England’s Artsiest Summer Festival Kicks Off Today
In Cornwall, England, Port Eliot is the 1,000-year-old ancestral seat of the Earl and Countess of St. Germans, possibly the oldest continuously occupied house in the United Kingdom. Napoleon, sailing by the property, called Port Eliot the “most beautiful place in England.” In recent years, the 6,000-acre Port Eliot estate has been the setting for an international festival that’s akin to a thinking person’s Lollapalooza: the entirely grown-up Port Eliot Festival, now in its twelfth year, kicks off July 30 and runs until August 2.
All of the arts, from fashion to literature to music, are featured at the celebration. In the past, everyone from Kate Winslet to Anita Pallenberg to Suzy Menkes attended. This year, the line-up includes Ibibio Sound Machine, novelist Sarah Waters, English chef and author Rick Stein, and assorted fashion presentations curated by Sarah Mower MBE. The influence of Game of Thrones will be explored with the show’s costume designer, Michele Clapton, and Gwendoline Christie, who plays Brienne of Tarth.
Over the course of the festival, guests take in performances and presentations, as well as wander the grounds: food and campsites, including Airstream trailers, are available on the property. Port Eliot is a singular experience, as wonderfully beautiful now as it was during Napoleon's era. During the Port Eliot festival, this area is also the epicenter of smart culture.
Tom Austin is based in Miami and covers the Florida beat for Travel + Leisure. Follow him on Twitter at @TomAustin.