Posts Tagged ‘Camp Bestival’

Reviewed: Bindon Bottom B&B, Lulworth Cove, Dorset

| Hotel and B&B Reviews

Lulworth

Lulworth Cove, a mere 5min stroll away

On the road down to Lulworth Cove, with a tricky car park to pull in and out of, is the semi-detached 19th Century Victorian house that is Bindon Bottom B&B. It’s efficiently and cheerfully run by Clive and Lisa, who were a font of useful information in the face of the numerous emails and special requests I made of them (I was travelling at strange times, in a split group party, with a walking stick).

The interiors of this grand proportioned house are a calming blend of neutral tones, vaporised aromatherapy oils and antique French furniture that is sourced from a local dealer. The dining room, with name painted pebbles to denote your room’s rotating allocation for the day, has a huge bay window that overlooks the cows grazing on The Purbeck hills. Lisa and Clive source the majority of their yummy organic breakfast ingredients locally. You select your cooked choice the evening before, and are also free to help yourself to a fine spread of cereal, fruit and juices. Don’t miss the Dorset chipolatas – perfect with a squeeze of organic ketchup.

View

View from bed in the Barrie Room

I stayed in the Barrie room, named after the Peter Pan author. Two large twin beds and organic bedding provided a beautiful nights sleep for my friend and I. Lisa and Clive have worked hard to ensure this B&B is among the best in the country (it was awarded a certificate of excellence by Tripadvisor 2013), providing little extras that make your stay truly special: full-size Neal’s Yard products in the bathroom, shortbread, flapjacks, and crisps on the tea and coffee tray, extra bottles of distilled water to hand, chocolate truffles next to your pillow at night, and a discrete box of every possible ‘essential’ you may have forgotten. The Barrie room’s ensuite didn’t have a bath, but the fluffy towels and powerful hot shower made up for that.

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The Barrie Room. Credit: Bindon Bottom B&B Website

A helpful and interesting guide in the room not only told me about the local amenities, but also about the presumed links between Lulworth Cove and Barrie’s Neverland. There are striking similarities between the two. Inside the antique wardrobe I found the framed signature of the French madam who had originally commissioned the piece. This area, and this house, drips with history and Lisa and Clive have done their best to tease it out in a tasteful manner.

I only experienced two small moments of concern during my three night stay. The first was when Lisa and Clive were visibly reluctant to let my friend, and the two children she had with her (who’d been stuck in traffic for 5 hours in 36 degree Celsius heat), pop in to use the toilet. And the second was when our final breakfast was subtly interrupted to ask if we needed a taxi booking for us to leave. But, as this luxurious bolthole has cultivated a quiet, almost retreat atmosphere (and I was in my pyjamas, and hungover on the final day) I can forgive them for being protective of their balanced paradise. I hope to return with my partner for a blissful, relaxed break truly away from it.

Bindon Bottom B&B was recommended to my by the lovely team at Camp Bestival, as somewhere to stay local to Lulworth Castle. Garrison Car’s whizzed me too and from the castle in about 5 minutes. It’s a five minute stroll from the B&B to the pebble beach of Lulworth Cove, longer if you linger at the gift shops and cafes on route. Feeling energetic? Climb up the cliffs to view the natural rock formations of Durdle Door, a World Heritage Site and part of the Jurassic Coastline. It’s a stunning location for all ages.

Bindon Bottom B&B: Relaxed organic retreat in stunning surroundings. 4.9/5

View Bindon Bottom B&B’s site here.

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Confessions of a Festivalnista: Camp Bestival Backstage Bites

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Bestival 1

Yeah, yeah, I know festivalnista isn’t a proper word, but neither is fashionista and I published a book with that in the title. It’s that same book that saw me invited to appear at Camp Bestival, which took place in glorious Dorset this weekend.

I’ve been to festivals before, but never one this big, and never as an artist. It’s rather lovely having an ‘Artist’ wristband. My mates (who from now on will be referred to as ‘my entourage’) pitched their tent next to Katy Hill and calmly watched Mark Owen stroll past without squealing. I’m proud of you, girls. There’s a swanky backstage bar area called The Lucky Cat. It was decorated with opium den style slouch couches, Chinese lanterns and me, reclining in various positions, sipping gin coolers. And there really are nicer toilets in the VIP area. You know you’ve arrived when you have guaranteed access to loo roll on a festival site. I was so spoiled it almost made up for feeling like a loser for most of the ten years I spent working in the fashion industry. Almost.

Lucky Cat

The Camp Bestival site is a glorious sprawl of fun and colour, spreading around and away from Lulworth Castle like a fete on hippy crack. There were some big name acts that were lapped up, got down too, and generally screamed at by my entourage (told ya), including Grandmaster Flash, The Levellers, and the quite unbeatable Horrible Histories (I’m guessing the average age of our group was a shade older than their usual audience). But for me the true joy of festivals is found away from the main stage, in the unexpected gems you stumble across. The disco tent, the inflatable church with dancing barefoot vicars, the small child in a monkey onesie chasing and leaping after a bubble. It’s what you see on the way to the big stage that you really remember. Festivals are like life in that way.

I was very lucky to do my own turn in the Guardian Literary Tent. I regaled all with my powerful insight into festival fashion tips: get a gel manicure, get a blow dry, get your eyelashes tinted…only joking. As I said on stage, I always feel so happy when I’m at a festival, is it the alcohol? The communing with nature? The fact my entourage are all with me? No, it’s because I spend four days without mirrors. At best you might come across a small shiny plastic square stuck to the back of a portaloo door, which is so fuzzy and unclear it’s like looking at an Instagram of yourself. So my true festival fashion tips are: wear what makes you happy, and what you can pee easily in. Unless you’ve got access to those artist loos, in which case go for as many complexly fastened outfits you have to fully remove to wee in, as you like.

Thank you, Camp Bestival. It was a pleasure.

Bestival

 

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