Last weekend was Summer Fest at Waddesdon Manor and I was invited along to enjoy the day. Waddesdon Manor is a fantastic place to visit with a stunning manor house surrounded by immaculate gardens but Summer Fest brought the summer festival vibe to Waddesdon and around every corner there was something new to see or do, from street theatre to live music, delicious food, activities and performances.
The centre of the avenue was transformed into an incredible outdoor dining area, every table decorated with beautiful floral arrangements. Down either side of the front lawn was a wonderful variety of street food vans selling everything from tacos to South African Bokkie, Neopolitan pizzas to pakoras. If you’d brought a picnic there was plenty of space to sit down, relax and enjoy.
Spectacular Street Theatre
There was so much street theatre and entertainment that we missed the Desert Island Discs by Artizani, Thingumabob by Matt Pang and Anyone For Tennis by Fairly Famous Family but we did enjoy a journey into our imaginations on the amazing Flycycle by Pif-Paf and watch the incredible creations at Whose Hair Dares by Osadia! I was really struck by the careful selection of entertainment that appealed to all ages. You could sit down and watch any of the performances, as they were all enjoyable for young and old.
Family Fun, Games and Crafts
We wandered through the gardens to the Aviary live music tent and shopping village, where you could browse and shop for artisan crafts and gifts. There was a glitter stand where you could get festival-ready with sparkling glitter face art. You could even spend some relaxing time in the Family Craft Tent creating sea creature crafts with artist Anna Whetstone or get involved with the Great Waddesdon Colour-In.
We had great fun exploring the Actual Reality Arcade which included real-life versions of interactive games like Tetris, Space Invaders, Frogger and Pac-Man. This was an imaginative twist on old-fashioned village fête games. Adults, teens and young children were all getting involved and having a go.
Fantastic Live Music
Then we were drawn to the sound of 90’s rave music and turned the corner to find my favourite live music performers of the day… the absolutely amazing Mr Wilsons Second Liners. There was a great crowd dancing to infectious club classics played in the style of a New Orleans brass parade band. Brilliant! I did see some white gloves and big fish, little fish action. I could have stayed and danced along to those guys all day but it was time for a performance that we did not want to miss.
Eisoropia by The Bullzini Family
We headed back to the front of Waddesdon Manor to take a seat for the amazing Bullzini Family and we were not disappointed! The show involved thrilling high wire walking, balancing and even a head-stand, all without a safety wire or safety net. We held our breath watching the spectacle, in front of the unique back-drop of the manor house. The Bullzini Family was a real highlight of our visit to Waddesdon Manor Summer Fest.
When the brilliant Bullzini Family performance ended we sat down on the lawn to enjoy our picnic. I hadn’t appreciated that there would be such an array of amazing street food on offer and the heavenly aromas wafting across the front lawn were truly tempting. We treated ourselves to delicious ice creams from Marriett’s and ambled along enjoying the festival atmosphere until a waffle cone was dropped and there were the inevitable tears.
It was time to head home after a fantastic day out. There was so much to see and do at Waddesdon Manor Summer Fest and we will definitely return. Waddesdon Manor do put on spectacular events and after such a brilliant day I’m now really looking forward to Chilli Fest on Saturday 31st August and Sunday 1st September 2019.
We received complimentary entry to Waddesdon Manor Summer Fest so that I could write about the experience. The images, words and opinions are all my own. All photography is owned by Kirsty Hornblow. Please do not reproduce without permission.