Phew! Things got a bit manic there for a while but I am now back to blogging my vintage escapades with the usual gusto.
The highlight of my summer was attending Twinwood for the first time and this blog post will be all about Twinwood from the first timers perspective and what I will do differently next year.
I attended Twinwood with the gorgeous and wonderful Catherine of Vintage Frills and the brilliant Emma, who is the mind behind the 1940s/1950's Most Marvellous Meet Ups Group that I belong to, as well as other members of our group.
Camping: I arrived at Twinwood on the Saturday morning and headed to Outfields Farm where we were camping. It was a good campsite with all the facilities you could need, and some we didn't use like a BBQ (but nice to have the option) It's a decent camping venue for those not wanting to stay on the actual Twinwood site.
The farm had a bus that drove to the festival, however when we discovered it was no more than a ten minute walk we took advantage of the periods of good weather and had a stroll. The buses were at different intervals on each day so this made it a little difficult to negotiate for anyone unable to walk the distance. On the first day we had missed the bus and some fellow campers drove us to Twinwood, which was very community spirited of them!
No grungy festival vibe at Twinwood!
First Impressions: Arriving at Twinwood was a little overwhelming. There were so many stalls and the programme was jam packed with all of the acts performing. Once in the festival itself we met with some other members of our 1940's/1950's facebook group for a quick catch up and walked around to get our bearings, the site is perfectly sized, not so huge that you have no idea where you are but not so small that you cannot move freely from place to place.
To do differently: Now I have experienced Twinwood I will definitely try to be less stressed next year, I tend to worry to much about attending these things and get myself into a bit of a flap, packing everything I own in case I don't look right or worrying about silly things. It's a bit of a curse but now I have seen it once I know I'll enjoy next year all the more!
Hmmmmmmmmmmmm... that is all!
Food and Facilities: We headed down to the main arena and got some food as we were starving by this time. Obviously you expect to pay a premium at places like Twinwood but I paid £10.00 for a very small burger and chips at one stall, there were other vendors I discovered later with gorgeous noodles and fish and chips in proper dinner sized portions so my initial disappointing and expensive burger was the exception rather than the rule.
The most important thing at these types of events is the toilet facilities! There were plenty of loo's and I certainly appreciated not having to queue, also there was always paper in them so I was never caught short.
Lastly on the subject of food I can recommend the carvery which was £9.50 and exactly what was needed after a hard weekend. I had my doubts about a carvery at an event but it was lush!
Things to do:
Shopping: What can I say about the shopping at Twinwood? It is insane. Some of my friends had saved loads to go crazy at the stalls but I had resigned myself to not buying anything new since I am (slowly) losing weight and don't need to buy anything at the moment,
Clothes, accessories, furniture and homeware, there is not much a vintage lover cannot find at Twinwood
A lot of the shopping at Twinwood is high end. If you are a fan of reproduction you can get some really good deals as the shops have promotions and bargain rails of older stock. In terms of vintage you are going to spend money at Twinwood for 1940's and 1950's but it is some of the better quality vintage I have seen and such wide variety. It really depends on the seller but I found the prices were higher priced than the internet as you would expect but about right in comparison to London's vintage shops.
We did visit the fiver vintage stall and I allowed myself one purchase which was a little out of my usual era's but I fell in love with a 70's dress and am looking forward to including it in my Autumn look book blog.
To do differently: As I have recently quit smoking I have made a pact to save as much as possible and will save up to treat myself to some high end vintage next year, also I will be ebaying all my clothing which is now too big, save save save!
We got our vintage decor inspiration from the exhibitions at Twinwood.
Museums: It may not be everyone's cup of tea but there are several museums at Twinwood including the Glenn Miller Museum and the Aviation Museum. Catherine and I dedicated the last day to seeing all of the exhibitions and getting our geek on. My personal favourite was the section of the aviation museum which was designed to look like 1940's shops as you can see above.
To do differently: Nothing, I would happily go and see them all again as there was so much to see!
Entertainment: There are several different venues within Twinwood and this year I didn't make it to all of them, this goes back to what I said about planning. For example there was a tiki bar which we wanted to visit but when we wanted to go it was raining heavily. The main arena is an obvious place to sit and let the entertainment come to you, The music did range in era's so there is something for everyone.
To do differently: I think it was good for a first time to just go and soak everything in but next year I will have a bit more of a plan, I usually listen to the bands I don't know on youtube to see if they tickle my fancy but I didn't have time this year. A bit more planning next year will mean experiencing more of the acts!
Dancing: I cannot dance to save my life but Catherine and I had both wanted to go to a dance class for beginners to get a taste for it. We attended the beginners Lind Hop lesson and although I was nervous, with a friend there it made it really fun and less daunting. I am thinking about going to lessons locally if I can work up the nerve as I would love to be able to dance with the best of them next year.
Catherine and I at our first dance lesson!
To do differently: Nothing! Always try new things and if it is available at Twinwood you'll be surrounded by people you can learn from! Go for it!
I hope this is useful for anyone considering attending a vintage event, especially for the first time!
Until next time