Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Jane Austen Festival 2011 - Part 1

On Sunday I arrived home after spending ten days of Regency fabulousness in Bath and Chawton. The Jane Austen Festival runs for 9 days and this year I decided to treat myself and stay for the entire festival, and then went on to Chawton to a ball. It was definitely worth it - not only did I meet some wonderful people, but I also had a fabulous time. I went to events ranging from Regency dancing, reticule making, bonnet talks, Regency breakfasts, to walks of Regency Bath, plays, balls and much more. It was a very tiring ten days, but great fun and I learnt loads!!

On the first Saturday there was the Grand Regency Promenade through the streets of Bath. My friend wasn't taking part so ran round taking loads of photos with my camera. The result being there is many a photo of me looking very strange as I had no idea I was being photographed!! :)

Promenaders outside the Abbey. I am the last white-dressed lady at the back with my parasol.

Getting ready to go...

This is me walking at the start. I love this photo - very cleverly shot! :)

Am not a big fan of purple but I love this lady's riding habit.

A naval officer and his wife walking up Milsom Street.

I love the pink spencer. :)

Soldiers from a Napoleonic reenactment group (I can't remember which one), with the town crier; and two ladies (who every year dress in the most wonderful costumes) who are arm-in-arm with the Jane Austen Centre's meeter and greeter.

Up on the Royal Crescent. The dance group 'Steps in Time' performing a few Georgian and Regency dances. It is usually an all girls group but this year they had one very young Mr Darcy.

Inside the Guildhall at the Regency Country Fayre. Beautiful room but it is always so crowded that you can hardly move. They have giant tables in the centre of the room for promenade-goers to have lunch. They don't remove them after lunch, and the vendors' stalls are squashed to the edge of the room, resulting in what I can only describe as being very similar to Monday mornings at London Victoria train station - it is mayhem. But there are some lovely things to buy. :)

The next day we went to a dance class at the old Theatre Royal in Orchard Street, which is now a Masonic Lodge.

It was good fun but rather cramped as the room was small and there were too many people. It was a bit like Regency dancing bumper cars.

In the evening I went to a concert of eighteenth century music by the 'League of Harmony'. Sadly my friend had left by then as she had to go back to London for work, so I went alone but met some lovely people there. The League is a trio of musicians - a harpist, flutist and cellist. My camera was acting up as usual so I didn't manage to take an un-blurry photo of the cellist!!

There was a group of ladies from Spain who attended the festival this year. They based their costumes on ones seen in Goya's paintings, so dressed as early nineteenth century Spaniards. They had the most amazing costumes, and it really was like Royalty had entered the room when they swept in with their veils and beautiful gowns. On the evening of the concert one of them was wearing a gorgeous pink gown. This was the best photo I could get of it. :)

Stay tuned for part two. :)


  1. I really long to attend these events!! You look like a regency angel, all in white! :) I think this is my favourite outfit of yours, to date!

  2. Thank you for sharing the wonderful photos! I wish I could have been there, too...sigh...


  3. Cathie - Thank you :). It is a new gown and the Promenade was it's first outing.

    Sabine - You're welcome. :) It is a lovely event.

  4. Issy thak you for sharing the photos of the event and for dedicate a space in your blog for us.


  5. Nereida - You are welcome. :) You all had such beautiful costumes.

  6. Greeting, Ma'am. Thank you for including us in your writings.

    Mike Parker (harpist with The League of Harmony).

  7. I'm attending for the first time this year (2012). So am interested in seeing what its like as I'm not sure what to expect.