I’ve always shied away from going to Bloom Festival every year, thinking it rather middle-aged. Middle-aged not in a demographic sense, but in a mentality sort of way, if you get my drift. However, this year I succumbed after being flooded with Bloom “propaganda” on TV and, potentially more influentially, my Facebook timeline. So I took myself, and my favourite middle-age survivor, the Mammy, to the Phoenix Park on a positively scorching Sunday afternoon. After following the arrows to the red car park for what seemed like an eternity, I took the example of my fellow drivers and abandoned my car on the grass, with the added bonus of having my own personal Ban Garda providing surveillance. Result – fiver saved! After a good ‘aul trek in the searing sun, we finally arrived at the red car-park which, who knew, was situated directly beside the entrance to Bloom! The moral of that story folks is, at Bloom, as in life, always follow the arrows until the nice Google lady tells you “You have reached your destination”. Or alternatively, some lad in a high-vis vest.
So with tickets scanned (buy them online – you’ll save 2 yoyos), we entered the vastness which is Bloom. There is soooo much to do and see. And humans of all ages, and not just the middle-aged, gardening variety. Although if you are that way inclined, you will be well serviced with the plant village, floral art exhibition, floral village, and garden expert stage, where the who’s who of horticulture in Ireland share their wisdom and tips. For the uninitiated like myself, it was simply a joy to saunter through stunningly beautiful flowers and plants, and brilliantly creative floral arrangements. The show gardens themselves are an inspiration as to what can be done with a relatively small space, many being scalable for the urban garden. In addition to all that, there was entertainment on the mainstage with bands such as Buffalo Sunn and The 4 of Us adding to the festival atmosphere (or should I say vibe).
And if all that wasn’t enough, there was food, lots of food! Sponsored by Bord Bia, the event hosts a plethora of Irish food and drink producers whose wares can be sampled or purchased. And with the weather as beautiful as it was yesterday, there were numerous seating opportunities (both indoors and outdoors) to enjoy your nosh and soak up the sun. If all that wasn’t enough, a whole posse of well-known chefs such as Nevin Maguire, Catherine Fulvio, and Paul Flynn took to the stage over the course of the festival to give cooking demonstrations.
Bloom is genuinely a great day out for all ages – there is plenty to amuse the little humans as well. I will definitely be making a return visit next year, and if you haven’t gone yet, give it a go next year. It’s not just for proper grown-ups!