Whenever you mention the words summer, camping and music festivals, one word springs to mind – mud. We’ve all seen it: some of us may even have been unfortunate enough to experience it first hand. However, not everyone needs to have the same chastening experience. If you’d like to share this communal outdoor music experience, but would rather not rough it, then this could be your lucky year. Anyone wishing to lead the outdoor-life of Reilly, complete with antique leather Chesterfield sofas, gramophones and all other luxury trappings, can now get down with the kids: there’s just one proviso, however, you’re either going to have to be a celebrity/ pop superstar, or have a limitless wedge of cash to partake in the experience.
Photo credit http://www.canopyandstars.co.uk
The Oxygen festival which took place in Punchestown, County Kildare, this weekend had the traditional weather you’d expect for any 3 day festival: hot, cold, wet and windy – in fact all 4 seasons crammed into just the one weekend. That didn’t bother the headliners and their entourages though. Beyonce, Cold Play and the Black Eyes Peas relaxed in style between sets in their luxurious back-stage suites. No blow-up mattresses for these guys though; just traditional Chesterfield sofas and their own a la carte waiter service, backed up with a team of12 of Ireland’s finest chefs. Every gastronomic whim was pandered to. Sadly for the drenched festivals goer’s there wasn’t a seat to be has anywhere, certainly not an antique leather Chesterfield to curl up on: there wasn’t even room for an inflatable Chesterfield sofa. Still, I guess it’s all part of the experience, and that at least you can always say I was there, but frankly I know where I’d rather have been.
Anyway, enough of celebrities and divas: you, too, can add a touch of glamour to your outdoor holidays this year if you’ve get the wherewithal, that is. Camping is the all the rage, but for those who aren’t prepared to forgo all of life’s little luxuries and ‘essentials’, the latest trend is ‘glamping’. Essentially glamping is camping, but without the usual misery of mud, sweat and tears. Someone else puts the tent up for you and provides you with every conceivable thing you might need to make your stay just that little bit more civilised. If you want the ultimate glamping experience, then it has to be a yurt; an ancient Mongolian herdsman’s shelter, but complete with an antique Chesterfield sofa, Persian rugs, flushing loo, roll-top bath and, of course, a dishwasher. You won’t find many Mongolian herdsmen in Harptree Court, Somerset, but you’ll probably find a fair few well-healed individuals ‘roughing’ it over the course of the summer. If you like quite like the sound of reclining on a Chesterfield sofa, surveying the grounds of a Georgian manor house, you’ll have to get your skates on. Availability is limited, and you’re going to have to set aside at least £175 per night throughout the rest of the season.
Now, if you like the sound of glamping, there are cheaper alternatives out there and new ones are being added all the time. But, if we’re being honest you’d have to one tent peg short of a tepee to pay out that kind of money. Yes, it may well sound tempting, but let’s face it: it’s cheaper and probably more satisfying to buy your own Chesterfield sofa and tent and erect it in the back garden every time the sun comes out.