For those of you who know me, you’ll know that my boyfriend is a part of the team that set up and worked on Vintage at Goodwood. So from the word go I knew all of the goings on behind the scenes. It was an exciting year in the lead up to the first event.
Throughout the year I learned that there would be an arena for each different era, from the 1940’s to 1980’s. I also learned that there would be a pop up high street, the first of it’s kind and 200 + market stalls selling the finest Vintage clothing. This was to be the largest vintage market in the world! The attention to detail was fascinating – as I sat observing a meeting for all of the curators in our kitchen a couple of months before, I realised that this event could possibly be the best I’ll ever experience.
The idea, for someone like me who loves Vintage but not one specific era is great because it allowed me to meander around the site from arena to arena and enjoy all of the different music and activities that were on offer. One of my favourite happenings over the Vintage weekend was the Chap Olympiad, which is an annual London based event hosted by The Chap Magazine and (one of my favourite water holes) Bourne & Hollingsworth. It has been running from 2005 and is Britain’s more eccentric sporting event. The ‘olympics’ saw contestants dressed in suitable attire play games such as cucumber discus throw, three legged trouser limbo and bicycle umbrella jousting. We loved the look of it so much that we went on both Saturday and Sunday to sit as spectators. Due to our attire on the Sunday, we were scouted and asked to take part in the games. I was delighted and jumped out of my seat.
First up was the three legged trouser limbo. What is this I hear you ask?! Two chaps hold a cane and the two contestants have to climb into the rather large trousers with three legs, pop the braces over your shoulders and make your way under the cane however you wish. We decided to do a reverse limbo… the crowd ooooh’d and ahhhhh’d and erupted into raucous applause when we made it under the limbo pole unscathed. I didn’t make it out of the bicycle umbrella joust unscathed however – we were off and before we could even poke either of our umbrellas at each others copy of The Daily Telegraph, we were on the floor. The commentary post collision was hilarious – apparently Jack and I were “inseparable once more, all differences set aside, in a tangle of rusted iron”. It hurt – a lot and I had the bruise the size of a football on my backside a week after to prove it!
There are far more tales to tell of the first ever Vintage at Goodwood but I am aware that if you are reading this, you probably are doing so because of the food aspect so here I go. There was a great food offering from a 70’s curry house on the high street (supplied by Lloyd Grossman sauces and Tilda rice) to Sourced Market, Fortnum and Mason, a Kenwood theatre, Tanqueray cocktail bar, Festival of Britain pub and Gizzi’s rock n’ roll tea party in the ‘Let it Rock’ arena. Even the outside caterings were carefully curated but my favourite by far was the 1940s inspired Tanqueray Torch Club.
Never before have festival goers witnessed silver service whilst being able to take in fine, authentic 1940’s entertainment. And all the while watching people jiving. We dined on the Sunday evening and our entertainment was in the form of a burlesque dancer called Gwendoline Lamour and all girl dance troupe the Beaux Bells. Stepping into the Torch Club, I was transported back in time – I never would have thought that I was actually sat in a field in the middle of the South Downs!
All food offerings at Vintage were curated by Valentina Harris and my oh my did she do a good job. I didn’t expect the meal to taste so fantastic – after all, I was at a festival and the best I’ve ever had before was from a little ‘Just Falafs’ truck at Bestival a couple of years ago.
I shared poached egg with asparagus and hollandaise sauce and pork terrine with Jack for starter, followed by Lamb hotpot. The lamb was beautifully tender and the potatoes to die for. I haven’t had a better hot pot. Unfortunately, due to large portion sizes, there was no room for dessert but I thought they looked amazing. I went into the Torch Club a number of times and it was constantly full. The idea of having fine dining at it’s best and entertainment at a festival is spot on. It gives you a rest from standing all day and a chance to eat fantastic food, a chance that you don’t get at other festivals.
There is tonnes more to say but I’m afraid I would be writing all evening so I’ll do my best to show you my thoughts with pictures.