Bios

Thomasina Miers

Thomasina Miers

Thomasina Miers is a cook, food writer and television presenter, an entrepreneur and the co-founder and Executive Chef of Wahaca Restaurants which are inspired by the food markets of Mexico. She is a passionate advocate of good food, responsibly-sourced and wonderfully-cooked. She supports fairtrade producers and local markets. You may also know her as 2005's Masterchef winner. 

Since Masterchef Thomasina has gone on to present various cookery shows on television and radio, including A Cook’s Tour of Spain, Wild Gourmets, Mexican Food Made Simple and The Kitchen Cabinet (BBC R4).  She is the author of six books, and her latest book Home Cook: Over 300 Delicious Fuss-free Recipes is out now. In 2015 and 2016 Thomasina cooked to a packed audience and this year we are excited that she will be back to take part in our campfire cooking sessions. 

 

Valentine Warner

Valentine Warner

Valentine trained as a portrait painter before putting down the brush to pick up the spoon. Today he is best known for his BBC 'What To Eat Now' TV & Book Series, with a strong focus on robust, flavoursome food. Valentine will be hosting a 45 minute cooking demo featuring his favourite foods and cooking techniques for you to see, smell and -just maybe- taste! He has written for The Times, The Independent, Countryfile, Delicious, Waitrose Food Illustrated and Olive magazine, to name a few. A very keen outdoors man, Valentine can often be found seeking new adventures outside the kitchen and, most likely, fishing.

 

MIKE GARRY

MIKE GARRY

Mike Garry was a librarian for 15 years before becoming a poet. His gritty poetry has won the admiration far and wide and his collaboration with New Order in New York's Carnegie Hall in 2014 received five star reviews. Mike's Ode To St. Anthony, a poem dedicated to the Factory Records boss Tony Wilson and put to classical music by the composer Joe Duddell, went to Number 1 in 3 Official UK charts in August 2015. The video features dozens of dozens of Mike's Manchester friends an colleagues, including Steve Coogan, Christopher Eccleston, Shaun Ryder, Mark Radcliffe, Terry Christian, John Cooper Clarke, Philip Glass, Miranda Sawyer and so many more. Oh and Iggy Pop. We have had it on repeat for months at The Good Life Experience HQ and highly recommend a watch, it's spine-tingling stuff.

Mike has worked in thousands of schools and his books have become schemes of work in educational establishments throughout the UK and his poetry is regularly heard on BBC Radio and TV. He has read his poems in Prisons, Young Offenders units, Mental Health Hospitals, Children’s Homes, youth clubs and local pubs. He’s passionate about bringing live poetry to places it wouldn’t normally reach and to people who wouldn’t normally listen to it.

 

ANNA JONES

ANNA JONES

Anna Jones is a cook, food writer and stylist. She worked for many years as part of Jamie Oliver’s food team – styling, writing and working behind the scenes on books, TV shows and food campaigns – and went on to work with some of the UK’s biggest food brands and best-known chefs.

Anna believes that vegetables should be put at the centre of every table, and is devoted to helping people make a long-term commitment to eating well and feeling amazing. She is led by the joy of food - the spritz of freshness when you peel an orange or the crackle and waft of deep savoury spice when you add curry leaves to a pan of hot oil – and thinks that healthy eating is as much about pleasure as anything else.

Anna is the author of the acclaimed A Modern Way to Eat, shortlisted as cookery book of the year in the Fortnum and Mason Cookbook Awards 2014, and the newly-published A Modern Way to Cook, also highly acclaimed.

 

Hawarden Estate Farm Shop

Hawarden Estate Farm Shop

The current shop opened for business a little over six years ago in a building made from Scottish larch. It has subsequently won endless awards including True Taste's Best Farm Shop in Wales two years running and The Countryside Alliance's Butcher Shop of the Year.

The Farm Shop employs over 50 local people and serves thousands of customers each week. The shop is owned by Charlie and Caroline Gladstone who, along with Cerys Matthews and her team, are the creators of The Good Life Experience.

 

Roger Phillips

Roger Phillips

Roger Phillips is a mushroom maestro and one of the most respected foragers in Great Britain. In 1975 his began his life’s major work, photographing an encyclopaedic collection of world plants, with his first book -Wild Flowers of Britain- selling 400,000 copies in the first year! He has since written 20 additional volumes with combined sales of 4.5 million copies worldwide. Roger has also written and presented two major six-part TV series on gardening for BBC & Channel 4.

 

HANG FIRE SMOKEHOUSE

HANG FIRE SMOKEHOUSE

Samantha Evans and Shauna Guinn traveled to America in 2012 – 2013 on a roadtrip of epic proportions to find out ‘what exactly is American bbq?’. Their mission was to attend masterclasses, listen to pearls of wisdom from backyard and competition ‘cuers’ alike and try as much bbq as possible. Their adventures saw them help cook for a rodeo in Houston (50 briskets, 300 chickens and 500 racks of spare rib!) to helping an old mountain man repair his even older drum smoker deep in the Appalachians and being entrusted to spice rub secrets that they have to ‘take to the grave’. They attended masterclasses by competition winning barbecuers and traveled around eating the very best (and sometimes the very worst) barbecue in the world.

Having experienced all the major State variations, they’re not only confident that they are able to recreate authentic southern style bbq, but are equipped to elevate it to the next level using British produce with unique flavour profiles. In March Samantha and Shauna will open their first restaurant, the Hang Fire Southern Kitchen in a 215 year old Pump House on Barry Waterfront in the Vale of Glamorgan. At The Good Life Experience they will be joining a fantastic line-up of chefs for The Campfire Cooking Sessions. Things are about to get very hot and smokey around here…

 

Harry Eastwood

Harry Eastwood

Harry Eastwood first came to the public’s attention in 2007 when she co-presented Channel 4’s popular prime-time television series Cook Yourself Thin. She later went on to present the 20-part US version of the show on Lifetime network and is the author of three other cookery books, Red Velvet & Chocolate Heartache – which has sold more than 42,000 copies, The Skinny French Kitchen – which was nominated for the prestigious Guild of Food Writers Miriam Poulnin Award for Healthy Eating, and A Salad for All Seasons. Famous for her imaginative and unusual approach to food, Harry’s focus remains the creation of original and reliable recipes that work every time. Her most recent TV series have included Fox’s Baking Good, Baking Bad and Sinful Sweets, which aired on Cooking Channel USA. Harry is especially well known for successfully sneaking vegetables into cakes. What may come as a surprise is that she has also been researching meat in all its aspects for more than 15 years. Her passion for butchery and all meat matters even took her to Smithfield Market where she moonlit as an apprentice butcher in her early twenties. Carneval is the result of this colourful journey. Harry lives in Paris.

 

Tom Herbert

Tom Herbert

Tom Herbert is a fifth generation baker and one half of The Fabulous Baker Brothers. He won Young Baker of the Year as soon as he left baking college and has since harboured the ambition to 'do for bread what Rick Stein has done for fish’. He’s started a baking school, published a couple of books and ‘has lots of floury tricks up his sleeve’. Tom is back for a fourth year at The Good Life Experience to take part in our Campfire Cooking Sessions.

 

Poler Stuff

Poler Stuff

Poler Outdoor Stuff is one of our favourite outdoor brands. Based in Portland, USA, Poler makes gear for people that are travelers, sofa surfers, regular surfers, skateboarders, snowboarders, bicyclists, parents, kids, car campers and anyone else looking for something that looks good, is a good value and is all about having fun on road trips and in The Great Outdoors. It’s stuff that is made for people that have adventures all over the world while wearing jeans and a t-shirt. In short, it's stuff for you.

Recently arrived on this side of the pond, we were thrilled when they asked us if they could join The Good Life Experience last year, and we're even happier that they will be back in 2016. Poler will again bring their famous Le Tente rooftop tent on top of their Landy, their brilliant range of camping hard goods and a friend or two.

 

Yoga – The Zest Life

Yoga – The Zest Life

Zest Life is a small organisation based in Wales, specialising in yoga. We believe that yoga and meditation are key components of The Good Life and so we have asked them to curate a full day's yoga, stretching and meditation in their own tent. Beginner, expert, young or old, they'll have something for you. Come on...stretch yourself!

 

Mark Shayler

Mark Shayler

Mark has over 20 years of experience in environmental consultancy, eco design and the circular economy. He has worked with some of the world’s largest and smallest businesses to help them redesign their products to do more with less, reduce waste, design for recoverability and recyclability, design for leasing and design for refurbishment. In total he has advised over 1000 companies, helping them to save a collective £100 million. Mark regularly appears on TV, radio and presents at conferences. He is a founding partner of the Do Lectures, author of the book “Do Disrupt: Change the status quo or become it”, a Design Council Design Associate, a WRAP technical advisor and a MAS technical advisor. At The Good Life Experience Mark will talk on What is Britain for if we Don't Make Things?

 

THE BRAZILIAN CHEFS ANDRE + ANDERSON QUEIROZ

THE BRAZILIAN CHEFS ANDRE + ANDERSON QUEIROZ

We are excited to welcome back to the festival foodie brothers Anderson and Andre Queiroz with a Brazilian Feast. The brothers both have day jobs, but every weekend they get together and work on new dishes. It helps that they both love photography so it all looks just as good as it tastes. Their passion comes from growing up around people that could cook, and cook well. They both praise their parents' and grandparents' culinary skills and have fond memories of food bringing everyone together. Andre says: 'We Brazilians love food and especially the social side of it, getting together with friends and family, having a few beers and eating great food. Brazilians are very sociable people; food is at  the heart of social occasions and family gatherings. In my opinion, some of the  best moments in life happen around the  kitchen table.” Andre was taught to cook  the Brazilian staple food of rice and beans by his father at the age of eleven and since then has enjoyed cooking for his family and friends. In 2015 the brothers were invited to take part on Nigel Slater's TV programme 'Eating Together'. 

 

BeerBods

BeerBods

BeerBods founder, Matt, first fell in love with beer at the age of 14 when -at the end of each shift as a pot wash- he was paid his wages with half a pint of beer. Fast-forward 10 years and you would find Matt hosting beer tastings in a shed, a very busy shed. The beginnings of an online beer club and subscription service business idea was now taking root and Matt set up a holding page website with the thought that if 20 people signed up in the first week, the business would work. Over 250 people signed up in the first 24 hours and by Autumn 2013 BeerBods was receiving acclaim from subscribers and press alike, being voted 'one of the 100 most innovative, disruptive and resourceful small businesses' in the UK. Today BeerBods is a team of six people, two dogs, and a loyal and enthusiastic fanbase. The weekly beers are sourced from all over the world and have featured some that are even brewed just for their subscribers. So now they are not only selling beer, their making it too. Simply put it's one bottle of beer and the story behind it, every week for 12, 24 or 48 weeks.

 

Dylans Mobile Bookstore

Dylans Mobile Bookstore

Jeff Towns is one of the world’s leading Dylan Thomas experts. An antiquarian bookdealer by trade, based in the poet’s home-town of Swansea, Jeff was originally known, both locally & globally, as ‘Jeff the Books’.He is now known simply, affectionately and professionally as ‘The Dylan Thomas Guy’.

Dylans Mobile Bookstore is delighted to be bringing Britain's biggest and bestest (and possibly only) Book Bus to The Good Life Experience this year. An old ex-library bus full of books on Welsh life, literature, legend, history and art, Dylans Mobile Bookstore stocks second hand, used, new, old and antiquarian books, plus vinyl, vintage magazines, prints and postcards. There are books on everything - Rock and Roll, Rugby, Feminism, Witchcraft, Wizards....Welsh wizards...RS Thomas, Dylan Thomas, Edward Thomas...any Thomas! Expect poetry readings, bedtime story sessions, acoustic music session, Blind Date Book Club and impromptu happenings. 

 

Gladstone’s Library

Gladstone’s Library

Prime Minister William Gladstone was many things, but most of all he was a reader. His daily diary entries are brief, but he always made sure to note down the book he finished that day. Gladstone knew the power of a good book, and the happiness that comes from a willingness to learn with an open mind. Gladstone's Library is bringing a pop-up Library and debate space to The Good Life Experience, complete with a range of aromatic teas and the famous Gladstone’s biscuit.

 

The Idler

The Idler

The Idler is a literary and philosophical magazine devoted to its ethos of 'idling'. Founded in 1993 by Tom Hodgkinson and Gavin Pretor-Pinney, the publication's intention is to return dignity to the art of loafing, to make idling into something to aspire towards rather than reject. It combines the aesthetics of 1990s slacker culture and pre-industrial revolution idealism. The title comes from a series of essays by Samuel Johnson, published in 1758–59. 2010 saw the opening of the Idler’s educational offshoot; The Idler Academy of Philosophy, Husbandry and Merriment, offering online and real-world courses in the classical liberal arts and practical skills. Here you can learn about philosophy, astronomy, calligraphy, music, business skills, English grammar, ukuleles, public speaking, singing, drawing, self-defence and other subjects. The Idler are bringing a flavour of what they do in London to The Good Life Experience. Alongside selling books you will be able to drop in for classes inside or -weather permitting- outside their tent. According to Tom, characteristic of the idler's work is that it looks suspiciously like play. Sounds good to us, see you there?

 

JENNIE MAIZELS’ SKETCHBOOK CLUB

JENNIE MAIZELS’ SKETCHBOOK CLUB

Fantastic artist Jennie Maizels is bringing her Sketchbook Club to The Good Life Experience. Jennie started off her career as a pop-up book illustrator, which has led her mind down a wonderfully colourful track. Fed up with the boring patches she was sewing onto her children’s clothes, Jennie decided to create her own and has developed an enormous range of brilliant and colourful patches. Another of Jennie’s projects is her Sketchbook Club. Over the years Jennie has created some amazing illustrated diaries of the stuff going on in her life -which you can see here on her Instagram account- filled with her wonderful illustrations. Her sketchbooks quickly gained a following, and her fans began to post their own sketchbooks for Jennie to see. Jennie began to host Sketchbook Club in her studio in Winchester and the idea has grown and grown. We are thrilled that Jennie will join us at The Good Life Experience on Maker’s Row to help inspire you to start your own sketchbook.

 

DOODLEPLANET WORKSHOP

DOODLEPLANET WORKSHOP

Illustrator and painter David Setter AKA DoodlePlanet classes himself as a compulsive scribbler; drawing is his most natural form of communication both personally and professionally. He sees it as a therapy, addiction, hobby and lifestyle. David is always wondering what /who he’ll draw next, what kind of journey that will take him on and the doors it may open. He will be back at The Good Life Experience this year with an exciting collaborative work of art, giving festival goers the chance to get creative and join in.

 

CAUGHT BY THE RIVER PRESENTS…

CAUGHT BY THE RIVER PRESENTS…

Caught by the River was born on a bankside seven years ago. Although initially an idle conversation between friends, it soon grew into an online forum for all things outdoors – angling, bird watching, walking, drinking, listening & living. In the years since the first post, Caught by the River has featured contributions from writers, artists, musicians and like-minded thinkers such as Bill Drummond, Robert Macfarlane, Chris Yates, Bobby Gillespie, Melissa Harrison, Frank Cottrell Boyce, Chris Watson, Amy Liptrot, Richard Benson, Charles Rangeley-Wilson and Emma Warren among many, many others. Many of these pieces are collected in the anthologies Words on Water and On Nature (published by Caught by The River) and in the site’s semi-regular fanzine, An Antidote to Indifference. We are thrilled to welcome Caught by The River for the first time to The Good Life Experience this year.

'Caught By The River are not only friends of ours at Pedlars, but unquestionably the best curators of books and ideas about nature and the environment in Britain, as well as being really nice guys and guaranteeing anyone that joins them a lot of fun' - Charlie Gladstone, Co-Founder of The Good Life Experience.

See the full line-up from Caught by The River here.

 

JIM PARKYN’S AMAZING SCENE MACHINE

JIM PARKYN’S AMAZING SCENE MACHINE

Jim Parkyn has over 16 years experience working as a model maker in the world of stop motion and film,television and theatre. With this background in animation, and with the help of his wife Lea, Jim has been inspired to combine the world of theatre and animation and build ' The Scene machine'. A combination of puppet Theatre, animation and Phantasmagoria, this unique contraption will make for a unique interactive experience. Jim and his animation technicians will feed the machine to create a Plasti-Scene before your very eyes and you can be part of it! Make a mini effigy of yourself or let your imagination go wild and make what ever takes your fancy. Give your Masterpiece to one of the technicians who will then feed it in to the machine and it will be added to the evolving scene that captures the magic of The Good Life Experience. From blank canvas to finished film you can take part and even appear in this unusual experience. We can't wait to take part!

 

DONNA SOMERSET VINTAGE MOBILE DISCO

DONNA SOMERSET VINTAGE MOBILE DISCO

The Vintage Mobile Disco -known as Donna Somerset after its West Country roots-  is a diminutive, artisan soundsystem, lovingly assembled within an old laundry truck by friends Russ and Rich. Its ethos is very much back to basics, and in reserving the old ways it has only two rules; 7" ​​(45rpm) vinyl only, and it has to have been recorded at least 30 years ago. ​As well as their trademark discerning disco sounds, expect to hear​ some specially curated "goodlife" selections, including​ plenty of soul, ​blues​,​ rock 'n' roll,​ ​reggae, ​forgotten folk, psych, funk, country, soundtracks, easy listening, and other oddities found lingering in the dusty racks of the forgotten record stores. ​The music is​ familiar, without being clichéd. Nostalgic, without being cheesy.

 

AXE & PADDLE BUSHCRAFT

AXE & PADDLE BUSHCRAFT

Axe & Paddle Bushcraft was founded by Steven Le Say who practices and teaches traditional green woodworking crafts and bushcraft skills through outdoor courses. Having worked as a jeweler for many years, Steven drastically changed direction in 2005 to pursue his love of The Great Outdoors and became a gardener and tree surgeon, eventually founding Axe & Paddle Bushcraft in early 2012. He has been practicing and teaching traditional crafts as a hobby for as long as he can remember, so beginning Axe & Paddle was a natural progression. Steven is passionate about passing on these skills to as many people as possible, and at The Good Life he and his team will be teaching three workshops; flint and steel fire lighting, bow drill fire lighting and natural fibre cord making. And there will be bow making too. We hope you will join the adventure!

 

Alex Pole

Alex Pole

Alex Pole has been working as a blacksmith -his life and passion- for the past 23 years, and creates beautiful bespoke ironwork commissions under 'Alex Pole Ironwork' alongside his new kitchenware range 'Forge Kitchen'. Alex will be running demonstrations every few hours during the course of the festival. Expect to see a great deal of fire, hot steel and sparks flying at the fully functioning forge set-up with Alex showing you how to get hands-on with this most ancient of traditional crafts and proving its provenance and rightful place in modern society. 

 

Margaret Markland Weaver

Margaret Markland Weaver

Margaret Markland worked in the fashion industry for many years, first as a pattern cutter for a couture design house then as a seamstress. She also had clothes shops and worked on tailoring alterations. Now Margaret's main interests are weaving and crochet. She loves all the new types of yarns available especially the hand spun variety, and she is a member of the spinners and weavers guild here in North Wales. 

 

GOLDEN BEAR BELTS

GOLDEN BEAR BELTS

Golden Bear Belts founder Louise Middleton trained in Ceramics at Camberwell School of Art and worked in the fashion industry for over 15 years. She set up Golden Bear Belts in 2009 and sells her collections at Liberty, London and worldwide boutiques. Louise also runs leather crafting workshops and we are thrilled that she will be returning to The Good Life Experience in 2017 with her hugely popular workshops. At the festival Louise will teach the basics of leather crafting and a range of surface decoration methods; how to emboss, stamp, scribe, cut, hand paint and gild. She will run belt workshops for adults, and for children there will be classes to make leather eye patches,wristbands for superheroes and pouches for foraging in the woods.

 

Jen + Sim Benson Wild Runners

Jen + Sim Benson Wild Runners

Having struggled to find inspiring guides for fantastic running routes around the country, wild runners Jen and Sim Benson wrote 'Wild Running', the first UK guidebook for those who love to run and who dream of exploring Britain's spectacular mountains, forests and coastal trails and the ultimate guide for those looking to break free from the gym and the streets. This year the couple were named Ordnance Survey #GetOutside Champions and have another book coming soon. We look forward to welcoming them back to the festival to lead a 5km run on both the Saturday and Sunday with post-run Q+As. Here's what one festival runner had to say last year:

 

ZANTIUM MOSAIC WORKSHOPS

ZANTIUM MOSAIC WORKSHOPS

Based in Derbyshire, Alison and Peter Massey have 17 years of experience offering practical workshops to both adults and children in the arts of mosaics and metal pressing and we are excited that they will be joining us in September to teach their crafts. Festival goers will be able to take home new skills, imaginative ideas and their own hand crafted works of art.

 

WELSH LAVENDER

WELSH LAVENDER

In 2003 journalist Nancy Durham and her husband, the Oxford Philosopher of Science Bill, planted a field of lavender on their farm in mid Wales, the first to do so in Wales on a field scale. They have since expanded their operations becoming the only distillers of lavender oil in Wales. Like a wine, their rich red earth at an altitude of 1100 feet, produces a lavender oil unique to their land. 

 

HELEN GITTINS RAKU CERAMICS

HELEN GITTINS RAKU CERAMICS

Helen Gittins is a potter, living and working in the Clwydian hills with her wood-fired kiln. Helen and her team of three are bringing three kilns to The Good Life Experience to teach festival goers all about the raku firing technique, a spectacular and dramatic way of firing that produces amazing colours, from metallic coppers and golds to blue and white crackles. The team will have a whole lot of hand thrown pots at the ready that participants can glaze themselves, and some of the workshops will take place after dark, which is quite something to see. 

 

PABLO SPAULL

PABLO SPAULL

Pablo Spaull is one of the UK's leading bean to bar chocolate makers. He has been producing award winning artisan chocolate bars since 2013 which have gained Forever Cacao, his company, a loyal following.

Pablo believes there is no better combination than meditation and chocolate to achieve double relaxation and at the festival he will provide you with techiques to help you find calm and inner peace, using chocolate as your meditation object.Those who have experienced this often state that they have never really tasted chocolate properly before. Pablo's course is about bringing awareness to your eating and enjoying Chocolate mindfully, and we encourage all ages to give it a try.

 

DAMIAN CLISBY

DAMIAN CLISBY

Damian Clisby's passion for cooking and the freshest ingredients started from a young age, inspired by his grandfather, a butcher at Smithfields. He spent his summers on his grandfather’s farm in Cork, where together they would smoke freshly caught salmon. Damian went on to gain his trade in some of the best kitchens in London; he's been head chef at Petersham Nurseries since 2014 and he previously was head chef at HIX Soho and executive chef at Cotswold House. Damian is a keen forager and we are thrilled to welcome him for a pit-cooked feast.

 

ANDREW BERRY + NICK BOOTON

ANDREW BERRY + NICK BOOTON

Andrew Berry is a multidisciplinary artist and designer based in Liverpool. His recent focus has been to provide consultation and art direction to clients working within the music and creative industries. Nick Booton is a designer and illustrator who runs his own studio Bruï. He works primarily within the music and fashion industries. Andrew and Nick operate out of the same studio space in Liverpool, having built the space with screen print facilities as a way to experiment and provide a print service to clients. They operate as separate entities but often team up for screen printing workshops and exhibitions. At The Good Life Experience Andrew and Nick will team up to provide one-to-one screen printing workshops throughout the weekend. The workshops will give you a chance to learn everything about the art of screen printing and have a go at printing your own Good Life Experience festival print. 

 

GILL MELLER

GILL MELLER

Head Chef at River Cottage, and part of the team for over 10 years, Gill Meller works closely with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and appears regularly on the Channel 4 series. He produces recipe videos for the River Cottage food-tube channel and teaches both at the River Cottage Cookery School and internationally. A contributor to the Guardian, Waitrose Food, Delicious, and BBC Countryfile Magazine, to name but a few, he is also Country Living’s food columnist and his book Gather was named one of The Telegraph's Top 100 Books in 2016. 

 

ANT ORAM

ANT ORAM

Ant Oram is passionate about cycling. He is a graphic designer who has been designing for the last 20 years for a broad range of clients from MTV, Nintendo and howies to name but a few. His love of the outdoors and cycling lead to him setting up Anthony Oram Prints and Auxiliary Outside Projects both of which will be returning to The Good Life Experience in September along with his latest project, Break Fluid, a top quality, easy to brew coffee which is perfect for a life lived in The Great Outdoors. 

[Photo by Andrew Denham @ndrwdnhm]

 

NORMAN JAY MBE

NORMAN JAY MBE

The King of the Notting Hill Carnival, Norman Jay, has been confirmed as our first guest for The Good Life Experience 2017! Norman Jay MBE is unquestionably one of the most respected and popular DJs in the world today. Co-founder of the legendary Good Times Sound System and London dance music station KISS FM, Jay fostered the ‘Rare Groove’ scene pushing the boundaries of the UK’s emerging club culture. Awarded an MBE for services to deejaying and music, he recently compiled his most eclectic compilation to date, ‘Good Times Skank & Boogie’, and he continues to convert generations of clubbers to the cause, championing new sounds, yet never forgetting his musical roots.

 

MICHAEL ROSEN

MICHAEL ROSEN

Former Children's Laureate and author of the classic picture book 'We’re Going on a Bear Hunt' Michael Rosen is one of the best-known figures in the children's book world, renowned for his work as a poet, performer, broadcaster and scriptwriter. As an author and by selecting other writers’ works for anthologies he has been involved with over 140 books. Michael lectures and teaches in universities on children’s literature, reading and writing. He is a familiar voice to BBC listeners and is currently presenting Word of Mouth, the magazine programme that looks at the English language and the way we use it. He visits schools with his one-man show to enthuse children with his passion for books and poetry. He was one of the first poets to make visits to schools throughout the UK and has also visited schools throughout the world.

 

EZZA

EZZA

Standing out from the crowd, the power trio EZZA transforms and takes Tuareg music off the usual path, blending modern rock sounds, African pulse, rhythmic trances and relentless groove. EZZA is desert blues-rock, three-piece dynamic and soul-stirring melodies,and rebellion-fuelled rhythms, producing a more contemporary sound than ever before associated with Saharan music. Led by Omar Adam Goumour, EZZA take a rightful place in the desert-rock pantheon, a neat, propulsive outfit supplying a depth of groove that’s impressive for just a three-piece. Omar is a charismatic leader, his warm, soulful vocals accompanied by some beautifully liquid guitar lines. All the necessary component parts are there; impeccable desert sounds to stir your soul.

 

MICHAEL HEAD

MICHAEL HEAD

Once described by the NME as a ‘lost genius and among the most gifted songwriters of his generation’, Michael Head is unquestionably a Liverpool legend. An effortless and deeply soulful songwriter, he formed his first band, The Pale Fountains, with his younger brother John in the early 1980s. After releasing two — at the time misunderstood —albums for Virgin, he formed his second band, Shack, in 1986, and despite various mishaps and episodes of bad luck, they managed to release five critically acclaimed albums including Waterpistol in 1995 and HMS Fable for London Records in 1999. In 1997 he released what is arguably his most acclaimed and accomplished album to date, The Magical World Of The Strands, under the name of Michael Head & The Strands. Since 2013 he has been writing and recording under the name of Michael Head & The Red Elastic band. He has so far released a couple of EPs, with an album planned in the summer of 2017 on Violette Records.

 

MICHAEL CHAPMAN

MICHAEL CHAPMAN

Veteran British songwriter and guitar sage Michael Chapman ranks among the innovative midcentury English guitarists who transposed the atmosphere and syntax of the blues to a British context through reinvention and deconstruction, rather than imitation. His music is suffused with the crooked logic, unfulfilled longing, and existential danger of dreams, shaded with his own wry sensibility of Northern darkness. Like a peaty whiskey, the smoky gravitas of his playing and singing has grown more trenchant and entrenched with age. His emergence in 1967 as a self-taught jazz freak, recovering art-school student, and part-time photography teacher on the Cornish folk circuit preceded a series of classic late 1960s and ’70s albums for Harvest, Deram, and Decca. (But whatever you do, don’t call him a folkie; he feels more kinship with the improvisatory outer orbits of jazz, blues, and the avant-garde.)

 

PICTISH TRAIL

PICTISH TRAIL

Born out of a compulsion to make infectious, melody-driven music from a treasure trove of secret sounds, Pictish Trail’s spectral songs are filtered through a sun-warped pop lens, where heart-pumping guitar shriek-outs collide with sampled gurgles, and fractured lyrics figure-skate over sine-waves of glacial synth. Something of a sonic hermit, he spent large parts of the past few years tucked away in his caravan on the Hebridean isle of Eigg, feverishly working on Future Echoes: 2016’s follow-up to his critically acclaimed 2014 double album Secret Soundz Vol. 1&2.

 

ROZI PLAIN

ROZI PLAIN

Rozi Plain has been making music since her brother taught her a few chords on the guitar aged 13. Raised in Winchester, she spent a few years studying art and painting boats in Bristol, where she began collaborating with long-term collaborators Kate Stables (This Is The Kit) and Rachael Dadd, among many others on a thriving local scene. Her most recent album - Friend, released on Lost Map Records in May 2015, is a spellbinding reaffirmation of the now London-based singer-songwriter as one of the most unique and original voices in UK alt-folk, and features contributions from Hot Chip's Alexis Taylor and members of Francois & The Atlas Mountains among many others.

 

AMBER ARCADES

AMBER ARCADES

Amber Arcades is the moniker of Dutch-born musician Annelotte de Graaf. De Graaf first started writing songs in 2010 while temporarily living in Philadelphia. Back in the Netherlands she put out a first EP in 2012 containing soft-voiced, melancholic folk ballads. Wanting to develop her sound and mature from the safe bedroom folk environment, she got in touch with producer Ben Greenberg (Beach Fossils, The Men, Destruction Unit) to produce a collection of songs she had written over the years. In May 2015, de Graaf flew out to New York to record the songs, backed by a band containing Kevin Morby, as well as members of Real Estate and Quilt. The result is Fading Lines, a record that is as dreamy and esoteric as it is gripping, presenting slightly off, floating pop melodies over a mixture of kraut-inspired drums, cutting guitars and fuzzed-out organs.

 

JEB LOY NICHOLS

JEB LOY NICHOLS

Jeb Loy Nichols was born in America, raised in Missouri, spent time in New York, Spain and London, and now lives in Wales. In 1981 he found himself living in a squat with Adrian Sherwood, Ari Up (from the Slits), and Neneh Cherry.  He formed Fellow Travellers, a country dub band, and recorded four CDs. Critic Robert Christagau called them “The children of Merle, Marley and Marx.” In 1996 he recorded the first of eleven solo records. Rolling Stone Magazine has called him “The high priest of country cool.”  His latest record, Country Hustle, was named “The Right Now Sound For A New Millennium” by The Nashville Scene.

 

FLAMINGODS

FLAMINGODS

Flamingods are a five-piece, multi-instrumental band formed in Bahrain in 2009. The band was founded by Kamal Rasool and now consists of Rasool, Sam Rowe, Charles Prest, Karthik Poduval and Craig Doporto. Based in both the UK and Bahrain, the band has carried out operations online as much as in person. The group puts a focus on exploration and experimentation, often taking influence from different cultures around the world by use of an extensive collection of instruments from as far as Nepal, Thailand, Indonesia, Turkey, Japan and Tanzania.

 

GIRL RAY

GIRL RAY

The winsome melancholic embers of Girl Ray began amongst the scattered brown brick rows of North London. They have been writing demos since their mid-teens about wanting to skateboard, how much they hate Mick Jagger and the school dinner ladies. Their debut album Earl Grey will be released by Moshi Moshi Records in June 2017.

 

THE ORIELLES

THE ORIELLES

The Orielles - sisters Esme and Sid Hand-Halford and friend Henry Wade - formed after meeting at a house party, with the sisters only learning how to play their instruments after getting the band together. Keen advocates of DIY methods and following riot grrrl bands and California groups, The Orielles put their own stamp on that lo-fi sound. Receiving strong praise from NME, Steve Lamacq and Amazing Radio’s Shell Zenner, a strong following in Leeds, Manchester and their hometown of Halifax has grown into country-wide interest.

 

DAVID KEENAN

DAVID KEENAN

The place is Airdrie. The year is 1983. Memorial Device, the best band that never existed, are about to change everyone’s lives forever. This Is Memorial Device, the debut novel by David Keenan, is a love letter to the small towns of Lanarkshire in the west of Scotland in the late 1970s and early 80s as they were temporarily transformed by the endless possibilities that came out of the freefall from punk rock. Written in a series of hallucinatory first-person eye-witness accounts that capture the prosaic madness of the time and place, heady with the magic of youth recalled, with moments of delirious psychedelic modernism, laugh out loud bathos and tender poignancy, David Keenan’s debut novel conjures a cast of misfits, artists, drop-outs, small town visionaries and musicians in a time where anything seemed possible - a moment where art and the demands it made were as serious as your life. This is Scotland. This is Memorial Device. David Keenan is also the author of England's Hidden Reverse: A Secret History of the Esoteric Underground, and is a senior critic at The Wire.

 

WILL BURNS

WILL BURNS

Will Burns is poet-in-residence for Caught by the River. A regular reader of his work at festivals across the country, his marvellous debut pamphlet, published through the prestigious Faber New Poets scheme in 2014, was hailed for its ‘quiet intelligence and subtle ways of seeing’, for a voice that is ‘rough but still tender, solitary, ruminating’. His equally brilliant second pamphlet was published by Clutag in 2016.

 

MARTHA SPRACKLAND

MARTHA SPRACKLAND

Martha Sprackland’s debut pamphlet, Glass As Broken Glass, was published in January 2017 with Rack Press. Martha was twice a winner of the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award and received an Eric Gregory Award in 2014. Previously founder-editor of Cake magazine and assistant poetry editor for Faber, she is currently an idle larkabout (finishing a first collection) and, with Will Burns, is poet-in-residence for Caught by the River.

 

SCHOOL OF NOISE

SCHOOL OF NOISE

The School of Noise runs workshops for all ages encouraging the exploration of noise, sound and music. At The Good Life Experience, the team will run drop-in workshops throughout the weekend for children and families to explore a variety of instruments, scientific experiments and noise making and sculpting machines. The aim is to provide creative and imaginative activities using sound in accessible and fun ways. Count us in.

 

INDIA KNIGHT

INDIA KNIGHT

Famous for her inimitable wit and sound advice, journalist and author India Knight writes both a weekly comment column in The Sunday Times and a weekly beauty column in The Sunday Times Style section. She is the author of four novels and four non-fiction books, and her most recent book 'The Goodness of Dogs' -a personal and practical guide to happy dog ownership- is one that's particularly close to our hearts. 

 

JONATHAN SHACKLETON

JONATHAN SHACKLETON

Jonathan Shackleton is the cousin of the Irish Kildare born Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton. As a lecturer and guide, Jonathan has accompanied 40 groups on trips to the Antarctic in the past 18 years as historian, guide, photographer and Zodiac driver. At The Good Life Experience he will talk about 'Penguins -partly- Polar Literature and Antarctica'.

 

LOIS PRYCE

LOIS PRYCE

Author and travel writer, Lois Pryce will be speaking about her 3000-mile solo motorcycle ride around Iran, the subject of her latest book, Revolutionary Ride. Intrigued by a mysterious note left on her bike by an Iranian stranger in London, Lois decided to ignore the official warnings, and set off to try to uncover the heart of this most complex and incongruous country. Her travels took her into the hidden heart of contemporary Iran, discovering a land both religious and hedonistic, practical and poetic, modern and rooted in tradition - and with a wild sense of humour and appreciation of beauty despite the comparative lack of freedom. Lois Pryce is a journalist and speaker and has written for the Telegraph, Independent, New York Times, CNN and the Guardian. She was named by the Telegraph as one of the 10 Great Female Travellers and is the author of two other bestselling books about her adventures by motorcycle. 

 

MICHAEL TOWNSEND WILLIAMS

MICHAEL TOWNSEND WILLIAMS

From a life of 'doing' in the world of advertising to a life of 'being' as a yoga and mindfulness teacher, Michael Townsend now works on the integration of both. His business, Stillworks, coaches individuals, teams and organisations on Mindful Productivity, Mindfulness and Yoga. He is also co-creator of the iPhone app, Breathe Sync, that brings your breathing into sync with your heart to reduce stress and improve focus. He believes the world needs to calm down and we would all get a lot more done if we did. His first book Do Breathe: Calm your mind. Find focus. Get stuff done. is published by The Do Book Company and we look forward to Michael's talk at The Good Life Experience, which will incorporate -of course- breathing exercises.

 

SUE FLOOD

SUE FLOOD

Sue Flood is an award-winning wildlife photographer, author and filmmaker. She has travelled to the Arctic and Antarctic over 40 times: camping at -40°C, working on Russian icebreakers, living with Inuit hunters on the floe edge, diving with leopard seals.  At the festival Sue will recount some of her adventures which have taken her to all seven continents, from the Arctic to the Antarctic and in between, above and below the waves.

 

WITH LOVE PROJECT

WITH LOVE PROJECT

The With Love Project started as a idea to find and document a small number of people who produce things with a passion and purpose. Asking one single question along the way... "Why do you do what you do?” Photographer Rob Evans and brand designer/art director Chris Roberts set out to meet 5 people and produce a small book of the people they met. Nearly 40 makers, producers and manufacturers later they managed to finish the book, they've also created a film and documented all their visits on their website. They are constantly searching for new stories, new people who truly love what they do to document and work with. Don't miss Chris and Rob's talk The Importance of Side Projects at The Good Life Experience. 

 

GAIL BRYSON

GAIL BRYSON

Gail Bryson is a textile, graphic and product designer. She specialises in simple and graphic prints that complement a wide range of home styles. Trained at Edinburgh College of Art, she developed her design skills at The Conran Shop and The Nest before subsequently becoming co-founder and creative director of Bryson Loxley. Amongst her clients there are John Lewis and Jamie Oliver. She has also collaborated individually with Pedlars and Future and Found on a wide range of projects over the years. Gail is a firm believer that good design will always last the test of time. Her products are designed to last both in design and manufacture, and are hand-printed and hand-sewn in London. Ultimately, her aim is to create things that can passed down through the generations, like the collection of linen she has inherited from her own family. Colour also plays a big part in Gail’s work. Combinations are dreamed up from photographs taken on her travels and provide inspiration back in her studio. In 2017 Gail will join Makers' Row offering screen printing workshops at The Good Life Experience.

 

EARL OF EAST LONDON

EARL OF EAST LONDON

Earl of East is a lifestyle brand with a focus on fine fragranced, artisanal apothecary products. Paul and Niko began their journey in 2014 and launched their candle line in Summer of 2015, they now have over 60 stockists worldwide, and have collaborated with companies such as Whistles, Pinterest and Hoxton Hotel. Their range of hand-poured, small batch candles is produced in their East London candle making factory. Paul and Niko create unique scents using bespoke blends of the finest botanical fragrance and essential oils and use eco soy wax, which ensures a clean burn and an excellent scent throw and natural cotton wicks. If you love candles as much as Earl of East London does, you are in luck. At The Good Life Experience you will have the chance to join Paul and Niko in one of their candle making workshops.

 

RURAL KIND

RURAL KIND

Mike and Nia of Rural Kind are designers and makers of simple, functional, and durable carry goods. Their story began with a desire to create objects by hand, using simple techniques and traditional materials, to be closer to the objects in their everyday life.  To return to a more sustainable time when quality and craftsmanship were valued over the mass produced and poorly constructed. To know the person who creates the everyday object, and the care and time that is involved in that process. Rural Kind is Mike and Nia's expression of these ideas and a step towards a simpler, more sustainable way of living; producing goods that are well made, thoughtfully designed, and that are built to last. Their goods are designed and made in a small workshop in rural Wales, and at the core of their designs is a love of simple clean lines, considered detailing, and (above all else), functionality. When not designing and making, they can be found exploring the wild hills and valleys of Wales with dogs in tow, or otherwise (mostly) reading, eating vegetables, and stargazing.

 

MICHAEL MAY

MICHAEL MAY

Michael May never wanted to be a knife maker. After leaving music college he ended up working in cutlery factory, as was the family tradition. After working in various departments he ended up in the pen and pocket workshop where he remained for three years before leaving to study history at university. Two degrees later he was back making knives. Under Keith Moorby,  Michael learned how to make knives to the highest standard, and it was then he realised that this was what he wanted to do for the rest of his life. Over the years, more and more people would ask Michael to make a knife for them as they were impressed at the high level of craftsmanship. He found a workshop at the historic Portland Works, where Harry Brearley developed stainless steel for the use of cutlery over 100 years ago. When it was time for respected knife maker and well know Sheffield character Trevor Ablett retired, Michael bought all his tools, continuing his work and following his traditional patterns that Sheffield is famous for. Each knife Michael makes is crafted to the highest standard, and can quite literally be made with his blood, sweat, and tears. Since learning his trade, Michael feels a responsibility to continue with the skills and crafts that made Sheffield famous.

 

GEMMA MILLY

GEMMA MILLY

Calligrapher Gemma Milly has been in the design industry for 12 years and started her own business designing wedding stationery 5 years ago. Her vision was simple, to put the soul back into the design process and create paper goods that say more than words ever could about the magic of two people being joined together. For Gemma it’s all about the little details and expressing what your wedding day is all about.

 

CAMBRIAN MOUNTAINS WOOL

CAMBRIAN MOUNTAINS WOOL

You may have come across Cambrian Mountains Wool in our Market Place in 2016 with their wonderful Welsh wool. This year we are thrilled that the team will be back, this time on Makers' Row, showcasing both the wool and the makers, offering hands on workshops such as wet felt making and botanical printing onto wool fabric.

 

VIC PHILLIPS

VIC PHILLIPS

Vic Phillips is one half of SingleMaltTeapot along with fiance Samantha Wheeler. During their pursuit of their own take on The Good Life Vic can generally be found with an axe or knife in hand and wood chippings gathering at his feet. Working with sections of wood that would otherwise find themselves as scrap he designs and carves spoons, knives and other items for the home that combine traditional techniques with contemporary styling. Guided by the slopes and curves of the grain he looks to continue the narrative of something that has grown over potentially hundreds of years that may otherwise have reached it’s final chapter. At the festival we look forward to Vic's spoon carving workshops where he will teach several different cutting techniques, giving you the chance to take away your own hand hewn cooking spoon.

 

THE WILD DYERY

THE WILD DYERY

Justine Aldersey-Williams is the designer, maker and owner of The Wild Dyery, a textile design and training company specialising in natural fabric dyeing. Justine ethically sources cloth by hand at her studio in Hoylake, Wirral, using traditional resist techniques including shibori, block printing and screen printing. She then dyes her textiles using flowers, bark, roots and leaves, imbuing the fabric with resonant colour and an ethical provenance. Join Justine for some wild dyeing at the festival where she will be offering indigo shibori and foraged flora eco-printing workshops. 

 

ANDREW ZIMINSKI STONEMASON

ANDREW ZIMINSKI STONEMASON

Andrew Ziminiski trained as a cathedral stonemason and conservator and works as part of a continuing cultural tradition that stretches back into the prehistory of the English West Country. His business Minerva is based in Frome and, with his business partner Andrew, for the past 25 years he has worked to repair ancient churches, stone bridges and monuments around the counties of Somerset, Wiltshire and Dorset, and his book 'Journeyman' is soon to be published. 

 

KARL WHITELEY MAP ILLUSTRATION

KARL WHITELEY MAP ILLUSTRATION

An exciting addition to Makers' Row is expert map illustrator Karl Whiteley. With the help of festival goers, Karl will create a map of the festival over the weekend, and copies will be available to take home as the perfect memento of a cracking weekend.

 

BRIAN DODD GUITAR MAKER

BRIAN DODD GUITAR MAKER

Inspired by the blues, four years ago Brian Dodd went back to basics and began making his own guitars out of anything he could get his hands on that would resonate or vibrate, from wooden crates to skateboards to axe handles. Fast forward to today and Brian's hobbie has become a successful cottage industry. Brian is part of a huge community of craftspeople making these guitars which which hark back to the Cigar box guitars of Depression Era America, and he will be building guitars over the course of the weekend at The Good Life Experience.

 

ALL THE FUN OF THE FAIR

ALL THE FUN OF THE FAIR

All the Fun of the Fair. Think high end haberdashery, homespun homewares, and a craft cupboard of delights. A curated sweetie shop of cheery, crafty and charming items. Well known for quirky knitted items from tea cosies to cacti. Knitted pumpkins may be found at the festival.. Crafting experts ATFOTF are bringing their crafty cheer to The Good Life Experience with arm knitting workshop. Just turn up with your arms at the ready and learn this fun, alternative way of knitting. It's fast and fun, and participants will be knitting welly warmers and scarfs in no time. Queen of pompoms ATFOTF's Buzz Stokes will also run sessions on how to make pompoms from teeny to gigantic. Gadgets, gizmos, books, gifts and supplies to make all things crafty will be available on their festival stall, as will be wool..

 

THE DOG NANNY

THE DOG NANNY

Deborah Colella -AKA The Dog Nanny- runs a Canine Circus School. What on earth is that you may ask? It's an attempt to engage people -both children and adults- in training their dogs, to make it enjoyable, entertaining and easy. It's an excuse for adults, children and dogs alike to dress up and put on a super entertaining show.

Deborah will run two 30-40 minute training sessions on the Saturday and Sunday of The Good Life Experience, which will be followed by a small show each afternoon for everyone.

 

INSTAGRAMMER SARA TASKER

INSTAGRAMMER SARA TASKER

Sara Tasker is a photographer and writer living in the Yorkshire hills. A lifelong lover of photography, she switched to using her iPhone & Instagram to document her daily life whilst pregnant with her first child. Within six months, she’d attracted over 40k followers, and now works full time combining her love of styling, words and photography to create for a range of blogs, brands and publications. She records her experiences & adventures on her blog, Me & Orla, as well as her daily Instagram shares. At The Good Life Experience Sara will give a talk on 'Visual Storytelling Through Phone Photography'.

 

PAUL MCNAMEE

PAUL MCNAMEE

Paul McNamee is the UK editor of The Big Issue. He was appointed in June 2011, the first time the iconic title has had a single editor across all national and regional editions and online. He previously worked for a number of years on the NME in London, he co-founded Irish magazine Blank and has written for a range of newspapers and magazines, amongst them the Daily Mirror, The Guardian and The Irish Times. He has been named Editor of the Year three times by PPA Scotland and was named British Editor of The Year by the BSME (British Society of Magazine Editors) in 2013 and 2016. He is also a regular voice on BBC radio. (Photo: Getty Images)

 

TOM HUNT

TOM HUNT

Tom Hunt is an award-winning chef, food writer, campaigner, and author of The Natural Cook. Tom worked with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall as a course leader, cook and food stylist on the River Cottage TV series.  Tom also writes for various publications including the Guardian. Tom runs Forgotten Feast a campaign promoting sustainable food through dining and celebration. Forgotten Feast creates banquets with food waste and/or topical ingredients. Working closely with charitable organisations including Slow Food, FareShare and Action Against Hunger, Tom highlights important concerns in the food industry. Tom founded his festival cafe Poco in 2004 which has now grown into two tapas restaurants located in Bristol and London. In its opening year Poco London was awarded the most Sustainable Restaurant of the Year at the Food Made Good Awards. Poco follows Tom’s Root to Fruit Eating philosophy, is 100% seasonal, and 95% waste free, recycling and composting everything.

 

MIKE KEEN

MIKE KEEN

Mike Keen lives in the beautiful Suffolk countryside and is the owner and executive chef of Ipswich food pub The Brewery Tap and Cult Cafe on the town’s waterside. Born in Colchester but brought up in Nigeria and Saudi Arabia, Mike got a taste for exotic flavours and adventurous cooking at an early age. He has explored the cuisines of four continents, working in restaurants, on cruise ships and in cocktail bars, as a chef, troubleshooter, barman, waiter and delicatessen owner. After many years abroad Mike brought his family home to Suffolk in 2008, working at Jimmy’s Farm of TV fame and as head chef at the Anchor in Walberswick, before taking on the Brewery Tap freehouse in 2009.

 

OLIA HERCULES

OLIA HERCULES

Olia Hercules is a Leith’s-trained chef, recipe writer and food stylist. She honed her cooking skills in the fiery kitchens of Ottolenghi after which she worked as a freelance recipe tester and developer for a variety of food magazines, including Sainsbury’s and Jamie’s, and appeared in a Food Network cookery show Red, Hot and Yummy. She was picked as Observer Rising Star of 2015 in food category and her recipes are regularly featured in 10 Best column of The Guardian’s Cook supplement. Olia's book Mamushka: Recipes from Ukraine & Beyond was published in 2015 and her latest book Kaukasis: The Culinary Journey Through Georgia, Azerbaijan & Beyond will be published on August 10, 2017. 

 

COOK WITH ROSIE

COOK WITH ROSIE

Good food is one of the building blocks of family life. Cook with Rosie will inspire you and your children to make this everyday activity creative and fun.  Growing up on a farm in the highlands of Scotland, Rosie had her eyes open from a young age about the importance of farm to fork, and cooking with seasonal or homegrown produce. Now with a young family of her own and a business to her name, she strives to instil the same values about healthy family food and the enjoyment surrounding it. 

 

5 O’CLOCK APRON

5 O’CLOCK APRON

Claire Thomson is a chef and has been for well over a decade.  She loves the fast and furious pace of cooking during a busy night at the stoves.  However, she now has three brilliant kids and the motivation to fill these three little tummys with nutritional, delicious and exciting food is Claire's primary concern.  Cooking in a restaurant for people interested in what’s on their plate and what’s more, are paying for it, couldn’t be more different to cooking at 5pm for hungry fractious children.  In fact she find the 5pm slot a lot more demanding.  It’s not called the witching hour for nothing. Claire has published 5 O'Clock Apron: Inspiring Recipes for Children and recently the National Trust Family Cook Book.

 

JOANNE O’CONNELL

JOANNE O’CONNELL

Joanne O’Connell is a journalist. She writes for national newspapers, including the Guardian and the Observer, glossy magazines and websites, appears on radio and television and speaks at events.  Joanne is author of The Homemade Vegan (Prospect Books, 2016), a collection of vegan recipes from the 1970s and the memories and ideas that go alongside them. Dairy-free diets are now in vogue but rewind a few decades and without shopping aisles full of almond milk and coconut yoghurt, the vegans of the seventies had to be inventive, resourceful and creative cooks. As the book shows, the focus was on simple, affordable, sustainable, plant-based meals – a way of eating that Joanne believes is just as relevant today.

 

DAPHNE LAMBERT

DAPHNE LAMBERT

Daphne Lambert has cooked, studied, taught & written about food all her adult life. She was the chef co/owner of an award winning, organic restaurant for 30 years. She runs a nutritional consultancy practice working with both individuals and organisations and is the author of four books. Daphne is the founding member of Greencuisine Trust, an educational charity, which by sharing practical food experiences supports the growing emergence of a food culture which honours all life on Earth and recognises the importance of upholding the planet's biodiversity, while meeting the food production needs of the human population. 

 

Baloji

Baloji

Congolese-born, Belgium-based hip-hop artist Baloji's music blends traditional African music, hip-hop, French folk, soul, funk, jazz and electronic to create his distinct and incredibly compelling sound. This is energetic, engaging and highly original music and what Saturday night at The Good Life Experience is all about.

 

L’Orchestre du Mont-Plaisant

L’Orchestre du Mont-Plaisant

L'Orchestre du Mont-Plaisant are a worldly troupe, who display the intrepidness and roaming interestes of true explorers. ODMP is a quartet that brings together world rhythms and moody cinematic moments playing blues and dance pieces, with notable influences from Congolese Soukous, African highlife, Ethiopian jazz, Cumbria, a whiff of the Middle East and Turkish Psychedelia. You may well have heard them on Cerys' radio show before, we can't wait to welcome them to Wales.

 

Trembling Bells

Trembling Bells

Highly regarded psych-folk band Trembling Bells sits close to the heart of Glasgow's experimental arts scene. Straddling the worlds of folk, rock, experimental and Americana, in seven years Trembling Bells have built an astonishing back catalogue of weird and wonderful music. We can't wait to welcome them to Friday night of The Good Life Experience.

 

Alex Rex

Alex Rex

Alex Rex is the recording alter ego of Alex Neilson, a well-known name on today’s modern folk circuit and drummer and chief songwriter and vocalist of Trembling Bells. Described by The Guardian as 'a talent that hops genres and drops jaws', his debut solo album is out. 

 

Sound of Yell

Sound of Yell

Sound of Yell are a Glasgow based collection of maverick musicians performing eccentric accoustic music written and arranged by idiosyncratic finger style guitarist Stevie Jones. For The Good Life Experience the group will perform as a five piece composed of Jones, Georgina McGeown, Vikki Morton, Alex Neilson, Alasdair Roberts.

 

Alasdair Roberts

Alasdair Roberts

Alasdair Roberts is one of a rare breed of musicians whose work has found favour with aficionados of both experimental, avant-garde music and traditional folk music, and as such he has been the cover star of both Wire Magazine and fRoots Magazine. He was described by Folk Radio UK as  'One of our most talented, important and relevant songwriters and song-adapters'  and Mojo said that he is 'quietly escalating towards Scottish national treasure status'.

 

The Kansas Smitty’s House Band

The Kansas Smitty’s House Band

The Kansas Smitty’s House Band have been quietly, or depending on where you’ve been spending your evenings, not so quietly, carving out a name for themselves as one of the driving forces in the UK jazz scene. Their reputation, built on their incendiary live shows, including four sold out main shows at Ronnie Scott’s, four nights at Cheltenham Jazz festival all of which sold out in 48hrs and appearances at major festivals in the UK and Europe is matched by a constant stream of music from live and studio sessions pushing the boundaries of their style. 

They make wide use of the sour mash of styles that has allowed them to cross the divides between generations and dispositions. Moving through sounds of swing, blues, R&B, New Orleans ethnic music, and gospel, they relentlessly pursue a sound of their own, seeking out and creating a genre-blind audience for their music. 

The band has received praise across the jazz and mainstream press, with extensive coverage from The Evening Standard, and reviews in the Sunday Times and Telegraph. The Band's debut record was nominated as one of the top jazz albums of 2015 by the Telegraph. The Sunday Times summed it up nicely, saying ‘Conservatories or cocktails? If jazz is to survive it will need more bands (like this one)'.

 

Ted Kessler

Ted Kessler

Ted Kessler is a music journalist who has worked extensively for Q and the NME. In 2016 Canongate published his book My Old Man featuring paternal reflections from people including Tilda Swinton, Rod Stewart and the sons and daughters of Leonard Cohen and Ian Dury. At The Good Life Experience Ted will look at fatherdom aided by author and screenwriter Frank Cottrell Boyce (Brookside, 24 Hour Party People, the 2012 London Olympic opening ceremony) and writer and long-standing Caught by the River website contributor Anna Wood.

 

Frank Cottrell Boyce

Frank Cottrell Boyce

Frank Cottrell Boyce is a British screenwriter and novelist. He has scripted the Oscar-nominated Hilary and Jackie and the Danny Boyle picture Millions, but remains best known for and his six films in collaboration with director Michael Winterbottom, including the acclaimed 24-Hour Party People and A Cock and Bull Story, as well as the 2012 London Olympic opening ceremony and Brookside.

 

Brian Briggs and Paul Henry

Brian Briggs and Paul Henry

Brian Briggs is renowned as the singer with plangent pop pastoralists Stornoway. At The Good Life Experience he will join acclaimed poet Paul Henry after the latter has read from his collections The Brittle Sea and Boy Running – work that had The Poetry Review describe Paul as “a major lyric poet." Together, Paul and Brian will perform the music-set poem The Glass Aisle, which comes to life along the Monmouthshire And Brecon Canal in the Brecon Beacons. Expect a most especial guest appearance from radio pioneer Guglielmo Marconi.

 

Joan Shelley

Joan Shelley

The music of Kentucky singer/songwriter Joan Shelley rings with the raw beauty of Appalachian folk, adding in something of the bell-clear voice of Fairport Convention's Sandy Denny. Joan’s new album, Wild Indifference, has been produced by Jeff Tweedy of Wilco, a band she is touring with in the USA. And there will also be further Fairport connection, with Joan stepping out on tour with that group’s Richard Thompson. “A huge, resplendently pained serenity,” said Rolling Stone magazine of Ms Shelley.

 

Adelle Stripe

Adelle Stripe

Author Adelle was born in 1976 and grew up in Tadcaster. 'With her debut novel Black Teeth And A Brilliant Smile - due to be published in June 2017 - she won the 2016 K Blundell Award For Fiction, the book being a slice of kitchen-sink noir taking in the life of Bradford playwright Andrea Dunbar, who went from a council estate to writing the 1980s theatre and film smash Rita, Sue And Bob Too.

 

Zaffar Kunial

Zaffar Kunial

Birmingham-born Zaffar Kunial’s poetry pamphlet was published by Faber & Faber as part of the Faber New Poets series. His poem 'Us' was collected in the Faber anthology The Map and the Clock, edited by Carol Ann Duffy and Gillian Clarke. In 2014 Zaffar was the Wordsworth Trust poet-in-residence in Grasmere. He lives in Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire.

 

Ceri Murphy

Ceri Murphy

Actor / performer Ceri has given triumphant performances at Edinburgh Festival. Ceri will be joining Jeff Towns of Dylans Mobile Book Store for a commemoration of poetry legend Allen Ginsberg’s visit to Wales in 1967. 

 

Tyler Keevil

Tyler Keevil

Tyler is a novelist, screenwriter and short-story writer from Vancouver in Canada. He has since settled in Mid Wales and worked for Theatr Powys. His 2010 debut novel Fireball was longlisted for Wales Book Of The Year. His 2014 short-story collection Burrard Inlet was nominated for numerous awards, with the story Sealskin winning the $10,000 Writers Trust Of Canada / McClelleand & Stewart Journey Prize.

 

Polly Atkin

Polly Atkin

Poet Polly is from Nottingham and her poetry pamphlet Bone Song was shortlisted for the Michael Marks Award in 2009, while her Shadow Dispatches collection was shortlisted for Lakeland Book of the Year in 2014. She has lived in East London and Cumbria and her 2017 collection, Basic Nest Architecture, was awarded New Writing North's Andrew Waterhouse Prize for its insightful evocation of the natural environment.

 

Anna Wood

Anna Wood

Anna has been a regular contributor to the Caught by the River website, and has also written for the Quietus website and MOJO magazine, among others. Anna is currently midway through a creative-writing PhD at Goldsmiths’  College and at The Good Life Experience she will be reading examples of her short stories on the Caught by the River stage.

 

Jalen N’Gonda

Jalen N’Gonda

Born in Maryland, USA, Jalen N'Gonda moved to Liverpool in 2014. At the age of 11 he got into music, inspired by his father's collection of jazz, hip-hop, soul and classical records. Jalen is now selling out headline shows in London and abroad, breaking into the viral charts with his debut single and supporting touring acts including Lauren Hill. With his soulful voice and bluesy arrangements, we are excited to welcome Jalen to The Good Life Experience on Saturday afternoon. 

 

The Little Orchestra Perform Beethoven’s Eroica

The Little Orchestra Perform Beethoven’s Eroica

After the success of Max Richter’s “Recomposed“ last year, The Good Life Experience has scheduled another grand event for Sunday afternoon this September; the 38 members of The Little Orchestra, conducted by Nicholas Little, will perform Beethoven’s great "Eroica" Symphony. 

The Little Orchestra is a newcomer to the London events scene and brings a relaxed and social vibe to classical music. They have recently been described by Time Out as “London’s chillest classical ensemble” and put on events in transformed, unclassical spaces, with the aim of breaking down the barriers to classical music for new audiences. At The Good Life Experience they are delighted to be sharing one of the all-time great symphonies, Beethoven’s era-defining Eroica. Forged as a powerful expression of the human and spiritual ideals he held close to his heart, Beethoven’s 3rd symphony is full of narrative drama as it tells the story of the Hero’s journey. In his introduction, Nicholas, will share some of the ideas and inspirations behind the music in a warm and friendly way.

 

Les Hommes

Les Hommes

A vintage organ combo heard recently on Cerys’ BBC 6 music show where the Lowrey Heritage Deluxe Organ was much admired are coming to the festival. The Lowrey Heritage Deluxe Organ was a favourite instrument used by composer John Barry on the James Bond themes. It has immense breadth and depth of sound and dynamics, and they are now a rare breed of valve instrument. This particular organ coming to the festival has a safe home in Bethnal Green Working Mans Club where player, Rory More has a residency. Let’s now talk about the trio themselves..

London outfit Les Hommes were one of the foundation combos of the late 1990s jazz exotica and lounge scene mixing 1960s cool organ tropes with contemporary arrangements and sound sources. The trio’s straight-ahead, minimalist line-up of vintage Lowrey organ, vibraphone, drums and percussion has been the perfect foil for their visceral, hard swinging sonorities. This, combined with a desire to capture vaguely graspable moods from half-forgotten cine-sonics has made Les Hommes a unique and curious listening experience. Their latest release The Sinner explores exotica, Arabic modes and filmic motifs as well as on continuing expeditions into 'live' small-group recordings of organ-led samba.

 

Twm Morys And Gwyneth Glyn

Twm Morys And Gwyneth Glyn

We are thrilled that Twm Morys and Gwyneth Glyn will join us at The Good Life Experience giving workshops (in English) to learn the strict meter poetry -or cynghanedd- of the Welsh bards of yore, and even how to beat a large stick -or bastwn- as you delivery your battle cry or tribute to your patron. They will also perform ancient poetry and their own award winning contemporary poems and songs. Together it is an extraordinary opportunity to dive deep into authentic Welsh history and living culture with two of THE most admired Welsh artists around.

Cerys is over the moon to be welcoming Twm and Gwyneth to the festival to unlock and share centuries of bardic secrets with us all. She holds them in high esteem:

"They are total mavericks  and these workshops are exclusive to The Good Lifers. It’ll be a privilege to be part of their audience."

 

Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes

Poet in the City provides a dynamic platform for contemporary and classic poetry, curating imaginative events which bring poetry to life for a 21st century audience. At The Good Life Experience Poet in the City presents a glimpse into the epicentre of the Harlem Renaissance, Langston Hughes, a poet whose rhythmic, urgent poetry empowered a generation of new writers, with an aftershock that still reverberates today. Hughes, is known for his insightful, colorful portrayals of black life in America from the twenties through the sixties. His life and work were enormously important in shaping the artistic contributions of the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s. Hughes refused to differentiate between his personal experience and the common experience of black America. He wanted to tell the stories of his people in ways that reflected their actual culture, including both their suffering and their love of music, laughter, and language itself.

 

DJ78

DJ78

Using a pair of 1930's HMV wind-up gramophones and an eclectic collection of vintage shellac records, DJ78 provides a unique musical accompaniment to any gathering without compromising the art of conversation. Looking dapper in his vintage suits, DJ78 takes great pride in introducing the modern world to the crackly sounds of yesteryear. The records are sourced from his extensive archive of 78rpm discs, covering every genre from ragtime, swing, crooners, the golden age of dance bands, right through to hillbilly and the pioneers of Rock'n'Roll. He is a regular studio guest of Cerys Matthews on her BBC Radio 6 Music show and he is a founder member of The Shellac Collective.

 

Feedback - Christina O’Sullivan

Feedback - Christina O’Sullivan

Feedback is a non-profit environmental organisation that campaigns to end food waste at every level of the food system. Feedback catalyses action on eliminating food waste globally, working with governments, international institutions, businesses, NGOs, grassroots organizations and the public to change society’s attitude toward wasting food.

With a track record of changing the policies of some of the world’s biggest food companies and reaching out to millions of people through its projects, Feedback's innovative campaigning style has helped to elevate food waste from a non-issue several years ago to one now recognised as an urgent international priority. We look forward to Feedback's Christina O'Sullivan's talk in September at The Good Life Experience.

 

Kate Humble

Kate Humble

Kate Humble is a Wildlife television presenter, farmer, author, former President of the RSPB and lover of all animals, particularly dogs. We are thrilled to welcome to The Good Life Experience in September.

 

The Do Lectures

The Do Lectures

Do Lectures founders Clare and David Hieatt set out to bring the DO-ers of the world together -the movers and shakers, the disrupters and the change-makers- and ask them to tell their stories, to inspire others to go out into the world and DO, too. The simple formula for DO is that ideas + energy = change. 

 

The Do Book Company

The Do Book Company

The Do Book Company produces a series of pocket guidebooks written by speakers from the Do Lectures. The aim is to recreate that same positive change in book form, whether that’s the mastery of a new skill or craft, a simple mindshift, or a shot of inspiration to help you get started. There are now 14 books in the series, and counting, and we are thrilled to welcome five Do Book Co authors to speak at The Good Life Experience this year; Mark Shayler (Do Disrupt), Alan Moore (Do Design), Michael Townsend Williams (Do Breathe) and Anja Dunk and Jen Goss (Do Preserve).

 

Alan Moore

Alan Moore

So much passes us by, unnoticed. We multi-task, switch between screens, work faster. When was the last time you paused to consider a beautifully made object or stunning natural landscape? Yet this is when our spirits lift, our soul is restored.

In his book Do Design - Why Beauty is Key to Everything, entrepreneur, author and speaker Alan Moore invites us to rethink not only what we produce -whether it’s a website, a handmade chair, or a business- but how and why. With examples from Apple, Yeo Valley and Blitz Motorcycles, we are encouraged to ask: Is it useful and considered? Is it a thing of beauty? 

Alan joins a fantastic speaking line-up in September.

 

Anha Dunk And Jen Goss

Anha Dunk And Jen Goss

How do you capture the intense flavour of freshly picked seasonal produce to enjoy all year round? In their book Do Preserve - Make your own jams, chutneys, pickles & cordials, Anja Dunk and Jen Goss, along with their co-author Mimi Beavan combine their experience as cooks, caterers, foragers and farmers to bring you the essential guide to preserving, using techniques and recipes handed-down through the generations and deliciously inventive recipes from their own kitchens. Having wowed the campfire cooking crowds last year at The Good Life Experience, this year Anja and Jen will give a preserving demonstration/workshop in one of our speaking tents. We can't wait.

 

Felicity Cloake

Felicity Cloake

Felicity Cloake is an award-winning food writer and the author of the Guardian’s long running How to Make the Perfect column as well as four books, the most recent of which, The A-Z of Eating: A Flavour Map for Adventurous Cooks was shortlisted for the Andre Simon Award. We welcome her to The Good Life Experience in September in conversation with Campfire Chef Harry Eastwood, talking dogs, the perfect column, finding your writing voice, death row dinners and more.

 

Cut A Shine

Cut A Shine

The anarchic hillbilly barn dancing band Cut a Shine will team up with Stompin Dave and his Blue Grass Band to host a rip-roaring, thigh-slapping, pavement-stomping, exhilarating, heart thumping, blood pumping Friday night hoedown to get The Good Life Experience started. These bands are the real deal, they've spent years touring with American Blue Grass ensembles learning propper fiddle and banjo tunes and dances. So bring your cowboy hat and boots and get ready to dance.

 

Stompin’ Dave and His Blue Grass Band

Stompin’ Dave and His Blue Grass Band

Playing classic bluegrass and old-time music Stompin' Dave & His Bluegrass Band is led by Stompin' Dave "One of the world's greatest performers" according to Maverick on vocals, five-string banjo, and flatfoot dancing. The band also features members of top London hoedown bands Cut A Shine and Kidnap Alice, forming what has been described as a bluegrass super group.

 

Cut A Shine

Cut A Shine

The anarchic hillbilly barn dancing band Cut a Shine will team up with Stompin Dave and his Blue Grass Band to host a rip-roaring, thigh-slapping, pavement-stomping, exhilarating, heart thumping, blood pumping Friday night hoedown to get The Good Life Experience started. These bands are the real deal, they've spent years touring with American Blue Grass ensembles learning propper fiddle and banjo tunes and dances. So bring your cowboy hat and boots and get ready to dance.

 

Nick and Val Gibson

Nick and Val Gibson

When Nick and Val first set up home in Bedford the star attractions of their new house were the two Laxton Superb apple trees in the back garden that had been planted in the 1930s. Their abundant apple harvest could provide over 100 litres of cider. Thus was a new family hobby born, which would ultimately see them buy a 3 acre field in Brenchley Kent. The plan for the future; to have a traditional Victorian cider orchard and produce each year some 5000 litres of cider made from traditional cider apples. Nick and Val's talk will take you on a journey through the ups and the downs, with detailed descriptions of how to be a small scale cider maker and ultimately share their future visions of this very family hobby.

 

Chris Marshall

Chris Marshall

Snowdonia Distillery is the first distillery in North Wales for over 115 years. The distillery's Forager’s gin uses the finest hand-foraged botanicals that are native to North Wales, along with the purest Welsh mountain waters. Chris Marshall, Snowdonia Distillery's founder, is an entrepreneur with a background in investment management. There is a single rule that sums up Chris' approach to business: "Take your time, never cut corners, never compromise". This is often cited by Chris as the non-secret behind their international award winning spirits. We look forward to his talk 'The Forager's Gin Story: Never Cut Corners' at The Good Life Experience.

 

Phoebe Smith

Phoebe Smith

Phoebe Smith likes to sleep wild -from caves to mountain tops, disused farmsteads and under giant boulders– if it's in a wild place she wants to take her sleeping bag and bivvy and experience a wild night out. She has seen her love of wilderness take her on solo adventures all around the world, from wild camping on the Scottish islands to portaledging in trees in the Bavarian Alps and bedding down inside glaciers in Svalbard, the last stop before the North Pole. By day she is the editor of Wanderlust, the UK’s best adventure travel magazine, a travel writer and presenter specialising in adventure, travel, camping, gear and the outdoors. By night she is the author of several books including Extreme Sleeps: Adventures of a Wild Camper, Wilderness Weekends: Wild Adventures in Britain's Rugged Corners and the first guidebook to British bothies – Book of the Bothy. In 2014 she became the first person to camp at all the extreme points of mainland Britain, solo, on consecutive nights – these included the highest, lowest, northernmost, southernmost, centremost, easternmost and westernmost points of the country. As of 2016 she was named an Ordnance Survey #GetOutside Champion for her work encouraging everyone into the great outdoors. In her Good Life Experience talk she will be telling you how you can enjoy your own Wilderness Weekend right here in the British Isles and revealing the best UK experiences to rival anything you'll find overseas.

 

Mark Parr

Mark Parr

Mark Parr -AKA Lord Logs- is founder of The London Log Company, which supplies some of the best restaurants in London with logs, charcoal and woodchip. Mark is passionate about cooking and food, and talks of wood as another ingredient in the dish. He is often on hand and in the thick of it of the restaurant and event industry and has worked with the greats; Francis Mallman, Niklas Ekstedt and Yotam Ottelenghi, to name a few. At The Good Life Experience Mark will talk about English woodland, fires and dirty cooking.

 

With Love Project

With Love Project

The With Love Project started as a idea to find and document a small number of people who produce things with a passion and purpose. Asking one single question along the way... "Why do you do what you do?” Photographer Rob Evans and brand designer/art director Chris Roberts set out to meet 5 people and produce a small book of the people they met. Nearly 40 makers, producers and manufacturers later they managed to finish the book, they've also created a film and documented all their visits on their website. They are constantly searching for new stories, new people who truly love what they do to document and work with. Don't miss Chris and Rob's talk The Importance of Side Projects at The Good Life Experience. 

 

The Mindful Kitchen

The Mindful Kitchen

The Mindful Kitchen says, go ahead, play with your food! Founder Heather Thomas has developed a process that blends mindfulness and cookery to connect you to nature, with every bite. After all, every morsel you eat has been created by a magical collaboration of people, plants, animals, water, wind, soil and the tiniest of microrganisms. At Heather's Good Life Experience talk you'll learn how to develop a greater awareness of what you see on your plate, and a connection to what you can't. You'll learn how changing your behaviour with food can benefit not just your physical, but also your mental wellbeing.  And, we'll explain why changing how you eat is arguably the most important thing you can do about climate change. Expect 45 minutes of ah-ha moments combined with a sampling of our full sensory aphrodisiac tasting.

 

Rachel Kelly

Rachel Kelly

Rachel Kelly is a mental health campaigner, public speaker, and writer. In her early thirties, Rachel was diagnosed with serious depression and subsequently suffered two major depressive episodes. These two episodes have become the defining events of her life. Since then, she has written about the condition, and how she has recovered, in books that have been read by tens of thousands of people. Her memoir about her experience of serious depression "Black Rainbow" was a Sunday Times bestseller in 2014. She has also written about how a holistic approach has helped her recover: her second book on wellbeing "Walking on Sunshine: 52 Small Steps to Happiness" is an international bestseller and has been published in the USA, Canada, Poland, Germany, Turkey and Croatia.

Rachel now speaks publicly about her experience of depression and recovery, and regularly writes for press and gives TV and radio interviews to help educate and break stigma. She also runs workshops for mental health charities to share what she has learnt about how to stay calm and well. She is an official ambassador for Rethink Mental Illness, Young Minds, Sane and The Counselling Foundation. Her latest book "The Happy Kitchen: Good Mood Food" was published in January 2017. ​Over the past 5 years, Rachel Kelly and Alice Mackintosh developed recipes that put more than 140 nutritional studies into practice. They’ve helped Rachel to become more energised, less anxious, clearer thinking, more balanced and a better sleeper. Conversations between Rachel and Alice and experiments led to the book ‘The Happy Kitchen’. In it, Rachel shares in detail what she has learnt about eating for happiness. By harnessing the power of food to boost her mood, not just on melancholy days, Rachel has been able to manage her tendency to anxiety. Nutrition has become an important element in Rachel’s holistic approach to staying well.

 

Kathy Slack

Kathy Slack

Kathy is a food writer, supper club host, cookery teacher and private chef who grows her own ingredients. Her life in food began after 12 years as a brand strategist for London advertising agencies, where the fun had been had and the rat race was taking its toll. Kathy quit. With no idea what to do next. But rural life beckoned and, unemployed, she spent her time indulging her love of growing and cooking her own food and began her award-winning blog, Gluts & Gluttony, documenting all the gluts she was getting in her patch and the ensuing gluttony in the kitchen. Enthused by life as a writing cook she retrained at Ashburton Chef School and got a job growing vegetables at Daylesford organic farm in Kingham, Gloucestershire and subsequently in their cookery school and restaurant by day. By night, she began hosting supper clubs and cooking privately for locals’ dinner parties with all the menus dictated by what was available in her allotment. 3 years and several placements later (at places like River Cottage), Kathy had met her business partner, Mandy, and left Daylesford to go full-time on G&G. Together they run a business offering private chef services, cookery classes and supper clubs in unusual places (the gin distillery was a night to remember). All their food celebrates seasonal, home grown ingredients – no foams, frills or frippery, just beautiful simple food that Kathy has nurtured from plot to plate.

Kathy is a member of The Guild of Food Writers. She continues to write the blog and also writes for food media in print and online such as Crumbs, .delicious, The Huffington Post, Healthista and AO.com. She teaches regular cookery classes from her home in the Cotswolds and in people’s homes. She also presents cookery demonstrations and classes at numerous festivals. We look forward to her talk at The Good Life Experience about growing your own and self sufficiency in your garden.

 

Xa Milne

Xa Milne

Xa Milne is Co-Founder of Mara Seaweed and author of The Seaweed Cookbook. While investigating wild edibles for a newspaper column and co-authoring the book Seaweed and Eat It back in 2008 her passion for seaweed was ignited and is still going strong. Xa’s seaweed odyssey has taken her from the beach to the kitchen where she lays out ordinary every day ingredients which can be easily combined with seaweed, either fresh or dried to enhance our health and enjoyment of life. She's going to tell us all about it in her talk at The Good Life Experience. 

 

Murray Lachlan Young

Murray Lachlan Young

There aren't many people who have been on the line-up for The Good Life Experience all four years in a row, in fact we can count them on about three fingers. Poet Murray Lachlan Young is one of them and one of our absolute go tos - a genius for both adults and children, an exceptionally nice guy and utterly bonkers.

 

Daphne Lambert

Daphne Lambert

Daphne Lambert has cooked, studied, taught & written about food all her adult life. She was the chef co/owner of an award winning, organic restaurant for 30 years. She runs a nutritional consultancy practice working with both individuals and organisations and is the author of four books. Daphne is the founding member of Greencuisine Trust, an educational charity, which by sharing practical food experiences supports the growing emergence of a food culture which honours all life on Earth and recognises the importance of upholding the planet's biodiversity, while meeting the food production needs of the human population. We look forward to her talk in September.

 

Amy and Ella Meek

Amy and Ella Meek

Tim, Kerry, Amy (13) and Ella (11) are the Meek family. They go on adventures together, talk about family adventuring and share ideas and write books that help others to do the same. The Meeks got their first taste of adventure a couple of years ago and haven’t looked back, completing 100 Family Adventures -everything from sub-zero camping to coasteering- and making some radical life changes. They gave up their jobs, sold their house and took their girls out of school and are travelling around the UK in a caravan for a year of ed-venture.

 

José Pizarro

José Pizarro

Often described as the Godfather of Spanish cooking in the UK, Chef José Pizarro hails from Cáceres but has now lived in London for over 18 years. In that time he has worked at some of London's most prestigious Spanish restaurants including Eyre Brothers, Brindisa and Gaudi. In 2011 José opened his first solo venture, José Tapas Bar on Bermondsey Street, and has since gone on to open two more restaurants and is a regular on BBC's Saturday Kitchen and has appeared on Sunday Brunch and many other programmes. José's first two books launched to great critical acclaim and his latest work, Basque, has been his most exciting work to date, taking readers on a journey learning about the food of the wonderful Basque region. We are thrilled to welcome José to The Good Life Experience this year, he is joining a stellar line-up of chefs who will cook over our campfire.

 

Tom Griffiths

Tom Griffiths

Chef Tom Griffiths was recently hailed as one of the most influential chefs of 2017 by Olive Magazine. Tom launched FLANK in Brighton back in 2015, standing behind the principles of using the entire animal and wood fire cooking. The national press took notice. His passion for fermentation and preserving ingredients has become a key part of his cooking and his vision is one of sustainability. See Tom cook over our campfire in September. 

 

Nick Weston

Nick Weston

Nick Weston is founder of Hunter Gather Cook, a foraging and cookery school that specialises in outdoor cooking over open fire. At The Good Life Experience Nick will showcase how game can be used in a less traditional way, demonstrating with various back haunch cuts of venison on the fire, both 'Dirty (straight on hot coals) and on a hazel spit. This will be served with a sorrel sauce and a chimmichurri and burnt ash salsa. We cannot wait. 

 

Jamie Corry

Jamie Corry

Jamie Corry of The Wild Bushcraft Company has almost 20 years' experience of working as everything from bushcraft instructor to deer stalker, countryside ranger and youth engagement officer. He has a passion for only eating meat that he has hunted or raised, knowing exactly where the animal came from and that it had a good life. At The Good Life Experience Jamie will show us how to use the whole of a deer, from skinning to butchering and spit roasting the meat, which you will then be able to eat. 

 

Roli Jones

Roli Jones

Roli Jones has spent most of his life working life working with wood - from repairing the last cruck frame building in Monmouthshire to helping to rebuild a hundred foot long hundred year old 3 masted schooner (The Kathleen & May, originally built at Connah's Quay, now residing in the Albert Dock, Liverpool). He also runs courses in survival and bushcraft, including survival stands for the Royal Marine Commandos. At the festival Roli will introduce people to the historic use of axes and demonstrate various skills, including forming a square beam, hewing logs, log splitting with wedges and sledge hammer, and making trenails (wooden nails). He will be running workshops throughout the weekend.

 

Farmers’ and Laughing Bird

Farmers’ and Laughing Bird

Two makers of creams and balms in the Welsh hills take to Makers’ Row to tell their stories and invite you inside their delightfully scented worlds.  They are Farmer Nancy Durham who grows and distils lavender at 1100 feet north of the Brecon Beacons, and Creams Designer and Goat Herder Helen Lowe whose farm and studio overlook Anglesey in North Wales.  Helen is the creative wizard behind FARMERS' products and the founder of her own line of body care products, LAUGHING BIRD. Helen and Nancy will present demonstrations four times daily on Saturday and Sunday at the Good Life Experience. You’ll be able to see, smell and touch what goes into their products and watch the making of FARMERS’ balms. Nancy will tell the story of FARMERS’ whilst Helen will talk about how to make great body care products.  Presentations will be at 10 o’clock, 12 noon, 1400 and 1600 daily. The demo table will be laid with their beautiful ingredients for visitors to examine throughout each day. Nancy and Helen will also have all their products available to try and buy. With them will be Farmer Bethan Travis and Ian Ramsay, herd hand and head creams chef at LAUGHING BIRD. 

 

Peter Wood

Peter Wood

Peter Wood has been a professional chair maker and traditional crafts person for nearly 25 years. Each chair he makes is unique, following the twists in each growing tree which Peter uses for his inspiration. Seats are hand carved from English hardwoods sustainably grown, usually harvested within 10 miles of his workshop. Peter is bringing four lathes to The Good Life Experience, to share his skills. And will be making popcorn over the campfire, so just follow your nose to find him!

 

Greta Bertram

Greta Bertram

Greta Bertram is a Trustee of the Heritage Crafts Association, a UK-wide charity which supports and promotes traditional craft skills, knowledge and practices as a fundamental part of our living heritage. She leads on research activities for the HCA, and has recently completed The Radcliffe Red List of Endangered Crafts, identifying those crafts most at risk of disappearing. She has a background in museums and intangible heritage, and spent three years working with the craft collections at the Museum of English Rural Life (MERL) at the University of Reading. More recently, she has managed Basketry Then and Now, a research project into the history of basketmaking and willow growing during the First World War at the University of Hertfordshire, and also works as freelance consultant in museums and crafts.

 

Ollie Douglas

Ollie Douglas

Ollie Douglas is Curator of Collections at the Museum of English Rural Life, University of Reading. He grew up on a farm and went on to study archaeology and anthropology and later museums. Childhood ambitions to be a shepherd gave way to a museum career and, a brief interlude to undertake PhD led to his fascination with the history of collections. He has curated numerous exhibitions and worked with many different audiences including makers, artists, academics and a wide range of community groups. He is currently managing two major projects, one focussed on revealing the links between science and our country lives and another set to bring creative practice to bear on the diverse framing and craft objects under his care.

 

Deus ex Machina

Deus ex Machina

Deus ex Machina (god from the machine) roared into Australia’s cultural consciousness in 2006, with some neatly customised motorcycles and a quaint notion that doing something is more fun than just owning something. Deus ex Machina is a step bigger than a brand: it’s a culture. Their openness and enthusiasm strike a chord with people, wherever they are. Deus didn’t set out only to sell custom parts and hand-built motorcycles, but to celebrate a culture of creativity. 

The Deus philosophy recalls an era before the various pursuits of fun – motorcycling, surfing, skateboarding, whatever – were marketed into fundamentalist factions. All are welcomed under the Deus roof, where there’s simply respect for the honesty and enjoyment of the machine. Inclusiveness, authenticity, enthusiasm. It’s a simple and sincere pitch that has winged Deus ex Machina across the world, and we are thrilled that they will be joining us at this year's Good Life Experience. 

 

Stance

Stance

Stance have turned socks into one of the world's most exciting accessories in less than five years. Their founders saw a category that had been ignored, taken for granted, looked over, and dismissed. By creating life into something that had been overlooked, they ignited a movement of art and self-expression that has drawn athletes, performers, and iconic cultural influencers to the brand--a group they call the Punks & Poets. By underpinning our creative roots with a relentless focus on technical innovation, they've ensured that Stance socks are now found in over 40 countries on the feet of those who dare to be different.

 

Sills and Stich

Sills and Stich

James Sills and Dominic Stichbury -Sills and Stich- are experienced and dynamic vocal leaders who are passionate about getting all people singing. They have led open-access choirs at festivals, workplaces, schools, pubs and football stadiums with an emphasis on fun and inclusivity.As members of the National Voice Network, they are in-demand as workshop leaders across the UK, teaching their own arrangements of traditional and contemporary material. They are members of the Australian all-male a cappella troupe The Spooky Men’s Chorale and their British off-shoot, A Fistful of Spookies, with whom they have performed at major European festivals and live sessions for BBC Radio 2 & 3. 

Sills and Stich will run workshops in the Freedom Ale House on the Saturday and Sunday of the festival around our baby grand piano, rehearsing songs which will later be performed to a festival audience. There will also be a Sunday afternoon sing-along and look out for pop-up sing-alongs around the site.

 

Ale House Wailers

Ale House Wailers

Fancy joining a choir? This is a call out to the more elusive of the hollering species; singing lads and dads. A smaller, more fisherman/ shanty affair, again in the safe hands of Sills and Stitch, when the odd jar of (medicinal) ale is optional.

 

The Good Life Chorale

The Good Life Chorale

We’re welcoming everyone who fancies singing in harmony to get together this year to form a choir of epic proportion, under the tutelage of legendary musical directors Sills and Stitch (more on them below). Rehearsals -not too taxing, all-comers welcome- will take place on site in the Freedom Ale House (a spit and sawdust venue new to the festival this year), culminating in a performance on Sunday.

 

Deborah Colella

Deborah Colella

Deborah Colella -AKA The Dog Nanny- runs a Canine Circus School. What on earth is that you may ask? It's an attempt to engage people -both children and adults- in training their dogs, to make it enjoyable, entertaining and easy. It's an excuse for adults, children and dogs alike to dress up and put on a super entertaining show.

Deborah will run two 30-40 minute training sessions on the Saturday and Sunday of The Good Life Experience, which will be followed by a small show each afternoon for everyone.

 

Le Bun

Le Bun

A US diner spin on classic French bistro dishes. Dig in to Beef Bourgignon Short Rib Buns, Pulled Confit Duck Buns and Bisque Mac & Cheese with grilled cheese croûtons.

 

The Cheese Truck

The Cheese Truck

Serving the very best grilled cheese sandwiches, The Cheese Truck is dedicated to celebrating the best of British cheese. We work closely with our producers, sourcing all our cheese direct from UK based farms that are making cheese in a traditional and thoughtful way.

 

Open Sesame

Open Sesame

Persian street food, a feast for the senses… Open Sesame is a very special street food experience.

 

Claw

Claw

It's all about the crab. Claw sources traceable, sustainable and fresh crabs from Start Bay in Devon (in-between Salcombe and Dartmouth). They create their famous burgers with a simple mixture of crab meat and a secret blend of herbs and spices. Unlike other restaurants, Claw never uses fillers such as white fish or potato and they guarantee that you'll tell the difference.

 

Le Swine

Le Swine

Bad ass bacon butties straight from a sixties ambulance. Le Swine's mission was simple…. to take the humble bacon butty to exciting new heights… This is a bacon butty like no other, using good ol’ fashioned thick cut middle bacon! Each delicoius component is homemade, from our very own recipe of the toasted milk & onion bap, to the bacon butter, our swinez tomato sauce and mushroom ketchup! Don’t forget to add a fried duck egg!

 

Spice Box

Spice Box

Delicious Indian food doesn't have to be loaded with fat, sugar and thousands of calories. SpiceBox is giving the Indian takeaway an update. Drawing from ancient Ayurvedic wisdom, they pack their curries with super spices that nourish your body and soul. They've swapped animal fats, sugar and general nastiness for vegetables, pulses and plant-based goodness - meaning that all Spice Boxes are less than half the calories of your standard takeout, whilst tasting just as good. Win.

 

Chaat Cart

Chaat Cart

Chaat is a roadside snack usually sold from a cart, often wrapped in newspaper but always delicious! There are loads of different varieties found all over India, Chaat Cart focuses on a handful and try to do justice to the legions of original chaat-wallahs. All their dishes are made to order and just happen to be vegetarian.  All their vegetables are organic and grown locally.

 

Hobbs House Brioches

Hobbs House Brioches

Established in the 1920's, Hobbs House Bakery is a true family business with bakery supplies delivered and available to buy online and in our bakery shops. Archie will be serving up the brioches, and you can catch Tom baking over our campfire.

 

Fori Snackbars

Fori Snackbars

High in protein and Paleo inspired, Fori bars are a meat based savoury alternative to over processed and sweet tasting snack bars. They're made from the finest grass fed or free range meat, dried fruit and seeds, using age-old techniques to provide superior sustenance.

 

Rude Health

Rude Health

Mueslis, Porridges, Granolas, Cereals, Snacks and Dairy-Free drinks. Rude Health is a London-based healthy food and drinks company that isn't afraid of standing up for real, honest food - the way it should be.

 

Woody’s Pizza

Woody’s Pizza

Woody's ethos is simple; to make great pizza you have to use the best quality ingredients, make everything by hand, bake in a wood fired oven and serve immediately. Nothing pre-prepared, bought in or added, its 100% real food lovingly made with as much locally sourced, organic and foraged ingredients as possible. All served from their beautiful vintage horsebox. Woody’s menu is a mix of Italian favourites and our own unique specials, from the classic Margherita to Woody’s Green Pizza with Green Pesto, Crispy Kale and Courgette there’s lots of fantastic options to choose from.

 

Shepherd’s Ice Cream

Shepherd’s Ice Cream

The original sheeps milk ice cream, an ice cream with less than 7% fat and made in Herefordshire.

 

G W Scott Picnics

G W Scott Picnics

We’ll have one of Britain’s oldest established and best purveyors of picnics and traditional picnic baskets on site this year. The storied G W Scott will be creating wonderful picnics to eat either on the main site or at a secret and very lovely spot on Hawarden Estate. Watch this space.

 

The Children’s Cafe

The Children’s Cafe

We’re working on the menu, but it will be good. Guests and staff alike will be twelve years and under. No adults allowed.

 

Calon Wen Frozen Yogurts

Calon Wen Frozen Yogurts

Calon Wen is a co-op owned by over 20 farming families from across Wales. Calen Wen believes in keeping things simple, the cows graze clover rich organic pastures that have not been treated with sprays or chemicals. They also have plenty of exercise and fresh air out in the field and when they are ready the farmers milk them themselves. Calon Wen pays its farmers for the quality as well as the quantity of milk they produce, which means its farmers are not pushed towards high yielding systems.

 

Strawberries & Greens

Strawberries & Greens

Strawberries & Greens is an organic catering company based in Brighton and their aim is to provide a tasty, healthy breakfasts and snacks for festival goers. Strawberries & Greens have a great range of freshly made smoothies, cold pressed juice, porridge, flapjack and soups, plus lots of lovely teas and coffee.  So there really is something for everyone and everything they make is plant based.

 

Kate Cronk

Kate Cronk

Kate Cronk is an illustrator and calligrapher based in Forest Hill, southeast London. After collecting stationery for a number of years, she founded her own studio Peggy & Kate in the summer of 2014, combining her love of colour, painting and nature. As both Peggy andKate (Peggy is her middle name), she has grown her studio to include prints, notebooks, her own line of sassy greetings cards (‘I can’t even’), custom birthday and wedding invitation suites, and bespoke paintings of houses, people and pets. Seeking both humour and beauty in the everyday, Kate’s projects are also inspired by the places she loves – from the lushness of her family home and plant nursery in Kent, to London’s historic architecture and gardens. Originally trained in weaving at Central St Martins, in her spare time she enjoys, watching the posh dogs in Dulwich Park and, when she can make it to a body of water, floating on a flamingo lilo.

 

Dan Burgess: Good For Nothing

Dan Burgess: Good For Nothing

Good For Nothing is a simple idea: bring creative energy, ideas and skills to those already innovating on social issues but doing so with very limited resources. The transaction is a gift. It’s civic participation which is open, creative, generous, fun, social, local, and generative. Good for Nothing asks “what can I do for you?” How can I help you? ​GFN challenges people to use their creativity against social issues, bringing creative energy around change makers, social innovators and activists in the form of challenges; some of which will be tackled at gigs, some with groups of your friends or colleagues, some over a cuppa online.

We are excited to welcome co-founder Dan Burgess -creative catalyst, designer, activist and dad- to The Good Life Experience to speak this year.

 

A weekend of discovery + fun, music, food, books + the great outdoors