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  • Writer's pictureLow Hall The Lakes

Gladiators, fairies and a feast of fun in the sun

Updated: Jul 25, 2019

Heroic battles, arts, romans, music, clowns, face painting, dancing, endless games, hoola hooping, kite making, talented makers, a whispering woodland, a delicious BBQ, one fairytale parade and of course, the odd refreshing Loweswater Gold and G&T or two in the sun. That was the magic of Midsummer Dreaming.

With our calendar filling with wonderful weddings, when three wonderful ladies from Handpicked Productions came to us with their vision on Midsummer Dreaming; a family arts festival packed with creativity and bursting with fun; we of course had to squeeze it in.

And then the realisation dawns.

Looking after a barn full of big kids is one thing, but a garden full of excited actual kids is another. But oh what a joy it was.

Seeing our garden so full of laughter and kids just being their awesome little selves was just awesome in itself. It was a truly magical day. To give you a little more detail of what we had going on, well, where to begin…

Young, old and everyone in between, including myself, got the festival vibes started with making their own flower crowns with Harriet from Cumberland Flower Farm. Set up in the front garden, it was a little bit idyllic.

Choosing from a beautiful spectrum of flowers, tying them as one rainbow to reflect your style and rocking them all day long. The crowns were worn with pride and were complimented fantastically with some jazzy facepaints.

The colourful, creative faces were painted by our circus friends from RagTag Arts. One green, extremely tall fairy and one green, regular sized but extremely mischievous, miming man. Both had everyone in stitches, on stilts, juggling and getting up to all kinds of circus fun.

Although some (unsurprisingly really) found them a little terrifying, both had everyone in stitches, on stilts, juggling and getting up to all kinds of circus fun.

Down at the Sycamore Den, Romans battled and brave gladiators fought bold and fearless. Yep, you’re still reading the same blog.

The brilliant guys from Mufti Games created a mini colosseum, which was brought to life by the raw anticipation and excitement of spectators young and old, who soon found themselves to be Centurion warriors.

In between battles, 3000 year old board games continued to hold the tension throughout the afternoon.

Venturing into the Whispering Woodland, families could relax and enjoy the birdsong or run around and play their own song on various instruments strung from the trees. The beautiful little clearing has now played host to two wedding ceremonies also, it really is a special little woodland.

Moving into the Lovable Old Barn, Morgan Murray Arts brought a rainbow of colours and had everyone getting crafty and creating their own flying fish kites. They then sauntered all around the garden, swimming gracefully above excited heads, which I’m sure continued till way after bed time.

Heading upstairs under the old barn beams was the Maker's Market, with some of Cumbria’s most talented folk, who all shared their skills.

The super cool Matty’s Makes creates all kinds of interior wonders out of copper pipes and distressed wood. Those who know us, will know we do love a copper pipe here at Low Hall The Lakes, so we were very excited to have these join us.

The awesome Kate from Foxfold Designs works with you to create all kinds of wonderful bespoke gifts. From intricate paper engineering and detailed vinyl art, to playful flasks, jewellery, tops and bags. I wanted to gift them all to myself.

Helen from Elvin Crafts practises a traditional skill and somewhat of a lost art, which she brought to the little hands of Midsummer Dreaming. Not only did Helen have beautifully crafted willow baskets, animal sculptures and garden furniture to purchase, but the kids got to try the skill and made willow fish to take home.

The lovely gals from Sister Sister brought their own gorgeous style. Personalised gifts and quirky items, from slate etchings to giant gin glasses, they brought something for everyone along with beaming smiles and even a raffle.

Crafty Corner came with a colourful corner of characters and fun. Fairies and unicorns sat alongside unique earrings, bags and all sorts of lovely gifts, which the little folk of Midsummer’s Dreaming couldn’t get enough of!

If you weren’t lucky enough to catch them this time, click on any of their links above to find out where they’ll be next or visit their online stores.

Joyous sounds came from the wonderful Sessionistas and complimented the summer fairytale festival. Strolling around the gardens, playing the most glorious of covers and my all time favourite Disney soundtrack, the Jungle Book.

Keeping everyone fed was Gareth & his team from Smoke BBQ Events. I think even those who had brought a picnic, couldn’t resist the tasty smells that sauntered through the air. On the menu was a feast of local produce, all spiced, pickled and BBQ’d to perfection.

And then there was us guys, Team Low Hall The Lakes on drinks and ice cream from the Orchard Bar. Serving the local loves; Loweswater Gold, Bedrock Gin, Hartleys Ice Cream and homemade pink lemonade by the barrel load.

Rounding up the day was a fairytale parade, which every one there gleefully joined. Led by the extremely tall fairy and the mischievous miming man, the Seshionistas played loud, kites swam high and flowers crowned every happy being at this very happy event.

The heart and soul of the day came from the vision by Handpicked Productions to create something where families take part as one. Not because Mum's being bullied into it or Grandad won't ever let it down if he doesn't, but because they feel so relaxed and at home in their surroundings, they don’t even need to be nudged. It was about taking part, getting creative and enjoying time with your besties; your kids, your mum, dad, in-laws or your new pals. It was to bring something new and extraordinary to West Cumbria for locals and visitors alike.

It was superb and totally magical, coming to life in the magic of Low Hall The Lakes.

People say the sound of kids’ laughter is the best, it certainly rang true here on July 6th. So here’s to the next Handpicked Productions at Low Hall The Lakes.

October 12th pop it in your calendar.

Thanks to Handpicked Productions and every one who came and made it the awesome day that it was and a massive thanks to Joe Mather Photography for capturing it so beautifully. Make sure you check both talented forces out!

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