A remembrance of Glastonbury 2016

Before arriving at Glastonbury, I imagined an expansive bumbling chaos. It was a festival I was determined to experience once, but was unsure of how I would feel when leaving. When I got there, my presumptions were valid, however, they were overruled by the wondrous setting and amalgamation of people all there for different reasons.

I am used to festivals where they target a specific audience- all after a relatively similar experience and who all share a love of a similar genre of music.  At Glastonbury, you stroll (or slip) for hours, encountering different people after different things, yet harmoniously enjoying it all together.  For this reason, it is so unique- I can understand why people wake up at 9 am on a dreary Sunday in October to refresh the same webpage until their tickets are secured.

Despite the mud and almost constant drizzle, everyone is in great spirits.  You wander aimlessly for hours to explore areas you have not seen, somehow stumbling upon a random bar with frozen margarita’s, playing 80’s pop tunes. A couple of women dressed as bee’s bump their bottoms to the beat, and you spot a mum and dad with their 17-year-old who is seemingly loving the music more than they are. You walk a short distance reaching a path full of eclectic niche shops, whose vendors are happy to chat to random wanderers about their craft and their passion.

For me, the most amazing moment was watching Earth, Wind and Fire at the West Holts stage on Sunday night.  This was a life dream of mine - although I was born 2 decades after their first album was released, they are a favourite of my happy, enthusiastic being.  When the band began to play, and their falsetto rang across the field, a father with his one-year-old baby were dancing joyously in front of me. This tiny soul, unaware of who this notorious funk iconic band even are, let alone understanding the concept of music, was bouncing up and down in his father’s lap with the largest grin I have ever seen.  Next to me was a woman in her 50’s - she stepped up on to the bench next to me as I had taken my wellies off to stand barefoot and free, and we held on to each other to steady ourselves, and also share that moment together.

Glastonbury - although the size is somewhat daunting, it is also the very thing that makes it an absolutely incredible experience.  Whatever your age, whatever your preferred genre of music or past time, Glastonbury truly has something for everyone.  If you enjoy people, food and music, go at least once in your lifetime.  I promise you won't regret it.

 

(Image used with permission from Glastonbury festival, photographed and coprighted by Andrew Allcock)

9 Festival Must-Haves to Glamp With a Clear Conscience

9 Festival Must-Haves to Glamp With a Clear Conscience

The only thing better than living it up at your favourite festival is doing it with a clear conscience. We’ve compiled our top eco-friendly buys that you can use time and time again at your favoruite festivals, making your life easier and that little bit greener. 

1.    Eco Jumbo Bag

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These lovely, metre-high bags are made in Bangladesh and are perfect for easily carrying your clothes and additional snuggly blankets to keep you warm at night. (£24)

2.   Glitterlution Glitter

Biodegradable glitter! Look fab without the worry of the little fishies suffering because of your used face embellishment.( £2.99 for 5g jar)

3.  Happy Hippy body wash

Be the envy of the glampsite with this all-natural body wash that has the energising scent of grapefruit to put a spring in your step in the morning. (£4.50 for 100g)

4.  Cupful of colour

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Biodegradable cups made entirely out of plant based materials, including bamboo and corn. Perfect for evening drinks with friends before heading back into the main event.  (£17.50)

5.  Alba Botanica Sun Cream

An all-natural sun cream to protect your beautiful face and body while you play. (£8.80 for 113 g)

6.  Totes Eco-Friendly Umbrella

Totally compact, and totally eco-friendly. The canopy is made from 100% recycled polyethylene terephthalate bottles, and the frame is made of 70% aluminium.  Keep dry on those wet days at festivals with this brolly that comes in 4 different colours- black, green, khaki and sky blue.  (£21)

7.   Sunjar

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Charge your Sunjar during the day, and let it glow by night with its lovely warm light for a portable glow-in-a-jar. (£20)

8.  Aigle Wellies

Made of natural rubber that is extracted from trees in such a way that the trees aren’t harmed, these wellies come at a reasonable price too. The upper contains 33% recycled rubber, the outsole is composed of 20% recycled rubber, and the insoles are made with 50% recycled material. They come in a variety of colours and patterns, they’re sure to put a smile on your face on the rainiest and muddiest of festival days! (Shorter boots around £45 ranging up to long boots around £90).

9.  One Love Health Locks Dry Shampoo Powder

This is one of the best value eco-friendly dry shampoo on the market and has a dedicated following. Perfect for when you need a little refresh without too many nasties – better for you and the environment! (£10 for .6 oz bottle)

Food, glorious food…

Delicious, relaxed dining – nothing brings people together quite like something truly scrumptious to eat, and we at Hotel Bell Tent are firm believers that the British summer and fantastic food should go hand in hand.

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We are always looking to bring an exceptional experience to our guests, which is why this year at Silverstone Formula 1 and CarFests North and South we will be providing menu options designed and cooked by chef Eamon Fullalove, former head chef of Jamie Oliver’s flagship restaurant Thirteen and outdoor fine dining expert.

Every morning, each guest will wake up to a complimentary breakfast buffet that caters for every taste. From a cooked breakfast, made with the best-sourced ingredients, to a range of cereals, fruit, juices and tea and coffee, there is something to tempt everyone. Served from 7am-10am in our wonderful dining tents (excepting Fun Run days at CarFest, when times may vary), there is no better start to the day.

Throughout the day and into the evening, those looking for something quick, delicious and freshly cooked can pick from a menu of snacks and light bites, from fresh salads with a choice of toppings, to juicy burgers, to wholesome pasta made with the best durum wheat.

Daytime Menu - Click to view PDF

As evening falls in the beautiful Hotel Bell Tent hospitality area at Silverstone Woodlands, guests can look forward to soaking up the atmosphere each night while enjoying a mouthwatering feast from a different part of the world. From incredible Indian curries to the best barbeque America has to offer, and a classic British summer feast to vibrant Mexican flavours, this is al fresco buffet dining to remember.

Feasts Offerings - Click to view PDF

To top it off, all of the above can be enjoyed in Hotel Bell Tent’s beautiful, exclusive hospitality area, complete with indoor and outdoor seating, cocktail bar, and evening fire pits…

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EXCITEMENT CONTINUES TO BUILD FOR THE F1 AT HOTEL BELL TENT...

It’s been a week of dramatic developments in the world of Formula One, with spectators left dumbstruck as they witnessed the unexpected win of 18-year-old Max Verstappen in the Spanish Grand Prix, after Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg of Mercedes spectacularly knocked themselves out of the race in just the first lap, making him the youngest F1 winner in history and indicating him as a future world-champion!

As excitement continues to build for the F1 season – with the notorious Monaco Grand Prix taking place in just two weeks – we’ve been checking out all that Silverstone Woodlands, the official campsite of the Silverstone track at heart of the UK’s F1 scene, has to offer. Just 150 metres away from the world famous Stowe Corner, and with track and shuttle buses running throughout the day from 7am to 7pm to the outer peripheries of the site, Silverstone Woodlands will be going all out to ensure F1 fans and their families have a wonderful experience in a relaxing environment, complete with first-class facilities and extraordinary entertainment for all the family.

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Year after year, Woodlands campers are spoilt for choice when it comes to post-match entertainment. Guests can choose to chill out with a crisp pint watching F1 highlights in front of one of the many big screens set up for guests’ viewing pleasure, take the little ones for a spin the Dodgems in the fully functioning funfair, or enjoy one of the many live music shows on offer. From acoustic guitarists in on-site pub the Petrol Head to lively DJ sets in the Big Top, there really is something for everyone. And if comedy is more your bag, Silverstone Woodlands are building on the rip-roaring success of the comedy acts of previous years by scheduling two nights with a stellar line up on Wednesday and Thursday evenings.

Beer enthusiasts will be able to pay a visit to the onsite craft beer village which will be showcasing the work of world famous breweries such as Brooklyn Lager and Erdinger, all just a stones’ throw away from all the mouth-watering munch, including incredible artisan street food options, as well as traditional pies and perfectly cooked burgers, and more.

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F1 aficionados staying with us at Hotel Bell Tent will be able to make the very most of their weekend as we will be providing top-tier services, with a beautiful indoor bar and hospitality area, cosy night time fire pit circles, premium quality showers and toilets, a movie den, deluxe pampering areas complete with Hollywood mirrors and more. We will once again be teaming up with chef Eamon Fullalove, former head chef at Jamie Oliver’s restaurant Thirteen. As well as a truly delicious buffet breakfast, encompassing cooked and continental options, guests will also be able to enjoy snacks throughout the day and then indulge their inner gastronome with a relaxed feast each evening, as diners explore a different regional cuisine each evening.

When it comes to accommodation, it’s important to make sure your choice will be comfortable and, most importantly, hassle free. From En Suite Huts and Airstream Trailers complete with private bathrooms, to lovely yurts and bell tents to suit every budget, Hotel Bell Tent has an option that works for every group, whether you’re arriving with a group of friends, the family, or looking for something special for you and your other half.

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To explore how Hotel Bell Tent at Silverstone Woodlands can help make your weekend of Formula 1 even more unforgettable, take a closer look at all that is on offer on the booking page.

THE MAGIC OF STANDON CALLING: A FESTIVAL WITH SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE!

Since its inception in 2005, the story of Standon Calling festival has been somewhat of an adventure.

Founder Alex Trenchard described the event’s history for the Hotel Bell Tent blog, explaining how it grew out of a simple birthday barbeque, saying: “[In our second year] we built our own stage out of wood and invited the very first bands. That first stage blew over while the headline act was playing. Thankfully we've learnt a lot since those days, which is why in 2016 we've been able to book the likes of Suede, Jess Glynne, Kelis, The Hives and Everything Everything.”

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The festival is now practically legendary for its party status and its setting in the picturesque Hertfordshire countryside. Nestled in the Rib Valley, its location is genuinely breath taking and partygoers can bask in beautiful greenery without having to drop off the end of the earth – revellers travelling from London and Cambridgeshire can actually be there in less than an hour!

Standon Calling holds a unique position in the festival calendar as it expertly balances the needs of those looking for a laidback but lively party, as well as families in search of something fresh and exciting. This year, some of the amazing children’s activities on offer include campfire story telling, trapeze lessons, costume parades and readings from famous children’s authors Alice Hemming and Tamsyn Murray, while a beguiling line up of electronic acts including Detroit House master Theo Parrish and world-famous Metalheadz head-honcho Goldie will appeal to the grownups. “It really is a festival for everyone,” says Alex. “We want families to have an amazing time in the day, and by night we can't wait to see everyone partying until 5am in The Cowshed nightclub. Our annual dog show on Sunday is pretty unique and eccentric too. Not to be missed!”

Face Painting and Candy Floss as Standon Calling Festival

Music is always the centre of the show, with the festival organisers passionate about booking cutting edge acts and giving emerging talent a platform to shine. Some of the UK’s most successful stars including Florence and the Machine, Bastille and London Grammar made their debut there. Describing his musical highlight of last year, Alex says: “Basement Jaxx closing the main stage on Sunday was so exciting. So colourful and so memorable. A fabulous performance from them and a Standon Calling audience so ready to party – as always! This year I'm really excited about The Hives, Suede and Blossoms.”

Standon Calling is truly a feast for the eyes. With the festival built around a different story each year, the set design and theatrical element makes for an other-worldly space. “For 2016, we're telling the tale of the Legend of the Lost Seas. Expect truly impressive set design, immersive theatre elements, as well as an entirely unique Saturday night spectacle. Prepare to immerse yourself in the post apocalyptic pirate town that we will build. And don't forget to plan your costume for Saturday.”

For those of you hoping for some insider knowledge, when asked what tips Alex can give to make sure our guests get the very best out of their event, he told us: “Be curious. Try and seek out all the experiences Standon Calling Festival has to offer and talk to people. I like to think that Standon Calling is the friendliest festival there is.”