Festival necessities...

...for the over 30s.

30 years old

There. I said it.  The game's up. I'm a tricenarian and proud.

Although I do get stupidly excited on the rare occasion I'm ID'd – except that one time in Waitrose when I misunderstood and triumphantly brandished my driving licence at the cashier, only to be told that she'd actually just asked if I wanted a carrier bag – I have to admit to myself that some things have changed since hitting and exceeding the big 3 0.

Things like my sensibilities towards sanitation, sleeping conditions, noise pollution and people in their late teens; all of which can be experienced at festivals.
There was a time when I'd have rolled around like the proverbial pig for 4 days straight and not batted a mud-fused eyelid.  A time when a 10 minute snooze every 48 hours would have happily kept me going.  A time when I could have emerged from a vomit-stained tent with a hangover gifted by Beelzebub himself, looking dewy-skinned and perky.

Not. Any. More.

I appreciate that the Glastonbury babies, born into a pair of wellies, will already have this down. They’ve been doing the festival thing for years and are well versed in both the necessities and horrors of camping en mass to music.  But, for those of you who may have come to the world of festivals slightly later in life, here are a few points to note and some essentials for what will, no doubt, be a brilliantly fun weekend.

1.  Toilets / Lavatories / WCs / Loos / Shitbox

When, on the first day of the festival, someone asks you if you'd like to purchase unlimited usage of the 'luxury loos' for a tenner, you say 'YES'.  'Luxury' does not mean luxury, it just means clean.  By day two, you'll be willing to sell your tent for that privilege.  By day three, your husband/wife/children. 

Alternatively, buy a Shitbox (below) and DIY. 

2.  Tent

If you're planning on getting more than a little squiffy, I would recommend attaching some kind of insignia to your tent.  Picking your way back drunk, in the dark, through a giant campsite full of tents that all look the same is a recipe for disaster. 

You could invest in a Field Candy classic to ensure your temporary home really stands out.

3.  Clothing 

Clearly this is a matter of personal taste, but one thing I would say is that it makes life a lot easier to wear swimwear instead of underwear.  For some reason, stripping down to your bikini in public makes you feel far less exposed than whipping out your smalls; useful when trying to get changed in a space the size of a kitchen cupboard. 

I also favour short wellies over long - much cooler in the heat and can always be supplemented with a big pair of wooly socks if it's particularly chilly.

4.  Slap & Barnet

Wet wipes, Flash Balm, BB moisturising cream, waterproof mascara, dry shampoo, done.

5.  A good night's sleep  

This is where I start to sound like a bit of a fogy, but if I'm only going to get three hours sleep, those hours had better count.  This is where the ear plugs and eye mask come into play.  Don't be embarrassed, no one will see you wearing them inside your tent and you'll emerge smug and much more rested than your neighbours who've been kept awake by your drunken snoring all night.
Festival essentials

The necessities above can be found here (clockwise from top left):

(includes eye mask, poncho, ear plugs, tissues, wet wipes,  waterproof plasters, mini torch, glow stick, toothbrush,  toothpaste, karabiner clasp*)

*I have no idea what this is but it sounds pretty hardcore. 


The Lawn Bakery


"Another local shop's closing down!" I wailed, having walked past the Wimbledon Village bakery on my way home.  

I'm a huge believer in supporting local independent businesses, so the thought of the bakery that has operated on the same site for over 100 years succumbing to the recession and, no doubt, being replaced by some average chain was rather distressing. 

I was promptly told that I needed glasses and that the sign on the door actually said that it was being renovated rather than closing down.  Phew! 

Relief soon turned into excitement when, a couple of weeks later, I saw the sign on the sunny, stripy awning: The Lawn Bakery.

Lawn Bakery

If you've ever visited The Lawn Bistro, chef Ollie Couillard's exceptional restaurant at the other end of the high street, you'll understand why I was quite so delighted by this discovery.

Pressing my nose against the glass the day before the official opening, I felt (and probably looked) like a child outside a sweetshop on pocket money morning.  Here's what I saw:


Lawn Bakery

After waiting patiently for a full 24 hours, when I finally stepped inside I was greeted by the tantalising smell of freshly baked bread and a multitude of sweet and savoury treats to tempt even the most die hard of dieters.

The bakery seems to work to the same philosophy as the restaurant; using quality, seasonal ingredients to create freshly made classics that deliver highly on flavour. 


Lawn Bakery

You can grab a pastry on the go, or settle down at one of the tables to feast on any of the goodies on show or brunch classics  like scrambled eggs with smoked salmon.  Also on offer are charcuterie boards, my favourite being the chorizo with quince jelly. 

If you're in the mood for elevenses, I highly recommend Ollie's  fresh out the oven sausage rolls - the perfect meat-to-pastry ratio - get 'em early though, as they don't stick around for long!

Lawn Bakery


Lawn Bakery


I stop by most mornings for a creamy cappuccino...

...and one of these gooey gems often jumps into my hand too. 

Lawn Bakery

It's open daily from 7am, so pop in for a feed to set you up for a day of serious tennis watching at Wimbledon and let me know what you think.