Saturday, 1 July 2017

Elderflower Fields family festival - review by Bex


I cannot be more excited to tell you about Elderflower Fields family festival!  This blog post has taken me many hours to put together because of the sheer awesomeness of the event and the number of photos I just had to share to show you all how pretty and fun and exciting and varied and colourful it was!  I mean we really, really loved it!  We were so lucky with the weather, it was
an amazing day out.

I was lucky enough to receive a free ticket as part of the Uckfield WI committee.  I'm SO glad I went and that I bought last minute tickets for Nik and the twins to join Leasa and I and her family!  We had an absolute blast and the kids adored it!  They went all day from 10am when we arrived until we left at 8pm, with no naps and minimal tantrums.  I have honestly never seen Kalyan so happy for so long, he was on a high pretty much all day, running around, grinning, giggling, playing and skipping, taking it all in.  There was so much to see and do, we never even made it all the way around, we'll definitely have to go back next year to experience everything on offer!

When we arrived, we made our way down Dragonfly Hill to the Dragonfly stage.  We were on the lookout for the bubble man who was supposed to be on the hill but we never found him sadly as the twins would have LOVED the giant bubbles and I would have loved taking photos of them!

When we got to the stage at the bottom of the hill we found a puppet show going on so settled down on our picnic blanket (good old free gift from Waitrose years ago!) surrounded by other families to wait for Leasa and her family to arrive and find us.  Kalyan really got into the music, dancing and swinging his arms around.


He'd asked me that morning to do his hair like Priya's (in bunches) which I just about managed!  Very festival chic!


Speaking of festival chic, I will definitely be going all out with the twins and my own outfits next year.  There was so much colour and some truly awesome outfits with sparkles and wings galore!



As we wandered on down into the woods, Priya's new obsession began taking root as she held Emily's hand.  She now asks for "Nemily" most days and we've had some lovely times in our garden together with their new friends since our day out.  


That pretty pink caravan on the left is Sugar Mice, an amazing local ice cream company, so of course we stopped to sample their flavours.  I adored the salted caramel and the twins (and Daddy) liked the chocolate flavour with big chunks of dark chocolate in.


We soon found the adventurous area at the bottom of the path with a climbing wall, science tent, inflatable Orca, rope swings and building area where you could rent tools and help build a massive fort.  There were lots of different areas dotted around the stunning venue, Pippingford Park, with various activities going on and so much to do.






The whole area was beautifully decorated with bunting, various types of hangings and lights.  We would have loved to see it at night, all lit up.



At lunchtime we were spoilt for choice!  The food all looked delicious, the twins and Nik had a chicken tandoori wrap, Leasa had Thai and her kids had pizza and I couldn't decide so I had a child's size Thai curry followed by a ham, cheese & roasted garlic galette (shared with the twins, it was amazing) and a salted caramel crepe (shared with Nik and the twins)!  Everything was so good and worth the wait in the long lunchtime queues.


After lunch it was time for some face painting for Emily and Henna for Leasa.


Face painting was very popular but well organised with all artists in one tent and a ticketing queue system so we didn't have to wait long.  It was £5 for kids face painting and henna was £7, the talent was amazing, Emily got a gorgeous purple butterfly and I saw lots of other awesome designs!


I wish we'd been able to spend more time exploring, next year will be great as we'll hopefully go for the whole weekend now we know how good it is!  The whole place is so well organised and tidy with SO much going on.  Every corner we turned we discovered something else.  They had a toddler disco tent with an activity table outside with streamers to make your own flag which Kalyan adored, a beautiful rainbow decorated bridge, an Into The Trees area with woodland activities, a mud kitchen... the list goes on.








There were SO many free activities for the kids to do including everything named above, circus skills, sports, and arts and crafts tents (which I heard you can leave your kids at for a couple of hours once they're over 5, so parents can enjoy the woodland spa/bar/anywhere else in peace for a bit)!   I believe there are also some activities you have to pay for which are pre-bookable such as the mountain board tutoring, parkour and the hot tub.



There's so much space to get around easily with a double buggy and they also have trolleys you can hire out and lots of people had pimped theirs up.  They were ideal for carting stuff from your car to the campsites but also for transporting tired toddlers - they even made a great portable bed for really tired little ones!


William had a go on the climbing wall while we all had a rest, swiftly followed by a long awaited cocktail for us mummies in the bar!




Soon it was time for some dinner so we wandered back to find another patch near the Dragonfly stage and sampled some more delicious food.  This time we had fish & chips which were amazing!  It was lovely just hanging out enjoying family time together in the evening sunshine (including a little bit of mischief!  I love that Leasa protected her pint!)








The bird box Emily made came in handy as another pint protector for my cider while I was taking photos too.   We spent some time listening to the bands on stage while Kalyan finally found some bubbles and made friends!










I had SUCH a good time, I've since become a bit of a Festival bunny and was inspired to try some more family friendly festivals, you'll be hearing about some others soon too, they're such great fun, I'd definitely recommend going along!  It was the perfect way to enjoy some family time with friends without having to worry about anything.  There is strictly no glass on site so no risk of little ones cutting bare feet as they run around and it's pretty much all families so doesn't get rowdy or too noisy.  There is no shopping other than for food, drinks and supplies so I hear it's good if you have older kids as you don't have to say no all the time since there's nothing else you need to spend money on.  Everything is designed with kids in mind which makes it a fabulous, fun, friendly festival.  Can you tell I love it??

I'm also thrilled to be heading back to Pippingford Park for Into the Trees Festival (Elderflower Fields' little sister) in September to take some more photos of these gorgeous events!  Will I see you there?!  Under 5s are free, it's just £5 for 5-16 yr olds and adults are only £8 for a day ticket (there's no camping at this one) if you book in advance!


2 comments:

amy said...

Love these photos!!!

Sarah Ryman said...

So glad you enjoyed your first festival as a family and that you have caught the bug ��
Wonderful pictures ��

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