Dumbleton Days 2018 (UK)

Dumbleton Days is a UK event sponsored by Martine Rose of Roses Repartee held October 21-23, 2018. It’s similar to the Sparkle event held by the River City Gems each year in Sacramento. The name comes from its location, the Dumbleton Hall Hotel in the Cotswolds with this years theme being “Witchcraft and Wizardry”. Here is Martine’s account of the event.

Dumbleton Hall Hotel

I think I can claim that our first Dumbleton Days event at the Dumbleton Hall Hotel in the Cotswolds was a huge success. Everyone was saying, as they bade farewell, how much they enjoyed it and how much they were looking forward to coming again next year.

Maxine and I met up with Yasmine and Karen at the hotel on Saturday afternoon, gate-crashing a wedding group that were celebrating a wedding that day. As the wedding party had taken over most of the hotel we had been unable to offer the Saturday night as an option for our group but Maxine and I needed to get there early to get things organized for our event that was to begin on the Sunday.

As we completed our preparations, our group arrived over the course of Sunday but regrettably a few did not make it. This was unfortunate as we’d had an unusual number of cancellations for this event, a few only days before, and all for unavoidable reasons. Annoyingly, nearly all the cancellations were from couples but I was only able to re-let the rooms with single occupancy individuals. But though our overall number was significantly less than it could have been, it still felt we had a good number to suit the size of the hotel.

Sunday evening was when our event really got started with a Witchcraft and Wizardry party. We had chosen the theme because the hotel made us think of Hogwarts and Dumbledore. Many of us were dressed in witches costumes as we assembled to enjoy our complimentary Prosecco’s before a really excellent dinner. After dinner most of our group retired to the bar and lounge for drinks and chat whilst some of us danced to Neil’s disco until late.

Martine, Maxine & Yasmine dressed for the Witchcraft and Wizardry party Photo by Mathew

Martine, Maxine & Yasmine dressed for the Witchcraft and Wizardry part.
Photo by Mathew

We had a very full (too full!) programme of events for the Monday as this was the only full day when all our group would be were present. First was a treasure hunt which was due to start at 10am but many were still having breakfast and others wanted to get ready for a deportment workshop by Kitty Ribbons at 11. I had only allocated an hour for the hunt as I thought it was going to be too easy (but I would think that because I set the clues!). Those who took part found it much more challenging than I had expected and one or two gave up, but nevertheless really enjoyed doing it.

Those who did Kitty’s workshop really enjoyed it too. She is a wonderful lady who really inspired us. Then our photographers, Mathew and David wanted to take a group photo at the lakeside and before the hotel. Fortunately we had amazingly good, sunny weather throughout our stay at Dumbleton.

Ladies at Dumbleton days

After lunch there was the second of Kitty’s workshops, followed by a fashion show put on by M&Co. M&Co was one of our traders along with MissTresses Wigs, Queen Bea makeovers, Pre-loved Bridal Boutique and the afore-mentioned photographers. The fashion show was very much enjoyed, not only by those who volunteered to be models, but by all who watched too.

With so much packed into the day, there was little time left to get ready for the evening. I had quite an elaborate costume (which included a corset) to get into and I was late getting down for the pre-dinner assembly. Before dinner a group photo (this time with all our group) was planned around the stairs in reception and Mathew took great care getting us all into position so everyone would be in shot.

Dumbleton Days

After dinner we had burlesque from Kitty who started covered in balloons but popped them all by the end of the performance. This was followed by our usual Miss Rose of the Year parade which was won by the lovely Joy. We were pleased that the judges chose Helena as the runner up as it was her first time out dressed in public. Jasmine won the best costume which was hardly surprising as she wore some amazing costumes throughout our Dumbleton Days. Kitty had an excellent second burlesque performance before the disco took over the rest of the evening.

Some of our group went home on the Wednesday and the rest of us either relaxed at the hotel, explored the wonderful hotel grounds, did a ramble in the beautiful nearby countryside, or drove to one of the many local places of interest. Maxine and I visited Tewksbury which is an interesting historic town only a few miles away. We had nothing planned for the Wednesday evening but it was pleasant to relax and chat along with other guests who had also booked into the hotel that night. I had a very interesting chat with a lady who was very curious about our group and I was more than pleased to enlighten her.

So ended a delightful few days at Dumbleton. I am already planning next year, taking on board the main criticism that there was just too much packed into one day. Next year I will spread things out over the four days we will have next year even though that will mean those who do not attend the optional days before the core two nights will not be able to do everything. But then they would not have time to do everything anyway if I packed everything into the only full day that everyone will be present, as was the case this year.

ladies at Dumbleton Days

Ladies at Dumbleton Days

ladies in costume at Dumbleton Days

I hope you will join us in 2019. Please see the details here.

Here are some of the 2018 Dumbleton Day scheduled events:

Burlesque and deportment Workshops:
First we met Kitty Ribbons who will be doing a burlesque performance for us on the Sunday night and a couple of workshops during the day on the Monday of the October event. Actually it was agreed she would do two short burlesque routines, one before and one after the Miss Rose Parade which will also be held on the Sunday evening.

Treasure Hunt & Dumbleton Details Search
Then Maxine and I explored the hotel to sort out locations and clues for a Treasure Hunt that we plan to have on the Monday. I also took a load of photos of various details around the hotel which guests can search for during their stay in October (I have not posted these on the website!).

Fashion Show and Designer Dresses for sale
We also visited Jayne at herPre-Loved Bridal Boutique’ which is not far from Dumbleton. Besides a fabulous collection of wedding dresses, Jayne has hundreds of beautiful designer dresses in stock at very reasonable prices and all sizes. She will be bringing a good selection to our event and we’ll be having a fashion show where you could be a model if you wish. Even if you don’t want to buy a dress, you will be able to try any of them on and be photographed by the professional photographer who will be at our event.

Pre-loved bridal boutique

Coach trip to Sudeley Castle and Gardens
For those staying the Tuesday of our Dumbleton Days, I’m planning a coach trip to Sudeley Castle and Gardens. It looks like a very interesting place to visit, not too far away, and provided we get at least 15 interested, the group rate including coach travel both ways would work out at about £21 each. Please let me know if you’d like to do the trip.

Suddley Castle and Gardens_

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