Cocktails to save the bees

3 Jul|Victoria Hull

Busy doing nothing: deckchairs await you in the orchard at Fenton House

Festival Director Victoria Hull introduces the delicious food & drink options and eclectic stall holders at the Idler Festival

Just a few days to the Idler Festival on 12, 13 and 14 July, and we can’t wait to see Louis Theroux, Sally Phillips, Dr John Cooper Clarke and Chris Difford.

But there’s much more to discover at the festival beyond the headliners

Possibly the most gorgeous place on the Idler Festival site at Fenton House is the orchard. Here you can lie in long meadow grass under apple trees, sip a cocktail, listen to a small band and dip into a workshop.

A new addition to the orchard this year is the Bees Bar offering hand-crafted British cocktails along with the promise that you will be saving bees with every sip. The Bees Bar will be serving some of their signature cocktails made with Beeble honey whiskey, including the Queen Bee & the Elder Bee, and chilled shots of delicious Kavka vodka.

At the end of the orchard you’ll find the kitchen garden and Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen. The Idler has been to many, many festivals over the years and Zoe’s modern take on African food is still in our view the very best pop up we have ever found. We can’t wait to be tucking in.

In the Butler’s Pantry at the bottom of the house will be Piccalilli Caff whose sausage rolls were described by Michael Palin last year as ‘the best this side of heaven’. And there’ll be an amazing steam punk coffee machine and Oyster Dunbar shucking oysters to keep you pepped up.

Plus the Art Car Boot Fair will be bringing some of their LOVE theme to the Idler Festival. Look out for Wilma Johnson and her exotic paintings on rubber gloves, Carrie Reichardt’s slightly subversive ceramics and Susie Hamilton’s wonderful paint sketches of festivalgoers. Renaissance Selfies will be setting up their portrait studio to help people find their Renaissance self and Amelia Troubridge will be bringing some of her fabulous photographic archive.

And finally, we have specially invited the wind in the trees to set up stall in the attics. the wind in the trees is a (very) small independent publisher concerned with ‘things that catch the eye and whisper in the mind’. Two new titles will appear for the first time at the Festival.

See you there!

Weekend and Day tickets to the Idler Festival are available here.