Armed with crisps, chocolate, cake, cookies, houmous, bread sticks, melon, cherries and posh lemonade we staggered under the weight of food, picnic blanket and chairs to find our spot on the North Lawn. We were really lucky with the weather, no rain, but a little chilly. We had dressed with lots of layers and these were definitely needed as the sun set. We then spent a few minutes in fascination watching the crowd of 5000 arrive and set up “camp” with Union Jack flags, lanterns, blankets, elaborate picnics, tables, sun loungers etc. etc. We had definitely travelled light!
The Proms was spectacularly opened with an aerial display from a world war 2 Hurricane accompanied to music from the London Gala Orchestra. The effect was amazing and quite emotional. By this point the children were “hooked” and all three of them took video footage on their phones.
The evenings compere was Clare Frisby from BBC Look North. We were then entertained for the rest of the evening by soprano Joanna Forest, The London Gala Orchestra and Brit award winners Blake. The girls thought that Joanna Forest looked like a princess in her stunning red dress! The music was incredible and evocative and although my children have limited experience of listening to classical music the tunes were all easily recognisable to them from TV and films. As the event was relaxed the children were able to wander down to the lake, dance or do anything they wanted to do really! There were also plenty of toilets and food stalls. The event is definitely geared up for families.
As night fell the lanterns in the crowd lit up, which created a magical effect. We were then treated to a fabulous laser and firework display, choreographed to Jerusalem and Rule Britannia, to conclude what was a memorable evening.
As a whole family we really enjoyed the Castle Howard Proms and hope we are lucky enough to be able to attend next year. Next year we will add flags, lanterns and more substantial table and chairs to our “must pack” list!