Monday, 20 September 2010

Viva La Vintage at Vintage Goodwood

 Photo004(1) If you landed from another planet you might be forgiven for wandering what time you had arrived in. war time 
Everything that is vintage in the world was happening right here and now.  Where ???? goodwood
Well not far from here in the beautiful South downs of England, a stones through from the historical Roman city of Chichester there lies a country estate of great beauty, and on this estate lives a typical English Gent.  We might call him an entrepreneur or just a plain clever chap, to the locals he is just called Lord March. You know the type,  makes things happen kind of guy, knows the right people etc. The mastermind behind the internationally acclaimed Goodwood Festival of Speed and Goodwood Revival, (of all classic cars and planes) and proprietor of one of the largest organic farms in the south of England.
Well this summer Lord March, together with designers Gerardine and Wayne Hemingway created a Festival like no other,celebrating 5 decades of the best of British culture from the 1940's to 1980's to include Music, Fashion, Dance, Entertainment, Food and transport.
So come on lets go back in time -
Hop on the bus for a ride back in time to a place called Vintage Goodwood. 
We caught the bus from the station ON TIME .. oh i remember going to school on one of these , (amazing, they have never been on time … not back in my day anyway ;-)  …..  This lovely old vintage Bus came from the Stratford Blue Fleet.
We were encouraged to dress up vintage style and the girls chose a 40’s flavour
Jump on, and  hang on - 
On arrival you check in and set off on a short walk through a forest on a wood chip road, as you get to the clearing you are welcomed by a huge entrance, a red carpet and paparazzi. 41355_430831292690_140857057690_5611100_847911_n
Once inside you see before you a film set style shopping street, vintage good wood
an ambitious project
shopping street at vintagePicture 721
  Oooh here are the girls again …. outside  a beautifully designed vintage clothes shop.
Beauty parlour and hair stylists were on hand to recreate your image for the day.57963_431238437690_140857057690_5622020_8209419_nPicture 734
Stop for tea at one of the many tea and coffee shops
or the good old British pub
with over 30 bars and restaurants, there was plenty of choice.
a fab cocktail lounge.
70 Art and Design workshopsPicture 729Picture 730Picture 731
dresses  recreated out of scraps  is just my thing.
Knitting bee’s 4906553181_8d8144a27d_b
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The company Cloth kits has re- launched  - i loved making clothes for my children from there fabric/pattern kits, glad to see they are back  on the market with some trendy styles  -
Along the way was the Torch Club a war time style Night club with a dance floor and stage and live bands like the Miller band. The Tea Dance was popular, including swing, jive and ballroom dancing, and dance lessons for the uninitiated, also  variety of vintage performances from stand up comedy to Burlesque. burlesqueP1010744Photo012 P101074146847_430838222690_140857057690_5611414_6311689_n
A real deal … a Spiv – just like the  Black market dealers of the 1940’s  – with watches up his arms and his legs, and plenty of nylons for the ladies, he must have got them from the GI’s …. oooh wonder if he has any chocolate !
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The Cinema was very popular with 34 classical movies being shown over the 3 day event.
200 classic cars, caravans and bikes
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“sisters sisters there were never such devoted sisters “
Lets not forget the music with 80 bands covering all the era's, 85 DJ's, 6 nightclubs,  even a 70’s style Disco at the Soul Casino.
There were numerous children's attractions  4888989032_646d19e7d5
Including Butlins the masters of the quintessential English family holidays since the 1940s, the red coats celebrated their rich cultural heritage by recreating a Butlin's resort in the heart of Vintage Goodwood from there Baby love disco to there children's cinema and character Olympics, all ages were entertained, there was even a sandy beach to play on with deck chairs for the parents.
OH and DRUM ROLL last but not least .. my favourite – the Vintage Fashion tents ….   With 30,000 items of vintage apparel,12 catwalk shows, there was plenty of inspiration.
lamb at vintage
Note the very handsome presenter George Lamb,  presenting in his wellies … where else in the world would you see that.  Unless you know different of course ?
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I  seem to be favouring vintage pink*  ;-)  don’t I.
Or maybe not  so pink, I love this ivory twinkle gown.
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Many family groups were kitted out right down to the vintage pram .... 47427_431264092690_140857057690_5623184_1040063_n
which i have to say is definitely a must accessory for the next time, good wood accessory

noooo not baby, the PRAM ! 

Well there is plenty of inspiration for next year …. right girls.Picture 765
The good news it that Vintage Goodwood was a roaring first year success and is coming back in August 2011. I fancy coming back as a 40’s gal, with a snood  for the hair and wiggle dress. Hmm food for thought.  Photo006
See you there !.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

On Days like these ~ Italia !

I was thinking about this place the other day.  
The July issue of Country Homes  evoked memories of a holiday we had spent in Italy .
As I flicked through the pages of this magazine I was  thrilled  to discover  that the very house we had spent our summer of 2006 was  actually  featured within.  We had been there and way before any magazine had  found it…
I used to research  long and hard for the perfect summer holiday for  my family to enjoy.  I would start researching from January and booked early.  The critiea had to be home comforts - beautiful house - space - beautiful views -  swimming pool and places of  historical interest.  My radar was set on Tuscany, Italy ….  the year was 2006
O M Gosh   did i pick one !
A pretty house in a hamlet up in the mountains of Northern Italy.
view from the drive DSC02385dinner view
Here are my children,  enjoying a meal at that very same place.
1The Apuan Alps (the white of the marble  at the very top of the mountains illuminated  as dusk fell, leaving a beautiful pale pink hue.123
This was our first night in Italy you can tell from my daughters face that the view  was
The pizza oven in the background on the terrace was an original feature of the ancient house.

The kitchen was beautiful.DSC02383 
Below are the pictures I took.
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The fact that not only the kitchen worktops were made from the local marble bought from those very mountains  we admired so much, but also the cooker splash back and sink too, it  was quite impressive.
The magazine  did not the master bedroom  /ensuite - so here it is. bedroom 1
The Master  bedroom was  lovely big size and even lying on the  bed  you can see the mountains beyond. At night I witnessed some spectacular sheet lightning across the mountains … It was so far away and you heard nothing,  just experienced  a fantastic light show.
   DSC_0294 The children loved the swimming pool, it was  nestled on a plataeu just below the house and  looked over at the spectacular DSC_0231 1
How it looks today with a canopy for much needed shade ( see website)
These additional pics  taken of the swimming pool area in 2010 show new decking and a sun canopy – iThkjllooks lovely. casa-glyn13 casa-glyn14
Some of the tools of the trade  of a bygone era - an olive press – we were surrounded by olive trees and vineyards.213                      
Oh and one last thing  - (and something i should have thought about der … it is a mountain top  …  )  To get to such a magical place, you drive right up a mountain, expect  L shaped bends – with rocks hanging over you,  bends on sheer drop mountains, barriers with gaps in them and rattly bridges  -
Driving from England across France and then to Italy is by all accounts adventurous to start with.   But once in mountain country,  being a left hand drive car did not help,  especially getting round bends on winding  mountains,  2 miles an hour up and down the mountain was too fast for me …  once on the motorways  … well …. Italian drivers take no prisoners.
You see  historically  in England we tootal along, and when it  comes to getting on  the motorway,  someone will flash to say …” your very welcome to move on to the road in front ” ,  you  raise your hand  or give them the lights to say thank you and off we all go,  toodle pips … but in Italy  :-Oh NO !!!!!!    if someone flashes you in Italy they are warning you that they  do not want you to come in as they do not want to slow down… well of course we didn't know that  …  they actually drive faster at you, so this would  suggest  that you should NOT attempt to move in on the motorway ever … well not  until it is completely empty of motorists – ( yawn) 
So it would seem that flashing means  - “get the hell out of my way i am coming though and i am not stopping for anyone even if a  major accident  may occur”  ok got it we are fast learners !!!!
So swift learning curve,  we learnt to take  the roads to Tuscany very carefully, and that means faster and quicker.
My heart was in my mouth the entire time we were on the roads.
So all in all beautiful gorgeous romantic place.
But leave the driving to the locals ..  not unless you have nerves of steel.
If you do drive some fab cities like Florence and Pisa are within an easy drive and the train is on hand to places like Venice. Unfortunately i have still not made it to Venice …  maybe one day.
Where ever you happen to be this summer be safe  and enjoy!
This beautiful place is for holiday rent by - 
some pics of the pool came from the website of