Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Not the Goodwood Revival...

Ah, September.  The most vintage month of all months!  Because of course, the Goodwood Revival is on!  I love Goodwood. I love the Aero Club cafe and the interesting people you meet there, I love The Kennels, I love the statue of Douglas Bader. I even love the wind on the airfield, though it ruins my hair.  But I especially love The Goodwood Revival.  Seeing the race track & airfield done out in nostalgic fascias, with the incredible cars & planes, and everyone looking so smart in their vintage, is a wonderful sight.

My husband is a pilot, and flys from Goodwood, as his father did.  So the place has a special magic for us, and as members of the Aero Club we get to cross the barriers and be 'up close' with the planes.  Here we are several years ago at Goodwood.

Please excuse the extremely non-vintage hair here! I was just beginning!

Yet somehow, we always have other important engagements during the weekend of the Revival, and since the above photo was taken about 6 years ago we haven't managed to attend.  This year was no exception as we were invited to the wedding of an old University friend, who had decided to get married in Krakow.

I have to say, I was not completely thrilled about going to Poland.  The trip took up our modest holiday budget for the year, and I imagined it would be cold, and stark, and very former Soviet bloc, and pretty miserable overall.  I could not have been more wrong.

Krakow turns out to be a spectacularly beautiful city, with much to keep you interested.  I could easily have spent a week there and not have been bored.
There is a fanastic antique & vintage market, which was held in the main square every day of our trip:

My husband was particularly taken with this old soviet flying hat! 

Blue skies!  We had 27 degrees on one day!

The city feels really safe at night & family-friendly. Although there is obviously a seedier side to every city (particularly those which have the honour of being great stag do destinations!), it is very well hidden in Krakow.  This may be because of the influence of the Catholic church - we saw a lot of nuns!  I didn't notice any obvious red light areas, though I do know some of our party ended up in bars charging over £100 per bottles of Vodka, in return for the presence of some scantily-clad lovelies!

The bars & cafes around the main square have open-air tables, so provide blankets in the evening to ensure you don't get cold:

Since Poland has not yet adopted the Euro currency, it is cheap to eat out - more so in the restaurants off the square.  An enormous main meal, with wine & beer set my husband and I back the princely sum of £14. There are a good variety of restaurants, but my recommendation is to head for those selling local food, which is delicious.  So long as you like plenty of meat & dumplings (which with my European ancestry, I do!).
After a meal, head to a cafe for some vodka tasting...

A selection of flavoured Vodkas set us back all of £4
Then move into the main square to the cafe which sells only puddings.  Try the Sultans Spaghetti (not pasta, as you can see!).  It's made up of caramel ice cream, with figs, prunes, sultanas, tonnes of cream & various sauces.  Enough for about 4 people!

The cream clogs your arteries, but the prunes keep your regular!

I was disappointed not to be there long enough to visit Auschwitz, which is fairly nearby and very affordable to get to.  It seemed a real shame to be so close and not to take advantage of visiting such an important site, but it was not to be as we simply didn't have the time.

We took the spirit of The Revival with us, and added some good old-fashioned glamour to the weekend.

On Friday night, we met up with our friends for drinks, and one commented that we looked as if we'd stepped out of the 1940's.  Well, duh!

For the wedding,  I wore my red M'lady dress by Able Grable.  I had this made earlier in the summer, as a present for my birthday.  It was the first of the design to be made in Red silk, and I am completely thrilled by it.  I cannot sing the praises of Miss Matilda Grable enough! 

I received so many compliments on the dress, mainly of the 'ooh, wow! You look like a film star' variety,  (shh, don't tell them, but this is what I was going for!). I still have a way to go with mastering my 30's hairstyle, but it did me for the day!  I was thrilled on my return for the designer, Miss Matilda, to ask to use one of my photos on her website in October (not one shown here - you'll have to go to ablegrable.com in October to see it!)

Not to be outdone, my husband wore his grandfathers evening suit from the 40's, swapped the jacket for a vintage velvet jacket, and use his new steampunk-inspired pocket watch to time his MC duties.  He was very dashing.

We already know that next year we will be attending another wedding  which will again clash with The Revival, - but this time nearby in Hampshire, so we'll definately be at Goodwood in 2012 for at least one day!

It was a shame to miss another year at Goodwood, but really who could complain about spending a few days in such a beautiful city, in the company of good friends?  It was a thoroughly spectacular weekend - even if there were no other vintage chaps & chapettes around, and not a Spitfire in sight! 

All that remains is to say Congratulations to the happy couple - ladies & gentlement, please raise your glasses of Polish Vodka to Neil & Susannah!  Cheers!

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