The Good Life Experience

The Good Life Experience

Canvas, woodsmoke and the great outdoors ... The Good Life, indeed.


Last Saturday, Stu and I donned our muddy walking boots and headed for a field somewhere between Chester and North Wales. We'd bought tickets to The Good Life Experience purely because of the involvement of Pedlars - one of our favourite online haunts - but as the line up was slowly revealed over the following months, we got excited about yoga workshops, vintage fairgrounds and a talk from Ben Fogle. I mean, who doesn't love a bit of Ben Fogle?

After being guided into a car park position by a briskly polite and efficient group of cadets, we were wrist banded like every self respecting festival and tipped into the bustling outdoor atrium of The Good Life Experience.

Canvas peaks crowded the fields. A yoga class twisted into shoelace position were stretching to the right, children studiously colouring in the tent beside that. To the left fellas appeared to be cooking on the engine of their Land Rover while an assured 'dink dink dink' chimed from the blacksmith's workshop a little further down.

An assault on the senses, a million different possibilities, all in the space of the first thirty seconds.

Woodsmoke and the distant promise of food were a comforting and enticing prelude to the general vibe of the festival. Which was very much a laid-back 'here's your menu of entertainment, do what you wish' type of ambiance. We consulted the map and spent the next hour or so milling around, getting the lay of the land.

A tent for craft beer and coffee, stone baked pizzas, Indian Street food, crab burgers. The farm shop, who were selling cakes like their proverbial counterpart.

The vintage fairground, where queues twisted for a chance at archery or an ice cream, the helter-skelter a lighthouse amongst the trees.

Through the corn fields was the campfire, where Mr Fogul would later give his talk, clusters of tipis with merchants displaying their wares.

Ensnared by the deep rumbling of a double bass, we paused by the music tent, enjoying the array of talent organiser Cerys Matthews had curated. 

We bumped into our bud Nick Hand with his printing press, Rob from With Love Project and the lovely Sian from Fforest, then moved back to the beginning to start all over again. 

We lapped the land more times than I could count, settling down with a sausage sandwich or a coffee and a brownie just to soak up the sun. We couldn't have asked for a better day for it, really. And although we left before the bonfires were lit, we're sure to be returning next year.

- The Good Life Experience