Thursday, 24 April 2014

Glorious Goodwood

Step back in time on a truly memorable vintage break

Written by Wendy Gomersall
Sue O’Donoghue has possibly one of the best jobs in the world. As costume curator and theatrical coordinator to the Goodwood Estate, she looks after more than 5,000 items: costumes, vintage clothing and fashion accessories, from the Regency period, right through to the 1940s, 1950s and Swinging 1960s.

Some are retro, in that they are made in the style of, while others are the genuine article. Sue haunts auctions, jumble sales and eBay to „ nd more sartorial treasures – mending and cleaning as necessary, then hanging them in a large room full of other beautiful shift dresses and ball gowns, hats, jackets and coats, handbags, scarves, wraps and sunglasses.

The whole collection, used for the Goodwood Revival, the annual, historic motor race meeting, is insured for a considerable amount of money, and Sue is fiercely protective of them all, calling the clothes her ‘babies’. Now, however, she has agreed to allow guests who book a new Vintage Treasures Break at the nearby Goodwood Hotel near Chichester, to dress-up in them – and what a fun minibreak it makes.

The Goodwood Estate is set in 12,000 acres of Sussex countryside, and has been the seat of the Duke of Richmond and Gordon for more than 300 years. On arrival at the Goodwood Hotel, you will be taken to a refurbished room, where a few outfits in your chosen style and size will be waiting for you to try on.

Once happy with your outfit, the stylist from Hairport, who specialises in period hairdos, will transform your look, followed by makeup and nails. My friend Vicky and I loved our outfits from the 1950s and 1960s. You can spend the rest of the day looking wonderful and enjoy a champagne afternoon tea at Goodwood’s private members’ club, The Kennels, or look around Goodwood House, with its magni„ficent art collection, or stroll around the grounds.

Travel-Apr25-02-590Left: Champagne afternoon tea. Right: Vintage outfits await guests

After a rest, it’s time to change for dinner at the Two AA Rosette Richmond Arms Restaurant. We had delicious Goodwood venison and the best pork belly I have tasted.

Next day, after breakfast, you could have a golf lesson with one of the resident professionals at the Golf Academy – Goodwood has two golf courses – or take a spa treatment (at extra cost).

The Waterbeach spa o›ffers a range of treatments, including massages, facials, manicures, pedicures and eyelash extensions – the latter essential for the 1960s look.

The one-night Vintage Treasures Break costs from £195 per person (two sharing), including costume hire, hair, make-up, nails, champagne tea, dinner, accommodation, full English breakfast, and use of the health club and indoor pool. Private golf lessons cost from £40 per person per hour.

To book, and for more information about the activities on offer at Goodwood: 01243-775537,

Prices correct at time of going to press.

Contact Wendy at

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