Behind The Blue Door

Stylish Weekends | April 19, 2016 |

Mud, music and manor houses:

festivals in stately homes



Festival season is almost upon us – and we’re already excited about a long weekend packed with a heady mix of friendship, parties and great music.

Every day there are new line up announcements and ticket deals but how about shelving your go-to jamboree in favour of glamping it up at one of these festivals, set in the grounds of beautiful country piles? Here’s our pick of the best to visit:

The regal one: Hampton Court Palace Festival


Image source: Hampton Court Palace

Boasting ‘world-class acts in a spectacular setting’, Hampton Court Palace Festival plays host to a series of acts throughout June, so there’s plenty of choice and flexibility. This summer will see Art Garfunkel, Tom Jones and Caro Emerald play, along with other names which fall equally easily into the ‘legend’ camp.

These events are more fizz and picnic than riotous free-for-all, so best to give your outfit some thought.

Our ‘go glamping’ tip:

Organise your own luxe-on-the-lawn event with Salt & Dry bespoke outdoor catering. From canapes and drinks for a summer party for 40 to a BBQ for an army of fellow glampers, the team serves up modern dishes from converted vehicles such as the Gastrocab, the Bedford van (and pop-up kitchen) and the Moggy – a Morris Minor complete with chargrill and bar.


The family-friendly one: Camp Bestival


Image source: Camp Bestival

Bestival’s smaller, more relaxed sister is set slightly back from the Dorset coastline, combining salty air with a rather majestic Lulworth Castle. The focus here is firmly on fun – for everyone, even the youngest festival fans. It’s a civilised affair as festivals go  – the only casualties you’ll likely to see are possible sugar overdoses or fancy dress malfunctions.

This year, high profile headliners Fat Boy Slim, Jess Glynne and Bananarama are mixing it up with children’s favourites Mr Tumble, Dick and Dom and a baby chill-out area. The website says that ‘kids are king’ – and happy offspring usually means happy parents.

Our ‘go glamping’ tip: Looking for some glamping-on-sea without the noise, crowds and fancy dress? Boswarthen Farm in Penzance offers sea-view luxury tents, a larger lodge and a gypsy caravan on a real working farm (more than 100 Holstein Friesian cows are milked twice-daily). Pick up a steak from the on-site honesty shop or order a homemade stew pot to simmer over your own fire.


The rocker’s retreat: Bloodstock


Image source: Bloodstock 

Catton Hall is home to the hardcore shindig, Bloodstock – this year playing host to Twisted Sister, Slayer and the menacingly-monikered New Orleans outfit, Goatwhore – among many others.

The festival may stick out like a sore thumb among the estate’s other more sedate ventures (conferences, corporate functions and pheasant shoots) but it pulls a dedicated, passionate crowd.

Our ‘go glamping’ tip: All geared up for glamping? Well don’t forget the food. Our one-pot brunch recipes are the perfect no-fuss approach to weekend breakfasts. You could even make them up before you go.


The safe bet: Cornbury Festival


Image source: The pop up hotel at Cornbury Festival

Cornbury Festival has found a natural affinity in the Great Tew Estate  – claiming its niche as ‘a country fair with a rock n roll twist’. This year’s line-up reflects its easy, classic approach to fun – featuring Bryan Ferry, Jamie Cullum and Seal. Newest comeback kids All Saints are making a hotly-anticipated star turn here too. Our verdict? A great all-rounder with gorgeous glamping options (check out the pop-up hotel, pictured above) thrown in.

Our ‘go glamping’ tip: Looking to channel the glamping vibe your own way? SoulPads are cotton and canvas bell tents which are water, UV and mould resistant. Large enough for a wood-burning stove but small enough to transport wherever you decide to lay your hat for the night, they are literally a blank canvas, ready to dress up with fairy lights, lanterns, throws, rugs and bunting to create your own mini-festival. Now all you need is the band.


Shop the Story

Why dine inside when the great outdoors is just a stone’s throw away. Take tea (or champagne) in the Wild Strawberry collection for the ultimate glamping luxury.

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The Jasper Conran Tisbury collection offers a plethora of informal tableware and home accessories that allow you to mix the collection into your everyday living. The tailored shapes with renowned Jasper Conran precision combine with a resilient porcelain, glass and wood to withstand wear and tear of everyday use. Natural colour styles contribute to an effortless look and feel.

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