The story of Wildthings- an old horsebox that’s been lovingly converted into an awesome little bar by a man who’s on a mission to live sustainably.
We see our bulbs pop up in all sorts of projects but this one by James Wild has got us in the festival mood. We met up with James to see his awesome bar in action and chat about how it came to be.
What was the inspiration behind Wildthings?
I’ve always thought bars were missing something – they get all the big things right like the branding and menu, but they seem to miss the little details. Festival bars are often different – it’s the little guy taking on the big guys – and it’s always been a dream of mine to start a bar that focuses on the details – like the quality of the produce and the way the drinks are served – something that’s not just a “bar”, but more of an experience.
A few months ago my mum was given an old horse box that she didn’t need and (very kindly!) passed it onto me to get Wildthings off the ground…
Tell us about the project…
For two months I worked full time on renovating the horse box. Twice as long as I’d expected which was pretty tough on our little family. I had to be really flexible to make sure the project kept moving – some of the things I’d planned turned out to be too complex or expensive, so I’d have to quickly re-think. It was also really important to renovate the box as sustainably as possible by using materials that would otherwise go to waste. I found all sorts of things from an old building project nearby. The cladding on the outside of the bar and all the timber used to build the framework for the work surfaces, for example. This was great but also had some challenges – the materials were often bent or twisted; not the easiest things to work precisely with!
One thing I never compromised on was the overall look of the bar – I knew it had to be beautiful. I’ve been a Plumen fan for ages and thought the vintage style bulbs would suit our look, plus I loved the sustainable angle too. We went for a mix of cable colours to match the bar top and stained glass window in the back of the box. We grow our own flowers to decorate the bar so it’ll take on slightly different characters across the seasons.
So what does Wildthings offer then?
We wanted to create a bar that has a really fun atmosphere with amazing, down-to-earth service. It’s all about the experience. We offer everything from home brewed ales and cocktails to fresh fruit smoothies and mocktails, all made with the finest and freshest ingredients.
We grow our own herbs for garnishes and make our own syrups rather than use the sugar/chemical-filled supermarket versions. All our fruit is organic and in the long run we aim to have plots of land to grow it ourselves. As you might have guessed, we’re also committed to never using single-use plastics.
We poured all our love into this project and want it to pour right back out to anyone we meet.
What sort of events do you do?
We’re all about intimate events. That doesn’t necessarily mean small – it can be anything from a birthday party or wedding to a local festival – but we want to build relationships with anyone who books Wildthings. It’s not a bar you shove in the corner of an event – it’s a core part of the overall experience and we’d want to make sure every single aspect is perfect for each event.
* Wildthings is insured up to £10,000,000 for public and staff, hygiene certified and licensed for alcohol and amplified entertainment.
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