*** Before I tell you about my weekend I want to comment on some of the controversy surrounding the festival. There have been some blogs, tweets and comments floating around on the interwebz with a very negative spin on it. It seems some people have had problems with the PR agency, problems getting press accreditation and issues with the organisers being disrespectful when they had given their time and expertise for free. Having chosen not to bother getting press accreditation and just go as a holiday I can’t comment. I had a minor issue when they started spamming my Facebook page with pictures and links, but when I pulled them up on it they apologised. I can’t say it doesn’t bother me to hear that people I admire and respect have been treated shabbily, but I can only comment on my own experience of the weekend. ***

Well, I’m back from my weekend at Vintage at Goodwood!

I had a fantastic weekend, so prepare for a post heavy with pictures and witterings. If you’d like a more mini review you can see my post on Queens of Vintage.

I have to confess to waking up on Friday morning with some trepidation as I watched the rain drip slowly down the window of my hotel room in that relentless “I’m not stopping” kind of way. Some of this Trepidation was relieved by the arrival of a parcel at reception, which was a perfect polka dot rain hat from one of the loveliest ladies on the internet, Fiona from Notorious Kitsch.

rain hat, vintage, 50s, polka dotFurther relief was felt in the purchase of a pair of wellies and finding a fabulous vintage rain coat in a Charity Shop, so, prepared, we headed off with a car full of camping gear and vintage frocks.

As it turned out I needn’t have panicked, the sun came out and the rain stopped just as we arrived, and apart from a few light showers on Saturday it was absolutely fine. The organisers promise of a mud free festival (due to the chalk soil) was certainly true in the campsite, and when we were in arena there were bark chippings on the muddiest areas meaning I spent the whole day in heels that barely even need cleaning on my return. There were some issues with the toilets and showers nearest our tent, which shut down a couple of times due to blocking up, my experience was that when this happened the problem was dealt with promptly and efficiently and I never needed to trek miles to the other block.

I would like to confirm that it is definitely possible to maintain a semblance of glamour in a tent. I present evidence.

vintage at goodwood, tent, glamping, glamour, vintage

Attempting to take outfit photos outside the tent was a challenge as the girls in the tent next door provided a running commentary which made me giggle.

❤ Dress - Vintage 50s Nelly Don ❤ Hat - Vintage ❤ Shoes - Clarks via eBay ❤
❤ Vintage Hart Brooch - from a Boot Fair ❤ Pearls - Antique Market ❤

The entrance felt pretty magical, and I loved it almost as soon as I stepped into a beautiful woodland walk strung with fairy lights, which eventually opened onto a huge archway with a red carpet entrance.

I have to say that despite the damp there was a pretty good atmosphere, even at 11am. I’m not a big festival goer as I tend to think that paying £150 to camp in a field that can’t even be bothered to provide you with showers is a bad idea, plus I was pretty traumatised by Glastonbury 1997 (that was a mud bath) but from what I recall from my late 90s excursions it compared well. People were excited to be there and keen to take in as much as possible.

After bagging some free coffee from Cafe Direct, indulging in some window shopping in the vintage stalls, peering through the windows of vintage caravans and lusting over vintage cars it was time for some refreshment. We stopped for a pint of Goodwood Ale in the Festival of Britain pub, here, you may note, is my lovely new vintage raincoat from a Charity Shop.

A lot of places on the High Street were packed out, but the Future Vintage exhibition was intriguing.

I turned my nose up at the concept of a pile of crocs ever being a desirable vintage item, but Mr Chick pointed out that the exhibition was more about iconic design. Sneer at the 80s shell suit all you want, but there’s no denying that it’s an iconic piece of clothing, representing a particular era in our cultural history, and (sadly) I can’t deny crocs may well take on that mantle for the 00’s. Pizza boxes and the Yellow Pages were among other exhibits, and I also treated the Big Brother chair to a visit from my well dressed posterior.

Lunch was traditional British Fish n Chips, with ethically sourced fish and organic potatoes, followed by a jug of Pimms served from a big red London Bus.

Sadly I missed the Chap Olympiad that afternoon, as all that Pimms meant I had to spend far too much time stood in a queue for the ladies, of which there weren’t enough. In fact that evening I participated in a mini revolution as girls abandoned their queues and invaded the mens toilets, which were all cubicles.

A note to the organisers. Toilets with cubicles only really don’t need to be segregated, we’re all grown ups!

At this point I might mention an advantage of an event like Goodwood is that people from all over the country attend. This gave me a chance to meet some lovely internet buddies, including Charly, a regular reader who I met on Vintage Network, Charlotte from Tuppence Ha’penny and Lori from Rarely Wears Lipstick (who I met before, but neglected to get a photo!)

I changed my outfit for the evening, into a slightly warmer light wool 50s dress. I’m less pleased with the fit of this dress, I don’t think it’s as flattering as the Nelly Don, but I’m wondering if it might be worth getting the bodice tailored or trying a new belt as it’s so beautiful.

❤ Dress - Vintage 50s ❤ Hair Bow - New Look ❤ Shoes - New Look via a Charity Shop ❤
❤ Suede Handbag - 40s Vintage ❤ Pearls - Antique Market ❤

In the evening is where I really felt the disadvantage of only having bought a day ticket.

There was so much to do and see that I was loath to spend much of my time in queues. I therefore failed to get into the Torch Club, where I really wanted to see the John Miller Big Band, I’m even more disappointed, verging on teary, to discover after getting home that you only needed to queue for tables, and I could therefore have just walked in and had a drink to watch the show. I also didn’t get into the Tanqueray cocktail bar, which was full, or any of the Fashion Shows which had insanely long queues, though I caught the outdoor bathing beauties show, organised by Naomi from Vintage Secret, from a distance at least.

The beauty salon was fully booked within a very short space of time and the Oxfam store was so busy that although I had a peek I couldn’t really see or buy much. With a weekend ticket I could have made more use of quieter times and spent some time in queues knowing I could always come back tomorrow to enjoy the fun fair!

Particular high lights include the best cheese on toast in the world, how beautiful the site looked lit up by fairy lights and drinking champagne from Fortnum & Mason out of a paper cup under the stars while a band played an impromptu set under the clock tower.

Honestly I can say that little touches really made the experience. The vintage style campsite shops, the fact that I got a goodie bag of Body Shop treats because I’d signed up to be a “Vintage Vulture”, the flyover by a vintage plane as the site opened and the deck chairs and park benches all made the day feel quite special.

If I wanted to pick holes I could, some of the camp site staff on arrival were pretty clueless, I have no idea why Primark should be involved in any way with this kind of festival and sometimes those gorgeous toilets ran out of water or got blocked. Amongst the stylishly attired and immaculately frocked there were also a good smattering of people who interpret vintage as wearing a Grease outfit from a Fancy Dress shop, or, indeed, who hadn’t even bothered at all, but over all these were irrelevant niggles, and hey, each to their own, if you’ve paid for a ticket you dress how you like!

I find myself already making plans for next year, so I can promise you, if Goodwood is back, then so am I.

Did you go? Tell me about your experience?

There are yet MORE photos on my Facebook page!