Thursday, 14 June 2012

A Tent in The Garden!

The time is fast coming 'round for me to start planning the annual 'Hill House August Summer Party'.

There was a time when one could safely assume that August meant hot sun, blue skies, fat bumble bees and even fatter strawberries. Alas, there are no such certainties in life any more...or perhaps it was just (to slightly miss-quote Prospero in Shakespeare's The Tempest)Such stuff that dreams were made of?

But surely not just a dream - who else is 'young enough' to remember the Summer of 1976? The newspapers were full of stories of children frying eggs on the melting pavements; the traditional British hose pipe ban was in full force - with good reason, and I burnt the soles of my feet walking across the stones on Brighton beach - oh glory days!

Now, I'm not afraid of rain - what true Brit could claim to be - we're made of stern stuff over here. But what is a girl to do with such inclement weather when she has a Summer party to organise - wellies and Summer dresses simply do not mix in my book - unless I looked like Sienna Miller - and I most certainly don't - even if you squint your eyes...

But of course, back to the question in hand - what to do when it threatens to rain on ones parade? Get a marquee - that's what!

I prefer the traditional sort, plain canvas with pointed tips and open sides.

This allows the children to run free and the dogs to roam wild...but that does also mean letting in the wind and rain...

The problem is that I can't stand the plastic 'windows' in non-traditional marquees...

Give me a good open sided 'tent' any rainy day. Well...any rainy day after a jug or two of Pimms...

As I said...we're made of stern stuff over here...

Images courtesy of; 1); 2); 3);4,5,6) unknown 7&8); 9); 10); 11)Myself & Mr. Sutton at our June wedding reception 13 years ago - and yes - it rained all day!!!



  1. What an enchanting post! The pictures are beautiful and I know too well what you mean by plastic windows! The absolute horror but very common these days. From what I see from the last pic I am not all that sure that you aren't as beautiful as Sienna - to say the least! I am curious what you'll choose... Christa

  2. Such a gorgeous location, would love to live here! hope you are having a happy week sweetie
    Bee happy x
    Have a delicious day!

  3. Good morning, Paula!

    Well, as I type, I do so with some reservation because out here,they warn you to NOT be on a computer during our THUNDERSTORMS, which we are having AT THIS VERY MOMENT! It is TOTALLY DARK OUTSIDE at 9:45AM and now the rain is pouring. Where I live in the MIDWESTERN USA, the people are made of STERN STUFF! Below 30 degree F. winters and other madness, one learns to go with the flow....I just KNOW your event will be gorgeous! Happy day, Anita

  4. Such a fun post! Especially love the picture of you on your wedding day. By-the-way, you look better in that dress than Kate's sister Pippa if you ask me;)

  5. Well I suppose if you got one large enough you could avoid the rain lashing down by grouping in the middle. The only problem is the howling gales that seem to accompany the rain! I'm with you on the plastic windows, they are not pretty.
    How well I remember the summer of '76. I posted about it being the only year of my childhood that the town's open air pool was warm!

  6. Hi, Paula ! I spent the Summer of 1976 in Canada and it was the worst ever. I was shocked to see dried-up lawns and burnt-up trees when I came back to France. I love the wellies-summer dress look, probably because it is so British, but will we really wear summer dresses ever again ?xx

  7. Love your wedding pic, Paula! Great shot. Okay, I'm on standby for an invite to your August summer party :-) Hope you all are getting lots of sunshine. I'm currently in Sweden, and it is quite chilly. Actualy, windy and cold!

  8. Lovely pictures. I too like marquees but if it is a cold damp summer day in our beautiful green land it has to be sides down and I don't even mind plastic windows. I often think that is why we have twinsets to fend off our chilly evenings but on reflection I suppose an elegant shawl could be another answer :)

  9. Lovely post and pictures. I know your party will be wonderful whatever your select. I love outdoor parties. "Marquees" are wonderful for protecting guest from the blazing sun as well. Enjoy the planning. I prefer sides tied back and a chandelier hanging from the center.

  10. There is nothing more festive than a tent in the garden. I love it. I also love Pimms :-) Have a great weekend, Phyllis

  11. That looks like a jolly good wedding! I am planning a shindig too! As we are up on a hill it gets a bit blowy and so a marquee is challenging! My fall back position is the cowshed or barn made over with bunting and twinkly lights!
    I really enjoyed your previous post Paula...Hmm, I can't bring myself to say Drawing Room as it feels too grown up! I definitely love my "snug"! And I guess we have a sitting room "posh!" not very Jane Austin is it? Tee hee,

    Sarah -x-

  12. "Hill house Summer party" sounds wonderful...I'm sure it will be done beautifully with your impeccable taste.
    Oh, and a pointy roof definitely!
    Julie x

  13. I love annual events that become traditions. I always host the July monthly book club meeting, alfresco with fairy lights etc, but alas no tent as my garden is too weeny.I'm with you on the open sided tent by the way. Those ones with windows are for softies!

    Gazing out of my office window looking at the lashing rain I wonder if the summer of 76 really happened? Will we ever have sunshine again?!

  14. I'm not complaining, but these tents are bigger than my whole yard (: Our SoCal "lots" are tiny. Hoping your event is full of sunshine.

  15. Looking out of my window in Shropshire, I would be tempted to forget about sensibilities & have some form of wind shelter on the weather side; if it has to be the ghastly plastic ones, then they should at least be dressed with something pretty.

    The weather forecasts are not looking any more promising as they keep putting Summer forward & you really don't want your elegant party to resemble Glastonbury ...

    Whatever you decide, I am sure your wonderful style will make it into an beautiful occasion.

    Dee at the Carlton

  16. A garden party! My favourite kind! With you on those horrible plastic windows - very naff. I'm sure yours will be beautiful. I LOVE the cabbages & roses one above - I would love that as in my garden all Summer long! It's like an extra room. Can't wait to see the pics of your party!


  17. Hi Paula,
    Thanks so much for your comment on my blog. I'm your newest follower!, you have a beautiful home; lovely to meet you
    Jenah xo

  18. Hi Paula,
    I'm a bit behind myself this week, but I loved this post.
    There's something quite special about a party in a tent, and I'm sure yours will look fab!
    As for the weather-It'll be a glorious day and a balmy evening. Failing that, I'm a great fan of the wellies and frock look.
    Have a lovely evening

  19. All these images are fantastic and then to find that the last one is your wedding day?
    Well, THAT was icing on the cake!
    Lovely post.
    Thanks for sharing!
    Hope you have the perfect weather for your August soiree... not too hot or too chilly!


  20. Oh dear! Fabulous images!!
    I just love the way of celebrating in the uk!
    And that last picture of your wedding is just beautiful!
    I am always dreaming away by seeing pictures of the beautiful houses an gardens in the UK!
    Beautiful post again Paula!

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