guest blog :: port eliot festival, by clare howdle

You might think British festivals are all about the mud, pop-up tents and plastic pints – leaving little space for beautiful design. You’d be wrong. This year’s Port Eliot Festival refused to bow down to stereotypes, despite the intermittent rain, which tried its damnedest to turn the site into a mudslide.

flags at port eliot festival (hipstamatic photo: clare howdle)

Flags at Port Eliot Festival (Photo: Clare Howdle)

These stunning silk flags billowed weekend-long; overlooking…

…the delightfully tucked away cocktail tent, decked out with vintage furniture and reconditioned lighting. But it was Port Eliot’s cabaret tent that really took ‘festival chic’ to a new level; dressed to create a quirky, opulent and luxurious extension of the Port Eliot stately home; under canvas.

port eliot cabaret tent (hipstamatic photo: clare howdle)

Port Eliot Cabaret Tent (Photo: Clare Howdle)

Swathes of velvet and shimmering glints from the swaying chandeliers falling across the floor evoked the feeling of a 1940s boutique London underground club where the cocktails flowed freely and heels kicked out to the saxophone’s song.

Well done to the Port Eliot Festival team for taking interior design exterior for the weekend.

Oh and talking of brilliant design, who can resist a tipi?

tipis at the port eliot festival (hipstamatic photo: clare howdle)

Tipis at the Port Eliot Festival (Photo: Clare Howdle)

Clare Howdle is a writer; a word smith; a self-confessed ‘alphabet floozy’; living and working in Cornwall – and will hopefully be bringing more sneaky peaks into Cornish design over the coming months. Amongst other things, she runs tell tales; a monthly night for readers, writers and listeners; and writes a blog for Drift – which in her words is  “surf, but very, very stylish”.

Clare shot the pictures for this post on her  hipstamatic.

(Vested interest alert: Clare is my step-sister, but I hope you’ll agree; also a very talented writer.)

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