Day 1 Meet the coach in London, visit Penshurst Place, check-in at the Grand Hotel Eastbourne, private drinks reception, dinner
Our Glyndebourne odyssey begins in London at 10.30am when we meet our executive coach. En route to Eastbourne we visit Penshurst Place in Kent, one of the finest fortified manors in England and home to the Sidney family for over 450 years. The 14th century Great Hall is the architectural gem of the building and this - as well as other important rooms - will be seen on our special private tour. We follow this with an included lunch in the restaurant at Penshurst Place. We then travel on to the 5* Grand Hotel in Eastbourne for a four night stay. With its uninterrupted views of the sea and surrounded by ornamental gardens and tennis courts, the Grand Hotel is one of the most magnificent Victorian hotels in the country. Completed in 1875, but totally refurbished and modernised in 1999, the hotel dominates the beautiful shoreline of King Edward’s Parade. Over the years, its visitors have included Winston Churchill, Charlie Chaplin, Arthur Conan Doyle and King Constantine of Greece. Also, Claude Debussy completed his three symphonic sketches for orchestra La Mer in Suite No 200 at the hotel, in 1905. A private drinks reception in the lobby of the hotel will be followed by dinner in the restaurant.
Day 2 Morning opera lecture, visit to Charleston Farmhouse, lunch, opera performance, dinner
The morning begins after breakfast with a lecture by Peter on the opera that is being performed at Glyndebourne in the evening. After this, our coach takes us to Charleston Farmhouse, in Firle, which is famous for being the country meeting place of the Bloomsbury Group. The story begins in 1916 when Virginia Woolf suggested that the painters Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant make the farmhouse their country home. ‘It will be an odd life’ she wrote ‘but . . . it ought to be a good one for painting.’ Charleston is an example of Bell’s and Grant’s decorative style within a domestic context and represents the culmination of 60 or more years of artistic creativity. After lunch, we transfer to nearby Glyndebourne to view this evening’s opera performance. We have an included pre or post-opera dinner in one of the excellent restaurants in the opera house complex.
Day 3 Lecture on the history of Glyndebourne, a day in Lewes, tour of Anne of Cleves House, lunch, free time to explore Lewes, dinner, private concert in the hotel
After breakfast, Peter presents an illustrated study session on the history of Glyndebourne and its musical associations with composers, performers, designers and directors. We then make our way by coach to spend the day in Lewes, one of the most beautiful and architecturally rich towns on the Sussex coast. Among other things, Lewes is famous for its 15th century bookshop, its Norman castle, and for being home to the townhouse of Anne of Cleves (fourth wife of King Henry Vlll). Although Anne never lived in Lewes, the house formed part of Anne’s divorce settlement from Henry VIII in 1541. It now displays period furnishings, various every day domestic objects and tells the story of Lewes from the 15th century to modern times. We are scheduled for a guided tour here in the late morning, after which we enjoy lunch at a nearby restaurant. In the afternoon there is free time to explore the historic high street and you may wish to visit the famous bookshop, or perhaps explore some of Lewes’s many antique stores. Afterwards we return to Eastbourne. This evening we have an included dinner at our hotel, followed by a private concert in one of the function rooms. The music performed will be drawn from - or inspired by - the world of opera. The performers will be announced later in 2017.
Day 4 Morning opera lecture, free time, lunch, visit to the Towner Art Gallery, opera performance, dinner
Again, after breakfast we start the day with a lecture by Peter on the opera that is being performed at Glyndebourne in the evening. After some free time to wander along the waterfront, visit the pier, or take morning coffee in the hotel lounge, we have lunch together at the hotel. In the afternoon we visit the Towner Art Gallery, an award winning contemporary art museum which has over 4,000 works by historic, modern and contemporary artists including works by Edward Bawden, Paul Nash, and Duncan Grant. We have an introductory guided tour of the collection and then make our way by coach to Glyndebourne for this evening’s opera performance. Again, we have pre or post-opera dinner at one of Glyndebourne’s Leith run restaurants.
Day 5 Morning lecture, visit to Mayfield, organ recital, visit to The Pantiles in Tunbridge Wells, visit to Church of King Charles the Martyr, lunch, return to London
After breakfast and a summing up lecture by Peter, we make our way to Tunbridge Wells via the historic village of Mayfield. Peter was born in this village and was head chorister in the parish church of St Dunstan’s. Mayfield has an interesting history. It rose in importance during the boom of the Wealden iron industry in the 16th and 17th centuries, but before that, it had connections with the Archbishops of Canterbury, including St Dunstan (909-988), who is said to have tweaked the Devil’s nose with red hot tongs drawn from his forge in Mayfield Palace. Writhing in agony, the Devil is said to have leapt into the air and cooled his nose nine miles away in the spring water of The Pantiles, Tunbridge Wells. Peter is scheduled to give an organ and song recital in St Dunstan’s church. Following on with our theme, we then make our way to The Pantiles in Tunbridge Wells to view the Georgian colonnade, the minstrels gallery, as well the famous drinking well. Perhaps we may even sample some of the health giving waters which are noted for their high iron content. We also visit the church of King Charles the Martyr (founded in 1676 and the first permanent structure erected in Tunbridge Wells) to hear Peter sample the excellent organ. We then have lunch together at Woods, a long established restaurant in The Pantiles, after which we make our return trip to London and end our journey in the late afternoon at our original meeting place.
NB:- Please note we reserve the right to alter the above itinerary if required for operational reasons. Given the historic nature of the places visited, a certain degree of walking will be involved, and this holiday may not be suitable for those with mobility problems.
Front stall seats at two Glyndebourne operas: Cendrillon (Cinderella) by Jules Massenet and La Traviata by Giuseppe Verdi
Lectures by Peter Medhurst every morning
Organ recital by Peter in St Dunstan’s church
Organ recital by Peter at the church of King Charles the Martyr in Tunbridge Wells
Private concert with Peter & friends
Two pre or post-opera dinners at Glyndebourne
Drinks reception on day 1
Two dinners at our hotel
Included lunch every day
5* Grand Hotel in Eastbourne
All excursions, entrance fees, guided tours & gratuities included
Executive coach throughout
Tour of Anne of Cleves House
Towner Art Gallery
The Pantiles - Tunbridge Wells
Church of King Charles the Martyr
We stay four nights at the 5* Grand Hotel in Eastbourne (www.grandeastbourne.com). The hotel commands breathtaking views of the sea and the dramatic cliffs at Beachy Head. It is only a short walk from the pier in one direction and the glorious Sussex Downs in the other and is ideally located for our itinerary. Dinner in the hotel is included on our first and third evenings, with pre or post-opera dinners at Glyndebourne’s Leith run restaurant on the other two nights. Our rooms are standard Deluxe Inland Rooms (Deluxe Side Seaview rooms and Executive Inland rooms are available at a supplement - see below). All the bedrooms have private en suite facilities and are equipped with colour satellite television, complimentary mineral water, Nespresso machine, Molton Brown toiletries, bathrobes and slippers.
Standard Deluxe Inside single room supplement £259
Deluxe Side Seaview or Executive Inland single room supplement £419
Deluxe Side Seaview or Executive Inland twin/double room supplement £100 per person
Click Here to download the Brochure and Booking Form and then post the completed Booking Form with your deposit payment as instructed on the Booking Form. Please note that you cannot book this holiday online. Once you receive a Confirmation & Invoice from us as confirmation of your booking, you can pay the final balance by following the instructions set out in your Confirmation & Invoice.
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Tailor make your group tour
If you are a Group Organiser and think you can get a group of 15 or more, we can tailor make your own tour exclusively for your group.
Call us on
020 7064 4970
to tailor make the perfect tour
for your group