This weekend, The Amorist will be attending Port Eliot Festival in south east Cornwall. An ancient stately home with surrounding woodland gardens, it has hosted a festival since 2003.
Self-described as ‘a celebration of words, music, imagination, ideas, nature, food, fashion, flowers, laughter, exploration, fun and all that’s good in the world’, The Amorist always keeps a space for Port Eliot in her diary.
Editor Rowan Pelling joins author Allegra Huston to discuss her debut novel Say My Name - a sensual story of Eve, an older woman who enters an affair with a man twenty years her junior.
Eve recounts her own trip to Port Eliot in this extract:
‘She tells him about a garden tour through England, her one major trip without Larry. The giant banks of lavender at Hidcote; the stone terraces half-taming the wild hillside below Haddon Hall. The last stop was Port Eliot in Cornwall, an estate threaded with grassy paths and hidden dells and, near the river, a high privet maze. When the group broke up and everyone wandered separately, their paths crossing with random suddenness, a rogue thought came to her: this is the perfect garden for an orgy. She could almost see it: people wearing opulent, half-undone clothes chasing one another by moonlight through that tamed wilderness, rolling together in the little dells sheltered by flowering bushes.’
The Amorist feels an affinity with Eve; Port Eliot makes the perfect climax for any trip and an excellent setting for a spot of sultry indulgence. Whilst tickets are sold out for this weekend she definitely would recommend a trip to the house and gardens at some point during the summer.
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My most beautiful of all little blue grey mouse catching, pearly bottomed, creamy-thighed, soft-waisted mewing rat-pursuers!
Letter from Peter Pears to Benjamin Britten, 1941