Country mouse at Wilderness

Lunch was a choice between Mark Hix, St John, Ottolenghi, Moro or J. Sheekey. However, the choice of where to eat was not in London, but deep in the Cotswolds, surrounded by an 800-year-old deer park and 1,700 acres of the most ancient forest in Britain. Cornbury Park was playing host to the Wilderness Festival, which is pretty much like any other music festival except the food and setting are unmatched. Couples were married, others became engaged, but most just soaked in the atmosphere. Anna, my daughter, set out the guidelines once we arrived: I was not to dance at all, nor was I to stare at the strange get-ups, and if I smelt incense burning, it wasn’t. We had a ball.

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It’s hard to believe that the new shooting season has started. The prospects for grouse as well as other wild gamebirds look extremely positive following the warm, dry spell and the new season could be a memorable one. However, the same weather has played havoc with the salmon and trout stocks, which suffer in warm weather from depleted oxygen in the water. It seems that, for every winner, there is always a loser.

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