Dates: The last was 2019
Location: Port Eliot, Cornwall
Port Eliot Festival, in southeast Cornwall, is a massive explosion of fun – unadulterated bliss from every angle. It lies in one of the most exceptionally beautiful locations; 6000 acres of private estate, the home of Port Eliot house, a gorgeously unchanged historic building which has been lived in for over a thousand years. Offering a vast collection of pleasurable pursuits, in literature, music, theatre, comedy, adventure, science, fashion, gastronomy and more, it’s a weekend that unashamedly indulges your every desire.
“It’s like falling from the sky into a magic garden where you will be constantly surprised and delighted; where you can drink, dance, discuss, dress up, camp, explore, get lost, fall asleep under the stars to the sound of Andrew Weatherall, and wake up to the ringing of church bells”
The festival was started in 2003, primarily as a literature event, with just seventeen paying customers. Despite the trifling attendance, word spread about the promise of creative freedom and exploration, and the next year, there were a thousand people. Since then, the festival has swelled to ten thousand people, over twenty venues and stages, as well as a reputation for excellence on all fronts. Drawing big names, particularly authors and comedians, you can expect anyone from Noel Fielding to Kate Winslet, Dawn French and Michael Morpurgo.
Amongst the many different venues you will be sure to find an amusement for every mood. You may like to check out Hullabaloo; a hub of thrilling performance arts. Acrobatics, theatre, dance, face painting, live music and story telling abound in this beautiful woodland setting, rounded off by a fabulous fancy dress ball. Heading down to the estuary, you might like to take a refreshing dip at high tide, or a cleansing mud bath when the tide’s out. If you’d rather stay dry (ish), you could head out on a canoe. At the top of the hill, between the Orangerie and the Bowling Green, lies the beautiful Walled Garden; a private space filled with flowers and flanked by old, moss covered stone walls. Here you’ll find authors by day, and low-key music by night.
Lark’s Haven is a harbour of wellbeing; where peace and calm suffuse the air and you can treat yourself to saunas, massages, yoga, meditation and anything else that heals and soothes. The Boogie Round boasts fabulous DJs playing every genre – from reggae to jungle to disco, and everything in between. The Wardrobe Department lures fashion lovers and creators to celebrate the art of designing clothing, make up and accessories, while Flower and Fodder rejoices in horticulture and culinary brilliance. The Black Cow Saloon, down by the river, provides delectable cocktails and foot-stomping melodies, and The Church creates some incredible acoustics for further musical endeavours.
The eating experience at Port Eliot Festival is out of this world; you might anticipate delights from the Oyster Shack and all sorts of street food, from locally made marshmallows to artisan cheese to good old fashioned hot pots. Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurant Polpo will be creating a Venetian inspired bacaro, with superbly flavoured, fresh creations complimented by impeccable young Italian wines and prosecco. Speaking of drinks, Sipsmith will be there with there exquisite range of gins (as well as a Bloody Mary ambulance), and Skinners with an award-winning selection of real Cornish ales. We can list but a few; for the rest, you’ll have to see for yourself.
Boutique camping at Port Eliot Festival is just the ticket if you’re into luxurious comfort, stunning surroundings and your own personal space. Our stylish bell tents and Lotus Belles offer the perfect spot to retreat to, whenever you’re ready to take a break. It’s the perfect base from which to enjoy all the festival has to offer.