we won’t be having to worry about this stuff in 2022, but in case you’re interested we couldn’t have felt more at ease at this festival.
Everyone was asked to provide proof of a double vaccination, a negative lateral flow test taken on the day you arrived or proof of natural immunity (a positive PCR test in the past 180 days but not within 10 days).
Unlike some other festivals that got negative coverage over the summer, these details were being checked when we arrived at the campsite. Knowing this made use feel so much more relaxed.
There was also hand sanitiser all over the site, as well as sinks and soap beside the toilets.
Travelling Feast at Scorrier House was accessible to pushchairs and accessibility scooters. Be aware that the site is grass and parts of it were on a bit of an incline, particularly around the stage. So if it was a wet weekend this would have affected the surface.
There were accessible toilets on the campsite and festival site.
Exploring Cornwall from the festival
As festival took place in the evenings, we had time to get out and explore Cornwall during the day.
This felt like a great balance for us. Cornwall is too beautiful to miss.
We pitched up on the Sunday, giving us the afternoon and evening to enjoy the peace of being childfree. We then spent Sunday paddle boarding at Maenporth Beach on the south coast near Falmouth.
On Monday we visited somewhere I’ve wanted to see properly for ages: St Michael’s Mount near Marazion. We’ve walked across the causeway several times but never made it up to the castle or around the gardens because dogs are not allowed.
Find more ideas for days out and holidays in our guide to Cornwall.
This freedom to enjoy the area alongside the festival made Travelling Feast a great bolt on to a break in the South West. In fact, I think buying a two week camping ticket to tour with the festival would have made for a great summer holiday if you didn’t mind seeing some of the chefs and bands again.
The line up was different at each event even though some acts repeated.
Our Travelling Feast review
We really enjoyed Travelling Feast, not just because it felt amazing to be at a festival again, but because of the brilliant combination of great food, music and facilities.
It would be perfect for people who enjoy smaller festivals and foodie events. And if you want to keep the festival vibe going for longer than a weekend that’s an option too.
However, Travelling Feast is probably not a festival we’d do with our kids until they got a little older. I think they would have loved the campsite and they are always happy being able to explore and do beach days.
But by the time the festival came around in the evening I think they would have quickly gotten bored without some more children’s entertainment.
Of course, if you are going sans kids or taking teens then the above might not apply. Enjoy!
Disclosure: as mentioned above, we were given festival tickets as part of the pre-event promo. I wasn’t asked to review Travelling Feast but we had a great time so I thought I share our experience.