Hearthworks tipis at Port Eliot Festival

So I’m taking a little break today: I’m off to Cornwall again. This time for the Port Eliot Festival, a (I have been told) magical and exciting arts festival in the Repton-landscaped grounds of Port Eliot itself,  the Sir John Soane-remodelled home of the Earls of St Germans.

I’m meeting one of my closest friends from New York, the lovely Rachel, who has also now moved back to London, under the departures board at London Paddington at 0845hrs tomorrow morning for the 4hour train journey to the South West.

(I do realise that in American & in Australian terms, a distance like that is like popping out to the shops, but in English terms that’s driving to the other end of the country. There be dragons etc etc.)

Much to our joy, we are sleeping in a tipi (from Hearthworks), which comes complete with a futon, duvet and bedlinen. To someone who has always slept in leaky, cold tents, wrapped in scrotty blankets, at festivals, this represents a level of quite extraordinary luxury.

It feels quite odd to me that I have never covered a UK festival for LLG, as they were my lifeblood before I moved to America, and I feel rather sad that I have just worked out that the last one I attended must have been the Big Chill in the summer of 2005 with Miss P, where we drank Red Stripe in the sun, and danced to Norman Jay and his Good Times Sound System.

Altho I’ll miss my erstwhile partner in crime, I’ve been astonished at how many of my friends are going this year, so prepare to be bombarded on the blog after I get home with all sorts of photos and stories. And of course I’ll be Tweeting & Instagramming away….

There are so many exciting things going on at Port Eliot, I can’t even begin to list them all. Thre will be music & cabaret & cooking demos & readings & makeup & fashion-y things & treasure hunts & wild swimming and so so much more.

But for a taster, Dominic West will be interviewing eminent Sanskrit scholar and paragliding pioneer Sir Jim Mallinson about his forthcoming book Rogue Yogis and the film they are making together at the Kumbh Mela festival next year; Alex Fury tells me he has co-curated a Fashion Dolls Teaparty, and will be interviewing Mary Katrantzou; Pamflet are hosting an all day literary salon on the subject of the Great British Party; Anthropologie have designed a tent and, just to really cap it for me, Russell Norman of this blog’s favourite London restaurant Polpo, will be bringing some of his signature cocktails, along with his distinctive Venetian food to his demo.

I’m thrilled to be going as a guest of the St Austell Brewery, who are one of the sponsors of the festival. They are exactly the kind of local, thriving company I like to write about on here: Founded in 1851, it’s one of the oldest businesses in Cornwall. Still family owned, today they are one of Cornwall’s largest private companies with 1,000 employees, 169 pubs and an annual turnover of over £90m.

Port Eliot Festival

Photo via the Port Eliot Festival website.

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I have always loved that about England, that a massive trek to the other side of the country is a four hour trip. Four hours in any direction would either put me in California, another part of CA, a third part of the same fair state, or underwater. I suspect this is true on an even grander scale in Aus. However, I know of no festivals here that sound this adorable and well-landscaped. Please post lots of photos!


Hope you have a fantastic time and are not affected by the problems in Hayes today. I have had to ditch my Paddington-bound train.


Have fun – I’ve always wanted to go to Port Eliot but never quite had the time to do it. Plus I really hate camping which is why the tipi sounds fab. Perhaps next year! Helenaxx


Number one BLOGGER 🙂 Have a nice day!


WOW it looks amazing



Have a wonderful time and thank you again. If you get a chance, check out Par Beach, between Par and Fowey – we went last year and it is gorge) xxxx


I was thinking the same from your description–how utterly civilized! No Burning Man in Wales, I take it!

Would like to know your wardrobe, plus see pics of utter civilization.

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