Festivals and Feasts
As Group Head Chef for River Cottage, Gill Meller has been instrumental in the establishment of not only a flagship restaurant and event space, 4 spin-off canteens, a cookery school, the location for Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall's TV show of the same name. He's also a published author and broadcaster in his own right. Gill’s River Cottage handbook handbook was published in spring to 2015. In 2017 he won Fortnum and Mason’s debut book of the year for ‘Gather’. A celebration of British seasonal cooking at its best.
Gill Meller's cooking is a product of his surroundings. Hailing from Lyme Regis, on the border of Dorset and Devon, he takes inspiration from the landscape, his locality, and the amazing farmers, growers and fisherman that produce the ingredients he uses. His food is humble and un-showy, yet inspiring, spell-bindingly beautiful, and truly delicious.
Celebrated chef, restaurateur and food writer Mark Hix is known for his original take on British gastronomy. After 17 years as Chef Director at Caprice Holdings, he opened his first restaurant in 2008 – the distinguished HIX Oyster & Chop House in Farringdon. Following the success of Chop House Mark opened HIX Soho and his chicken and steak concept restaurants Tramshed in Shoreditch, and Hixter Bankside.
Outside of London in Mark’s native Dorset is HIX Oyster & Fish House and HIX Townhouse, a boutique hotel, both in Lyme Regis. Mark is frequently lauded as one of London’s most eminent restaurateurs with an unrivalled knowledge of ingredients with provenance.
At Castlewood Wine Festival 2018 both Gill, Mark and Group head chef for Hix, Sam White, created a spectacular feast over fire with unrivalled food miles. Captioned “Oh Deer”, Meller and Hix and White used our very own venison, sourced directly from the surrounding woodland and vineyards
Food Rocks. Each year, Mark Hix hosts his annual Food Rocks Festival in Lyme Regis. The festival started as a vision of Marks’ to host an event which showcases the very best food, produce and suppliers from Lyme Regis and surrounding areas. We bring our Castlewood Cocktail bar to the beach, give demos in the food tent during the day and providing the welcome drink for the infamous 'Crab and Mackerel Supper Club'. All in aid of the RNLI, the Fishermen’s Mission and Blue Marine Foundation (BLUE), it's a cracking weekend.
Award-winning Wilderness Festival combines live music, contemporary arts and an array of theatre, craftsmanship and dining experiences. We were lucky enough to launch the Castlewood Hix Reserve Cuvée at this event, which HIX has been a part of for the previous four years.
Every vintage, just 500 bottles are selected from the cellar at Castlewood Vineyard, destined for the Hix Reserve Cuvee's. Once selected, they are only released at Mark's discretion.
Over the four day festival, HIX served the Reserve Cuvee's with classic favourites such as Glenarm Estate sirloin steak paired with Dorset Blue lobster in a feast style, creating an interactive dining experience.
In 2017 our fallow festival year we joined the team at The Pig at Combe and brought our bar to their festival! Smoked & Uncut is held at a selection of PIG Hotels throughout the summer. Indulgent street-food feasting, day-long drinking and dancing like no one was watching – it was a hoot!