Our Garment Tech, Heidi Mitchell, and her husband Jonny attended the Port Eliot festival in the beautiful grounds of Port Eliot House, St Germans from the 24th to 27th July. The house sits in 6000 acres of beautiful parkland with rolling pastures, ancient woodland, shady rhododendron groves and overlooks the River Tiddy. The festival is described as “an annual celebration of words, music, imagination, ideas, nature, food, fashion, flowers, laughter, exploration and fun.” Heidi & Jonny volunteered as stewards to ensure everyone there had a wonderful time, but when not working were able to enjoy the many delights the festival had to offer.
The main Park Stage hosted some great music acts including Beth Orton, Public Service Broadcasting, Slow Club and The James Hunter Six. Country star Jeb Loy Nichols charmed audiences down by the river. The Kernow King, Shazia Mirza & Elvis McGonagell had audiences in stitches with their comedy acts. For those who wanted a more relaxing experience, there was a Hendricks Gin bar by the river where you could listen to the many talks in the Idler Academy, watch people wild swimming in the Tiddy or listen to old 78’s played on a gramophone.
Walking around the festival, or sitting down ‘people watching’ in the sunshine, random acts would suddenly appear to entertain you. A ladies dance group ‘Continuum’ began dancing to old records on the lawn in front of the house. Or you would be rudely awoken from your contented bliss by the ‘1-minute disco’ suddenly turning up and blaring out Billy Idol tunes.
There was plenty of food on offer and celebrated chefs giving talks and demonstrations. Fortnum & Mason set up their famous Fountain Restaurant in the Orangery and had a ‘Tea Tuk’ for refreshments. For those wanting to dance all night, there was the ‘Elephant Club’ – a big top style tent in the middle of a large rhododendron bush – with an interesting sloping dancefloor that made you wonder just how many gins you’d enjoyed by the river! If you were feeling creative there were workshops in the Anthropologie Tent or at The Badgers Sett where you could make a flower & foliage festival headdress or bunting for your tent. For the kids – there was ‘Hullabaloo’ and the Wild Woodland Summer Ball.
The weather was beautiful all weekend – really hot sunshine and a gentle breeze. No Glastonbury mud at Port Eliot! Heidi, though, was very pleased on the last day when packing up the tent, to find the weather had broken and she got a chance to wear her NORI JACKET and SHORT WELLIES. They were great protection from the rain showers and wet grass.
With thanks to all at Port Eliot for putting on a great festival. See you next year!