The Diary: The Gentleman’s Journal Long Summer Lunch at Blenheim Palace

Oh, just a simple lunch for 150 of our very closest friends...

It’s the first weekend of August, which can really only mean one thing: it’s time, once again, for The Gentleman’s Journal Long Summer Lunch at Blenheim Palace — surely rapidly becoming one of the bastions of the social season. (We may be a little biased. We may also have had a little wine.)

And talking of bastions — has anyone wandered into the Palace’s Italian Gardens lately? Their golden stone towers glow and shimmer; their coves and porticos seem airlifted from some distant daydream. All in all, the perfect backdrop, perhaps, for this highly cheerful event — held in collaboration with Bicester Village, Land Rover, Nyetimber and Mirabeau.

More than 150 friends of the magazine gathered for the first day of the Wilderness Weekend in the glorious sunshine of the ancient Palace, cheered by a morning’s style hunting at nearby Bicester Village.

They’d been met on the platform of Marylebone Station in London by trainspotter extraordinaire Francis Bourgeois, who checked tickets and took to the tannoy to hurry guests along on their way to the rolling hills of Oxfordshire.

At Blenheim itself, singular grand table ran down the length of the private gardens, flanked on one side by tinkling fountains and manicured topiary and on the other by the cool majesty of the famous orangery. Around it, guests — such as Laura Whitmore, Jack Guinness, Francis Bourgeois, Amy Jackson, Ed Westwick, Eric Underwood, Cyrill Ibrahim, Che Lingo, Lily Travers and many more — enjoyed a quintessentially British feast of Blenheim Lamb, marinated chicken with chorizo, and skewers of salmon, all washed down by Nyetimber’s glorious sparkling wines and Mirabeau by the magnum.

Then it was a simple(ish) case of ferrying the merry bunch over to Wilderness Festival in a motorcade of all new Range Rovers, where they danced the night away at the Nyetimber Party and beyond. What fun!

The long table in the Italian Garden at Blenheim Palace
The Flag Twins
James Rae, The Marquess of Blandford, Dave Tollemache, Max Chilton
Ciinderella Balthazar
Ed Westwick and Amy Jackson
Francis Bourgeois
Jack Brett Anderson, Max Hurd, Hugh Lawson-Scott
Tatiana Mountbatten
Cyrill Ibrahim
Andrew Georgiades
Jack Guinness
Richard Biedul and Mathias LeFevre
Max Hurd, Hugh Lawson-Scott, Toby Watkins, Jack Brett Anderson
Alexander Spencer-Churchill, The Marquess of Blandford, and David Tollemache
Jemima Cadbury and the Duke of Marlborough
Luca Faloni
The Marquess of Blandford and Chloe Chilton
Joe Kennedy and Matt Rendell
Guests were kept refreshed thanks to plenty of Mirabeau Pure rosé
The all-new Range Rover in the Great Courtyard at Blenheim Palace
Lily Travers, Henry Lloyd-Hughes, Wij Travers, Francis Bourgeois, Max Dodd-Noble
The Italian Gardens at Blenheim Palace
Freddie Pearson steps out of the all new Range Rover
Mirabeau Pure rosé
Mathias LeFevre, Cyrill Ibrahim, Scott Staniland
Tamara Hales and Henry Hales
The Marquess of Blandford
The Nyetimber Bar overlooking the Italian Garden at Blenheim Palace
Chloe Chilton and Max Chilton
Henry Lloyd-Hughes
The all new Range Rovers line up in the Great Courtyard at Blenheim Palace
Mathias LeFevre, Ciinderella Balthazar, Sam Way, Lisa Way
Jim Chapman
Naa-Okailey Adamafio and Che Lingo
Pouring out Mirabeau Pure rosé in the Italian Garden
Eric Underwood
Lily Travers
Francis Bourgeois
The all new Range Rover arrives at Blenheim Palace to drop off guests
Toby Watkins
Oliver Proudlock and Laura Whitmore
Erik Underwood, Richard Biedul, Oliver Proudlock, The Flag Twins, Francis Bourgeois, Jim Chapman
Henry Lloyd Hughes and Lily Travers
Che Lingo
The all new Range Rovers line up in the Great Courtyard at Blenheim Palace

Further Reading