Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Ritzy Style ...with a Vest

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Ritzy Style ...with a Vest

Article excerpt

Byline: By Vicky Pepys

Brinkburn Music Festival is the Glyndebourne of the North," says Amanda Platt.

You might remember London stylist Amanda from the Channel 4 fashion programme She's Gotta Have It.

She was a highly successful personal stylist long before Trinny and Susannah had been invented. She was once described by Vogue as having perfect taste and continues to dress a sizable number of private clients.

Amanda has attended the Brinkburn event, near Rothbury in Northumberland, since it started five years ago. Her husband's family grew up in the priory, where the festival is held, and they now have a cottage next to it.

It would be very rude not to attend, but luckily Amanda adores the event and wholeheartedly enters into the spirit of the thing, inviting large numbers of friends to join in every year.

The Aga-warmed kitchen of the cottage has a rack as long as the room to hold 14 types of hats for visitors to choose from "to protect against the frizzies".

She's learned to style herself accordingly on her visits from London to suit the weather and is never without gumboots, a thermal vest and a duvet coat. "You can never predict the weather," Amanda laughs.

"I do think Brinkburn has developed into a sort of northern version of Glyndebourne," she says, referring to the calibre of performers such as Joanna McGregor (Bach to Brazilian jazz), the Rosamunde Quartet (Schubert to Shostakovich) and Gabrieli Consort (Byrd to Britten) who are to perform during the festival encompassing two weekends, starting on June 30.

Glyndebourne is of course a very grand affair. Its summer season stretches from now through to August and it has a 1,200-seat opera house (pounds 160 for top tickets) in sumptuous grounds in Kent.

There is a dress code ( a dinner jacket for men and usually a long evening dress or cocktail number for women. Apparently it is "non-obligatory", but lovers of the event do dress up, and it's now as much a part of the Glyndebourne ritual as ordering a whole lobster gourmet picnic on the lawn during the 90-minute interval between acts. …

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