Introducing The Good Life Experience

Singer and broadcaster, Cerys Matthews, best known as the lead singer of Welsh rock band Catatonia has joined forces with the Gladstone family to launch a festival with a difference this September.

The Good Life Experience is a unique festival dedicated to celebrating the great outdoors with axe-throwing, archery, abseiling, wood-fires and rabbit skinning, among the activities on offer. 

The one day festival on Saturday 20th September, takes places at Harwarden Estate in Flintshire. The programme is curated by Charlie and Caroline Gladstone, founders of homeware store, Pedlars, award winning pub The Glynne Arms, Hawarden Estate Farm Shop and co-authors of The Family Guide to the Great Outdoors.

As well as an exclusive performance from Cerys Matthews, alternative music fans will be treated to a unique and diverse line up of artists. The programme includes a live performance from internationally renowned gypsy concert band Paprika, who will bring their unique blend of gypsy and classical music to the spectacular castle backdrop of Hawarden Estate.

Winner of the Welsh Music Prize 2013, harpist, Georgia Ruth, will bring her distinctive instrumental style to the music stage performing a mixture of soft pop and traditional remixes from her acclaimed debut album, Week of Pines.

The CC Smugglers, a British band inspired by world music, folk and swing who have earned themselves a reputation for red-hot live shows and tight, infectious performances will also be playing. But The Good Life Experience is not your average music festival.

The event will offer visitors a new world where the outdoors is brought to life. Try your hand at axe-throwing with beautifully crafted axes from New York’s finest axemakers, the Best Made Company. This could be rounded off by a spot of yoga or for those inclined to recline in a different way, you will have the chance to learn how to abseil with lessons from the experts. One thing’s for sure, visitors are guaranteed to leave with new skills and a fresh look at the great outdoors.

The Good Life will also offer festival goers a culinary experience like no other. World famous international chef, Bill Granger will showcase some of his best loved recipes, while Channel 4 favourite, Tom Herbert of The Fabulous Baker Brothers, will unlock the trade secrets of baking and look at how to bake bread and pizza on a camp fire.

Another star of Channel 4, and one of the biggest names in healthy eating, Harry Eastwood, presenter of Cook Yourself Thin, will share her original, imaginative and unusual approach to low calorie cooking using a range of Britain’s favourite dishes. Flintshire’s very own Luke Thomas, better known as Britain’s youngest head chef, will also be sharing his tips and tricks.

For the coffee lovers and amateur baristas, Brewed Boy, Rob Lockyear will offer a coffee master class where guests can learn how to brew the best blends while listening to stories of his epic travels to find the best coffee in the world.

There will be a range of food and activities celebrating the local community with produce sourced from within 30 miles of the grounds, homemade cakes, and fruit and vegetables grown in the estate orchard.  Dinner could include the likes of ceviche with local wild mushrooms preceded by antipasto and warm bread, followed by locally produced ice cream with real lemonade.

If that wasn’t enough, The Good Life cultural zone will play host to the nation’s favourite authors, journalists and talking heads including the Guardian’s Sir Simon Jenkins, writer, poet, broadcaster and musician Musa Okwonga, Irish garden designer and television personality, Diarmuid Gavin and special sets from Murray Lachlan Young, regular poet on BBC Radio 4's Saturday Live as well as resident poet on BBC 6 Music. 

Cerys Matthews said: “The Good Life festival is not your average festival. It was designed to offer people the chance to learn and experience new things they’d never tried before, from throwing axes to seeing a gypsy band play live and learning how to dance, do yoga, abseil and cook on a campfire, all on the same day. The festival will offer the best of the great outdoors, music, culture and food in a magical setting surrounded by woodland against the backdrop of a stunning historic castle.”

For more information or to buy tickets, visit

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