I’ve been entering lots of competitions lately, trying to cram in a few each morning or evening on my commute in the hope that the volume means that I might start winning some. Earlier this month I was lucky enough to win tickets to last weekend’s Britain Does Vintage event at Scampston Hall, from Travel Jem’s blog.
You’ve probably gathered by now that I’m quite appreciative of vintage in general, and so an event like this is right up my street, especially when it’s not that far from home. You’ve also, more than likely, gathered that I’m not a devotee of any one era either; nonetheless, usually when I go to events such as these I have a tendency to be in 1940s or 1950s dress. Last week though, I had taken my summer wardrobe out of storage, and decided that a vintage festival in the manicured gardens of a stately home would be the perfect opportunity for me to flirt with 1920s style. I selected a gorgeous Ralph Lauren 1920s reproduction dress, and dug a beaded head-dress out of my hat box.
Alas, when we got up on Sunday morning to go to Scampston, the nice weather had broken and we were facing something that looked decidedly like we might get wet before the day was out. I was determined though that I would still wear my pre-selected 1920s ensemble, so I just threw my trusty vintage faux fur over the top of it, grabbed a vintage parasol and got ready to brave British summertime.
We were quite early arriving at the festival, and it was a bit confusing as there didn’t seem to be any signage directing us in. Eventually we found the entrance though, and perused some of the beautiful classic cars which were on show. I love the passion that classic car owners show in looking after these beauties. If I ever win the lottery (might help if I ever started doing it) I would definitely spend out on a classic car, anyway, back to the main event.
Once inside the grounds I was surprised at how few people were in vintage dress, I guess I’d expected something of a vintage garden party, but it was more of a general family event with some people dressed in vintage. As the sun started to come out, I started to regret my faux fur jacket. While I perused the vintage tent, which had a nice selection of vendors, the Mr. kindly took our coats back out to the car.
He returned some 10 minutes later to find me clutching a vintage Japanese kimono as if my life depended on it. I had found a vintage dealer with a whole rail of them that she had imported, and having spent much of the evening before coveting 1920s kimono coats on Pinterest, there was no way I could move away without one. The Mr. offered to buy it for me, to put away for my birthday in October. I snapped his hand off, and he even allowed me to wear it for the rest of the day because it complimented my 1920s look so well.
|Shoes - Clarks, Dress - Ralph Lauren, Kimono, parasol, bag - Vintage|
Not only did it compliment it, but it completely took it to the next level, in my humble opinion. This resulted in me (and the Mr. actually) cavorting merrily around the Capability Brown designed gardens of Scampston Hall as if we were a 1920s Lord and Lady of the manor (it also means that you have to endure endless photos of me cavorting around the gardens in such a manor, so feel free to skip if you get bored)
Having had tea and cake in the tea tent, we set off to find the food outlets for some lunch. There weren’t a great many of them, and given it was lunchtime they were certainly the most popular show in town. We queued for what seemed like an age to get 2 grilled Halloumi buns, the sun was out and it was blazing hot… it was a minor moan I guess, I just think a few more vendors would have been great. There was also an amazing bus bar, but we didn’t get a chance to visit that like we had hoped to.
On our way back into the grounds, we were invited to enter the best dressed couple competition, but unfortunately didn’t win. It didn’t matter, I was wearing a 1920s beaded head-dress and a bright green silk vintage Kimono, for me, it doesn’t get any better than that!
|Visitors waiting for the best dressed competition|
We finished off the day by admiring the cars again, and taking a walk around the walled garden.
There was a lot to commend the Britain Does Vintage even at Scampston; the venue was fantastic, I liked the vintage tent and the cocktail tent by the lake was lovely. I think having the entertainment more central and prominent, with more seating to enjoy it whilst you picnic would have been great, maybe some vintage hairstylists and makeup artists, a vintage catwalk show as would promoting it to attract a bigger vintage crowd. Unlike the South of the country, there aren’t a great deal of these big ticket type vintage events in North Yorkshire. There’s the one at York Racecourse, and a myriad of 1940s weekends across the various towns and villages of the dales and moors, but aside from that we don’t have the Goodwoods, Tweed Runs, the Hemsby weekenders and events of that ilk. With this event, now in its fourth year, I think that Britain Does Vintage has the opportunity to make it into a real contender on the annual vintage calendar, and whilst it was a lovely day out for us, it just needs a little bit more development and a little bit more attention to make it into the fabulous vintage day out it could be.