Here’s what Jaye Cowle and her family made of this year’s Rock Oyster Festival that took place on Friday, July 10 and Saturday, July 11.
My 5-year-old, Toby, and I made a deal: at the Rock Oyster Festival, he was going to be in charge. Well, how could I refuse? The sun was shining and the party was starting.
I packed our rucksack, a necessity for all family outings: water, check; breadsticks, check; toilet paper for the portable loos, check. With Biscuit the cockapoo pup in tow (dogs are allowed during the day on leads), we jumped in the van for our festival adventure.
Well, the toilet paper was completely unnecessary, as were the breadsticks. This isn’t any ordinary festival – it’s a civilised, gourmet, classy garden party in beautiful countryside with the Camel River as a stunning backdrop. The loos were spotless, well-stocked with soft loo paper and not at all ‘long drop’ a la Glastonbury.
The food vendors were the best I have seen – I tried a delicious mackerel roll with beetroot relish and horseradish; superb moules frites from the St Moritz Hotel, which came with an ice-cold glass of white wine, a delicious natural strawberry ice lolly, perfect salted peanut marshmallows from Cloud Nine … and oysters, of course! The food is a real highlight – if I could have eaten more, I’d have tried the venison bap or the paella too.
With a 5-year-old in charge, you don’t get to stay in one place for long. We toasted marshmallows at Badger Forest School, chased a T-Rex from the Eden Project, held a snake at Mark’s Ark, watched juggling in the circus tent …. I was exhausted!
But the best was yet to come. Just when I thought my little dictator was flagging, we found the cocktail tent, which was blasting out funk and soul – he was hooked. I’ve never raved with a 5-year-old before, but I highly recommend it. With freshly baked pizza (more gourmet treats) in our bellies, we danced for hours – Toby on tables, me with the rucksack.
What I enjoyed most about the Rock Oyster Festival was the warm, welcoming family atmosphere, which continued from day through to night. Children run around, carefree and laughing, behaving well because they are experiencing freedom, fun, entertainment all within a safe environment. Parents watched out for each other’s children, joined in the straw fights with a giant rhino (no really), and felt the constant weight of being health and safety managers gently ease away. If only all weekends were like this.
I wish I’d had time to try out the Kernow Springs Hot Tubs, listen to a tale in the story tent and eat more delicious food, but there is always next year. We’ll be back!
Find out more about the Rock Oyster Festival at www.rockoysterfestival.co.uk