Port Eliot Festival
Port Eliot Festival is the original free-ranging festival of ideas, which draws an unmatchable collection of artists, musicians, writers, comedians, performers, thinkers, makers, protagonists, agitators and scribblers to one of the most beautiful corners of the country. This year’s Port Eliot Festival event will run from Thursday 26 to Sunday 29 July 2018 on the rolling park and woodland of the ancient estate at St Germans, on south east Cornwall’s Rame Peninsula.
Stages, tents, saloons and wooded glades are curated by the likes of The Idler Academy, Caught by the River and Lark’s Haven. The poetry stage, curated by Luke Wright and Rosy Carrick, cements Port Eliot’s place among the most significant homes for poetry of all UK festivals; the Ace of Clubs explodes with blues, soul, rock & roll, and, on occasion, opera; and the Park hosts the festival’s comedy and biggest bands.
Among the line-up this year are Baxter Dury, Gaz Coombes, Gwenno, Brett Anderson, Brian Patten, Viv Albertine, Hollie McNish, Billy Bragg, Insecure Men, Chris Difford & Boo Hewerdine, Shappi Khorsandi, Andrew Weatherall & Justin Robertson, Kitty, Daisy & Lewis, Teleman, Jack Stein, Anna Jones, Russell Norman, The Como Mamas, Nabihah Iqbal, Stick in the Wheel, Arthur Smith, Nina Stibbe, Lucy Mangan, Viv Groskop, Jill Furmanovsky, Joe Dunthorne, Salena Godden, Blake Morrison, Youth, The Glass Aisle, Helen Pankhurst, David Keenan, Will Hodgkinson, Iain Sinclair with the Last London Band, Zoe Adjonyoh, Tom Wrigglesworth, Tony Law, Kernow King, George Egg, Luke Wright, Rosy Carrick, Alex Langlands, Travis Elborough, Hannah Peel, John Brown, Danny Goffey,Boy Azooga, Halo Maud, Dads on Drugs, Anna Burch, Confidence Man, BC Camplight, 77:78, Mik Artistik’s Ego Trip, Eleanor Tiernan, Tal National, Royal Sounds, London African Gospel Choir, Tishani Doshi, Dave Haslam, Garth Jennings, Reni Eddo-Lodge, David Bramwell, Creatures, Erland Cooper, Jim Ghedi, Kayo Chingonyi, Snapped Ankles, Backlisted Podcast, BFI, Cornwall Youth
For full details see website.
Port Eliot Festival takes its food seriously.
From the outset, the festival has made beautiful food a big part of the line-up, not just a side dish.
High-quality food is served as standard as the Port Eliot audience is invited to share in the secrets of some of the country’s great chefs and restaurateurs. Now,
Port Eliot is pleased to announce the chefs, growers, local producers, food writers and culinary wizards who come together to make it the finest festival for food.
This year, chefs including Anna Jones, Jack Stein, Zoe Adjonyoh, Russell Norman and Simon Stallard will make the House’s Georgian Big Kitchen their own and head outside to the Open Fire to create flavours combinations, set trends and share techniques; a new Port Eliot restaurant, The Lawn, will sit right at the front of the House; and Devon’s Oyster Shack will make a corner of the Walled Garden its own, serving fresh, locally-sourced and sustainable rock oysters, Salcombe crab and lobster plus local ‘catch of the day’
fish. And alongside the Shack, Plymouth’s Le Vignoble will serve delightful wines matched to the fresh seafood menu.
In a beautiful spot down by the river Tiddy, the Sipsmith Gin Palace will emerge. Inspired by the palaces of the 1820s, the gin pioneers will tempt guests in for ‘The Art of the Martini’ and ‘Shake Up’ masterclasses, raucous jazz parties and a chance to relax in opulent surroundings with a crisp G&T.
The centre for food at the festival will be The Lawn, a new venue hosting all sorts of tastings, talks and workshops. At the start of each day, the Lawn will serve the breakfast of kings – becoming a place to enjoy the most important meal of the day with friends and family. In the evening, it will offer dining experiences that reflect the Festival’s values – good times with good people, amidst the finest of food. Head chef, Freddy Bird, will cook an array of Southern Mediterranean and North African-inspired sharing dishes over fire. And The Lawn Bar will deal in quality and deliciousness, serving up natural wines, hand crafted cider, ale and an enticing list of cocktails and coolers.
What’s special about it?
The four day festival finds its way into the House itself. The House has been lived in for over 1000 years and is believed to be the oldest continually inhabited dwelling in the UK. It has housed Augustinian monks, survived confiscation by Charles I’s Court of the Star Chamber and been declared the most beautiful place in England by Napoleon. Its central room boasts a 360° masterpiece mural by South West England’s most celebrated 20th century artist, Robert Lenkiewicz, alongside great works by Reynolds and Van Dyck.
There are no off-limits ‘luxury’ areas and no in-your-face sponsors – the ancient estate becomes yours for the weekend. The festival takes its lead from the much-loved, scarcely believable and – at a time when the word is well overused – legendary Elephant Fayre festival, which took place on the same site thirty years before.
Did you know?
The first year, 2003, the festival had 17 paying punters and three times as many performers, artists and crew. Word quickly spread among young writers that at last here was a festival at which they could do what they wanted. The following year, 1,000 people attended. The rest is, as they say, history.
Camping at Port Eliot is memorable (in a good way), whether packing your own tent or sliding into a shimmering silver airstream caravan. The parkland takes in rolling pastures, ancient woodland, stunning estuary and river views, shady rhododendron groves, hidden mazes and walled gardens and it’s a treat to camp there for a few days. But for those unsure about a few days under canvas, there are plenty of options, including traditional tipis and yurts for couples, families or groups of friends, luxury yurtels or beautiful gypsy bowtop caravans.