This year’s Cliveden Literary Festival is on 28th and 29th September. Speakers include Oldie contributor Robert Hardman, Helen Fielding, Eric Idle, Robert Harris and Howard Jacobson.
The Old Un likes the festival, not just because of its dazzling speakers, but because of Cliveden’s eminent ghosts.
Here walks the spirit of the house’s old châtelaine, Nancy Astor; this November marks the centenary of her becoming the first female MP to take her seat in the House of Commons.
Around the swimming pool, there patter the wet, ghostly feet of Christine Keeler, Lord Astor, Stephen Ward, John Profumo and Russian spy Eugene Ivanov.
Walk down to the side of the Thames and you’ll find Spring Cottage, the charming
Gothic gingerbread house where, in 1961, society osteopath Stephen Ward first introduced Christine Keeler to Profumo. You can stay there for a Friday and Saturday night (from £1,050 for both nights). Never was scandal so comfortable.
Cliveden Literary Festival Sunday tickets available here (Saturday and weekend tickers are now sold out)