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Alfresco Festival Kotlich

tripod, cooking pot and grill

She was right. We had only just zipped up our sleeping bags when the crazy mother began creeping around the tent making ghostly sounds, scaring us nearly to death. We walked home disconsolately – failed campers – though I had enjoyed making scrambled eggs before the night turned into a scary movie.

Last year I learnt to love camping, after staying for one night at the Port Eliot festival in St Germans, Cornwall. The festival celebrates music, art, fashion, books and gentle outdoor life. This year there is even to be a flower show, judged by Turner Prize-winner Grayson Perry and designer Michael Howells. Anyone can participate in various flower design classes, helped if they wish by a £10 box of flowers picked in the gardens of the Earl and Countess of St Germans extraordinary house, Port Eliot.  My fellow campers are not diehards – the really shy can rent a furnished tepee or Airstream caravan (and anyone staying or living locally can just be festive for a day).

I am making ambitious plans to cook great feasts by my tent and have taken delivery of this year’s must-have cooking pot, a Hungarian kotlich. But I will also be taking part in two events in the Big Kitchen, Port Eliot’s newly restored kitchen, which houses the most extraordinary collection of jelly moulds and one of Britain’s earliest examples of a pâtisserie oven. I’ll be filling the air with the smell of baking during a session on Cornish saffron buns and breads, and making anenormous Looe fish stew for all to eat during the other event.

But I am still a failed camper. The thought has not escaped me that the house has a fridge and I might be able to slip some butter in there for my breakfast toast and milk for our campsite coffee.

From an original article in the Telegraph


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