Of all the summer festivals, the Hampton Court Palace affair is arguably the most quintessentially British. Taking place in the majestic grounds of the stunning 17th Century Tudor castle on the outskirts of London, the 10-night affair from June 13–24 boasts a must-see list of top-class musicians from pop and blues to classical and opera. The open-air Tudor Base Court showcases the concerts, as it is already known for world-renowned artists gracing its stage. Prior to the shows, guests can dine on picnics and quaff Champagne in the beautiful East Front Gardens, which provide a great setting for a midsummer evening.
Now in its 21st year, organizers are expecting crowds of up to 30,000 for the festival, which continues come rain or shine; it's advised to bring ponchos for when it inevitably rains. This year's lineup includes a two-night run from Cliff Richard, a musical icon for six decades, entertaining the crowds with hits such as “Summer Holiday” and “Living Doll” on Saturday and Sunday night.
The following evening, marking the festival’s last night, Joe Bonamassa and Beth Hart take to the stage for the finale. Considered one of the world's greatest guitar players, Bonamassa has opened for blues icon BB King at the age of 12. Singer-songwriter Hart is known for her powerful vocals and soul-baring performances. The duo will be performing songs from their highly anticipated second album as well as selections from their critically-acclaimed debut duo album Don't Explain.
“It's the mother of heritage picnic concerts [with] Champagne, picnics on the palace lawns and world-class musicians in an intimate setting,” said Jamie Wells, Festival Director of PWR Events. The festival has again joined forces with renowned celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s Fabulous Feasts to create top-notch picnics, costing around $115 USD for two people along with a bottle of wine.
Expect delights such as Barbecue-Blackened Free-Range British Chicken served with carrot, smoky beets, summer veggie pasta and a crunchy cashew nut and coriander salad. For dessert, there's a choice between golden syrup, stem ginger and walnut cake; or St Clement's Cheesecake Posset with British raspberry and vanilla jelly. Corporate hospitality is also available in the State Apartments for an exquisite dining experience. Take in the full splendor of King Henry VIII's Tudor Palace at the Hampton Court Palace festival this weekend for an unforgettable event.