Monday, December 3, 2012

Jane Austen Festival Bath 2012 - My take on a fabulous festival!

Well I have been back from my travels through England for two months now and have only just sorted out my images!

Needless to say we had a fabulous time at this year's (2012) Jane Austen Festival in Bath! I always say costuming is like time travel, and this Festival took me back to Regency England.

The memories are still spinning through my brain. I met FaceBook friends in the flesh and made new costumer friends as we lived the life of Regency England during the time of Jane Austen.

The first highlight of the Festival was the Grand Regency Costumed Promenade, over 500 costumers from around the world walked through Bath, recreating the time of Austen. The inner city of Bath is closed down and we took over. It is an amazing sight! Everyone was friendly and approachable and in good cheer, we met the people with whom we would share the Festival over next 10 days.

I am creating a video from my all my photos, but until then, here is the professional video of the Promenade from the Festival organisers.

After the Promenade we went to the beautiful Bath Guildhall to enjoy a delicious lunch and then to explore the Festival markets.

The stalls were full of temptation, but sadly our money was still being transferred so we could only look, however I did buy the most delicious pink bonnet!

That evening we went to see a play in the Guildhall, its title sadly escapes me but it was an 18th century play that Jane herself had seen in Bath. The trials and tribulations of married life and greener pastures. The actors were marvellous!

The rest of the week was filled with workshops, we went to one on corsetry held by Charollte Raine. We had the opportunity to try on different types of stays 

Back view of wrap around stays
Charlotte fitting stays
Another interesting workshop was on the shoes worn by Fanny Brawne, who was loved by Keats, but they never married.
Side lacing walking boots, very comfy
Pretty pink dance slippers
We went on walks around Bath with guides, the most memorable was the country walks Jane took with friends and her sister, my those women could walk, we were exhausted at the end of them. I learnt heaps of information about Jane, her life in Bath, the music of Bath and so much more.

We went to evensong in Bath Abby dressed in Regency garb, the choral music was exquisite and the sermon was about saving the environment, which pleased us greatly. 

We also took an excursion to the Bata Shoe Museum, oh my, as I am a 'shoeaholic' I was in 7th heaven!

Then of course there were the evening entertainments, I have already mentioned the Play, but we went to a musical of Sense & Sensibility, an evening in the Drawing Room with delightful musical entertainment and the best night for us was the Games night where we played fabulous Regency games. We stayed in the card room and now I understand why gambling was so addictive in the era!

The food at all events was always delicious.
Finally there were the marvellous balls, the Festival ball at the Pump Room and Roman Baths and the ball held in the Upper Assembly Rooms. The event started in the Roman Baths, very atmospheric!

The second ball was in the Upper Assembly Rooms, so we played cards, drank champagne and danced where Jane Austen had danced!

Our last event and last day in Bath was spent at the Royal Crescent Hotel having afternoon tea, which was delicious!

and then we took a turn in the gardens ...

Sadly, it was all over, I have no idea when we will return, but the memories will last forever!


  1. ooh, spotted the very top of my head in the luncheon picture. lol

    1. LOL, it was a delicious feast wasn't it :)

  2. Looks like you had a marvelous time! I will get there one of these years.

    1. Oh we did, it was like time traveling! The atmosphere of the buildings, the lovely Festival goers, the wonderful events all worked towards taking us back to another time. I really hope you do get there one day Jennifer :)


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