PlanetSKI Heads to Henley
13th September 2021
Last modified on September 16th, 2021
After a series of summer activities in the UK due to being unable to reach the mountains we are rounding things off at the Henley Festival before our thoughts turn to autumn glacier skiing and winter. Believe it or not the Festival has some associations with skiing.
The link is mainly because we are heading to the boutique black tie festival by the banks of the Thames this Thursday.
A certain James Blunt is the headline act and not only is he a very keen skier, he has a chalet in Verbier and has a lift named after him.
He officially opened the 6-seater chairlift from above Les Ruinettes to Attelas several years back, and everyone in the resort simply calls it ‘The James Blunt’.
Concerts and tours permitting he is in Verbier many times across the winter ski season.
Henley is also home to the BBC Ski Sunday presenter and former Olympian, Graham Bell, who is a regular Henley Festival goer.
“It’s a wonderful event and once again I will be there this year,” said Graham to PlanetSKI.
And we’re going to the event with a couple of local Henley area residents, Vanessa Fisher, who runs one of the UK’s leading ski PR companies and Francesca Smith who used to run Powder N Shine and next winter is launching a new holiday company, Mountain Spy.
Regular readers will know we forsook summer in the mountains this year due to Covid-19 and the associated travel restrictions and decided to do a host of things in the UK instead.
We’ve hiked part of the South Downs way, been cycling in Cambridgeshire, taken a flying lesson over southern England, lived it up at the Latitude Festival, and much else besides.
Check out the pictures and links from our other summer outings at the end of this article
We are heading to the Scottish Highlands next month, but now we are turning our attention to Henley.
The Henley Festival is an exclusive boutique black tie festival which takes place over five days celebrating the best of UK and International music and arts.
It embraces a vibrant programme from pop to world music, classical to jazz where art and gastronomy share equal billing with music.
It runs from from Weds 15th – Sunday 18th September with headliners including Sophie Ellis-Bextor, James Blunt, Sister Sledge, Madness & Yolanda Brown.
There’s comedy from Al Murray, Milton Jones, Shappi Khorsandi & many more.
There is Jazz music, World Music, Classical Music as well as food from Micheline starred chef Angela Hartnett MBE and Jimmy Garcia.
“A festival like no other – think Glastonbury meets the Great Gatsby ,” said a statement from the organisers.
“Henley Festival is situated alongside the river Thames, with festival goers arriving by boat – fireworks every night, and a family friendly day on Sunday.
“The perfect way to get dressed up to celebrate the end of the summer.”
See here for the full details: The Henley Festival.
General admission tickets are £50, with the seated area priced at £75.
2020 saw a digital edition of Henley Festival, the return of a physical event will once again see festival goers arriving by boat as they step onto the green lawns of the festival area.
It was established 38-years ago as a classical music charity event.
The Henley Festival is the UK’s only black-tie festival.
Henley Festival ends each night with firework display.
It’s designed by Titanium Fireworks, the team who have put on some of the UK’s biggest firework shows in the last decade including the 2012 London Olympics, the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, the London New Year’s Eve Fireworks display and Hogmany in Edinburgh.
We’re looking forward to it all later in the week.
And dusting down our dinner suit and making sure the trousers haven’t shrunk round the waist during the pandemic.
Do check back later in the week for our full report….
We dressed somewhat differently at an earlier summer festival this year.
And here are some of our other summer excursions in the UK: