Picturesque Port Eliot festival, set on the South East Cornish coast, has built a reputation for its thoughtfully curated lineup, a mix of music, comedy, workshops and talks. Food, fashion and literature also feature.
The beautiful estate is buzzing from dawn to midnight and beyond with a huge variety of events, so one minute you may be listening to a band, the next learning about beekeeping before heading to a cookery demo and then, as night falls, head out on a night time astronomy walk. Already on the lineup are Brett Anderson, Viv Albertine, Shappi Khorsandi, Billy Bragg, Anna Burch, BC Camplight, Stick in the Wheel, Arthur Smith and many more have been announced.
Gwenno often sings in her native Welsh and also in Cornish; her new album Le Kov, is entirely in Cornish which is well suited to her performance at Port Eliot. Cornish is now spoken by only around 1,000 people.
Literature is on the bill with ex Slits guitarist Viv Albertine, who was a sellout with her book Clothes, Clothes, Clothes, Music, Music, Music, Boys Boys, Boys; she has a memoir out in April, To Throw Away Unopened.
in 2017, the Poetry Stage was a resounding success; this year sees its return with Brian Patten, Holly McNish and many more.
Another new venture for 2018 is the Fashion Foundation, a new home for fashion and art. Headed by fashion writer and curator, NJ Stevenson, it will wander into all kinds of artistic areas, setting fashion agendas and stimulating creative thinking about the future, particularly around sustainability. There will be workshops, talks, fashion shows, exhibitions and retrospectives, including an exploration of the moment when the first vintage fashion stores began to spring up as a pro-environment, anti-consumerism statement.
Caught by the River will be bringing their stage again, gathering place for all who treasure wildlife, nature, writing, reading, great music and undiscovered heroes. Among the line-up this year are Baxter Dury, Gwenno, Teleman, Nabihah Iqbal, Jim Ghedi, Andrew Weatherall, Hannah Peel, Dads on Drugs, Martha Sprackland, Confidence Man, Adelle Stripe, Will Burns and 77:78.
Food gets equal billing and resident chefs including Anna Jones, Jack Stein and Russell Norman, who will make the House’s Georgian Big Kitchen their own and head outside to the Open Fire to create flavours, set trends, share techniques and reveal the workings of some of the country’s great kitchens; a new Port Eliot restaurant will sit right at the front of the House; and Devon’s Oyster Shack will make a corner of the Walled Garden its own with Plymouth’s Le Vignoble serving wines to match the fresh seafood menu
Children have their own area, and Wildlings Wood is run by children for children.
If you’re looking for unusual glamping, check out Vintents on the Port Eliot website; their 70s canvas tents are adorable, and they have packages this year with candles, tables, rugs and more for extra coziness.