Port Eliot Festival

We are always inundated with Glastonbury goings-on, whether the source is television coverage, social media or those bragging friends who simply can’t seem to help themselves. There are however, other festivals out there, Port Eliot Festival, which is located in the grounds of a rambling twelfth century building in Cornwall is one of them. The festival, which according to Suzy Menkes, is “a literary gathering of critics and writers”, has a rapidly growing following, and when we look into it it isn’t hard to discover why.

Port Eliot, unlike its fellow reigning summertime companions, focus’ on appreciating the creativity of art, fashion and literature. Think an aesthetically pleasing set up: bunting wrapped teepees dotted about a ripe green field, scarecrows made to resemble famous and historical figures (including the infamous US Vogue editor, Anna Wintour) and a historical grey stone castle, decorated to give the impression you have traveled back to the Downton period. Quaint.

Accompanying the fairytale visuals are a variety of cultural events, including live poetry and fiction performances, interviews with creatives (this year designer Simone Rocha and fashion icon Penelope Tree were interviewed), as well as opportunities to involve yourself in mind-freeing activities such as tea-cosy making, flower competitions and dress making. Can you think of a better way to escape the daily grind?

 A festival focused on creativity and community naturally equates to a more family friendly affair. Port Eliot is noticeably filled with excitable children partaking in all sorts of activities, including drawing classes held by Barbara Hulanicki, the founder of Sixties store Biba. 

So if you fancy an alternative festival experience next year, why not try this ethereal event? Pack your family into a VW camper van, lock up the iPads, and set off for the most magical event in your summer calendar.