Give your top clients a slice of magic at the UK’s most beautiful festival
Words: Millie Milliken Photos: Max Miechowski, Richard Johnson, Andrew Whitton – Fanatic
Having spent the last 10 years attending as many festivals as my school wellies can take, I’ve watched them evolve from an unassuming piss-up in a field to an idyllic utopia of lakeside lounging – and everything in between. In that decade, however, I haven’t seen any festival combine all of those extra ingredients we’re now used to (brand-activation experiences, Michelin-starred food and VIP pampering) with as much aplomb as Festival No. 6. Now in its sixth year, the event that brings locals and city dwellers alike to the shores of Snowdonia shows no signs of flagging.
It’s set in the surreal 20th-century Portmeirion Village. Based on an Italianate settlement, the multi-coloured wonderland is the creation of Sir Clough Williams-Ellis and is undoubtedly the most beautiful festival setting I’ve seen in the UK.
This beauty continues with its food offerings. This year, the hat-trick of dining experiences – Dinner at Clough’s – took place in Hotel Portmerion where views of the estuary and those brave enough to take part in a paddle-boarding masterclass were matched with some of the UK’s most name drop-worthy chefs. The most festival-friendly came from the duo behind London sensation Som Saa (Andy Oliver and Mark Dobbie), who served up a Thai feast of steamed hake red curry, oxtail soup and grilled banana-leaf parcels of brill.
Elsewhere, Ketel One vodka fans created their own bloody marys before slipping into one of Kernow Springs’s hot tubs or taking shelter from the sideways rain (yep, it was a mud bath) in one of the eight boutique camping options on site.
We spent most of our time in Castell Park where the Global Street Food Village kept us sated with Anna Mae’s mac n’ cheese and Le Swine bacon baps while we took in some of this year’s stellar line-up. Mogwai and Bloc Party were worthy Friday and Saturday night headliners, but it was the madcap showmanship of The Flamings Lips frontman Wayne Coyne that rounded Sunday off with a bang. If any festival deserves a lead singer appearing on stage riding a unicorn, Festival No. 6 is it.