Archive for the ‘Jane Austen Festival’ Category

I’m having a lovely time at the Jane Austen Festival catching up with friends Juliet Archer and Abigail Reynolds and watching all the fun!
Yesterday I went to watch the costumed Promenade which assembled in Queen Square and attended the Festival Fayre – everyone was very gracious about letting me photograph them! I hope you enjoy the pictures.

Tomorrow, as part of my blog tour for Searching For Captain Wentworth I shall be Laura Gerold’s guest on Laura’s Reviews– I hope you can join me!

Jane Smith Deisgn – http://www.janesmithdesign.co.uk
Author, Lauren Nixon
Matthew Anderson Cloth to Costume http://www.clothtocostume.com
Hand Made Period Clothes http://www.sarcenett.co.uk
Juliet Archer
Abigail Reynolds and Me
Jackie Herring, Festival Director, (right)
with a friend
Tim Bullamore – Jane Austen’s Regency World Magazine

http://www.virginiacreeper.co.uk Dressmaker, costumier, Doll artist


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In September of last year I was very lucky to be invited to take part in a television programme here in the UK. It’s called Masterchef, and the wonderful cooks below were competing for the title week by week, undergoing a gruelling set of challenges and providing some fabulous food for those fortunate enough to be on the receiving end of all their hard work.
This episode coincided with the end of The Jane Austen Festival, and many of the attendees were asked to come along and enjoy some of the food with a Regency theme. The chefs were divided into two teams and they were competing for the chance to cook with top chef, Jason Atherton.
The event took place at The Royal Crescent Hotel, and the chefs cooked outside in tents erected on what was known as the Cresent Fields in Jane Austen’s day.
I was so lucky to be invited to the dinner that took place next day, and meet amongst other distinguished guests, one of my favourite actors, Adrian Lukis, who you will all recognise from the 1995 BBC Pride and Prejudice. Sigh…I have to say, he’s just as gorgeous!
The other guests were Richard Knight (the Jane Austen Society) and his wife Phillipa, Jackie Herring (the Jane Austen Festival Director) and her husband, Caroline Langrishe, (a very well-known actress from stage and screen), John Cullum (the High Sheriff of Bath, and also Jamie Cullum’s Dad), and Paula Byrne (the writer of Jane Austen and the Theatre). 
Paula Byrne told me all about her new book which sounds fascinating, a biography on Jane Austen which I’m looking forward to adding to my collection. Here we all are enjoying champagne before the dinner, and finding our places at the table.
When I agreed to take part, I had little idea what was involved, and I must admit I was petrified. I cannot imagine what those poor chefs went through or how nervous they must have been having to work in a kitchen they’d never been in before, and under such pressure to produce food of the highest standard. I have to say it was delicious, and every course was divine – five in all! Dinner was served in a beautiful room at The Royal Crescent Hotel, and there was lots of laughter between courses when the cameras were off.
Here I am trying to look as if I know what I’m talking about – I’m not sure if anything I said made any sense, but I did enjoy it all very much, and I felt very privileged to be part of such a wonderful dinner. 

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I thought you might like to see some more of the photos from the Regency Promenade at the start of the Jane Austen Festival. The costumes were incredible! I can’t make a mention of Bath without thinking of Northanger Abbey or Persuasion. So many of the girls looked as excited as Catherine Morland that I have to include this extract. This first photo shows a view of Great Pulteney Street where Catherine lodged with Mrs Allen. 

They arrived at Bath. Catherine was all eager delight — her eyes were here, there, everywhere, as they approached its fine and striking environs, and afterwards drove through those streets which conducted them to the hotel. She was come to be happy, and she felt happy already.

They were soon settled in comfortable lodgings in Pulteney Street.

…our heroine’s entree into life could not take place till after three or four days had been spent in learning what was mostly worn, and her chaperone was provided with a dress of the newest fashion. Catherine too made some purchases herself, and when all these matters were arranged, the important evening came which was to usher her into the Upper Rooms. Her hair was cut and dressed by the best hand, her clothes put on with care, and both Mrs. Allen and her maid declared she looked quite as she should do. With such encouragement, Catherine hoped at least to pass uncensured through the crowd. As for admiration, it was always very welcome when it came, but she did not depend on it.

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I thought you might like to see some photos that were taken of the Jane Austen Festival in Bath. At the start of the festival there is a grand Regency parade where huge numbers of people turn out in their favourite period dress. There were some spectacular outfits, gorgeous bonnets and hats, not to mention accessories. I met fellow author Victoria Connelly at the Pump Rooms for the start of the parade, and it was also lovely to meet up with Isa from Malaga who often stops by to visit my blog. Poor Isa discovered she had mumps when she got home – I hope you’re on the mend now!
What made it extra special was to see so many gentleman attired, and didn’t they all look splendid! The promenaders take a tour through the town walking up Milsom Street, George Street, and onto Gay Street, which leads to the Circus, and the Royal Crescent beyond. If you’d like to see more photos and some more about my day with Victoria Connelly, head on over to Austen Authors.Here we are at the end of the walk at the Royal Crescent.

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I’m in Bath at the moment, and shall be going to have a look at the Regency costumed parade this morning as the Jane Austen Festival starts. I shall bring you a report on all I see a little later, but for now, I thought I’d post a few more photos from the lovely day I had with P and P tours at ‘Longbourn’. These photos are taken in the garden, I’m sure you’ll recognise some of the places, but I wanted also to add a couple of photos like the one of the stone cherub and the bust at the end of the arbour, just because they were so beautiful. I hope you like them! I’ve also included a BBC Youtube clip from the Pride and Prejudice series which shows Elizabeth sitting where I am on the stone bench amongst other views.

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