“Where curious minds meet”

The FT Weekend Festival is a day of inspiring and creative talks in the glorious grounds of Kenwood House. If you follow me regularly you will know that I love attending a talk or a panel discussion. It is not always about the goodie bag – yet that can be a lovely perk.

The true bonus of these talks is that you may not think you take away a lot, yet subconsciously you leave with a full mind. Potentially you may be walking away with that penny drop moment.

FT Festival Weekend

What is the FT Weekend?

A cultural weekend festival of over 100 speakers from authors, scientists, politicians, artists, journalists and chefs. They all share insights into their fields of knowledge. Across 9 different categories to choose from finance, lifestyle, literature and arts, there are over 50 talks to choose from on an hourly basis.

FT Festival Belmond Hotels

What to expect | FT Festival

Tents house the talks, and as they are located next to each other, it is easy to move from one talk into another without wasting time. All the talks will be live on the website so you can plan ahead.

The FT Weekend tent hosted the key speakers, and was under the subject of ‘Imagining a post-pandemic world’ the highlights were the excellent discussions with Sir John Major and Dame Sarah Gilbert.

The additional author’s tent is an excellent book shop, but also catch a speaker/author and get a book signed. They always make great gifts.

FT Festival | My highlight talks

Giving you a little idea of what is on offer, I thought it would be helpful to know what I had enjoyed last year. However, if I’m honest I wish I’d had a double to attend the other 8 I wanted to go to;

Museums under fire; Tristram Hunt and Enuma Okoro
Theatre – why we need it more than ever; Lionel Barber with Ben Okri
Are cut flowers harming the planet: Shane Connolly & Jane Owen
The How To Spend It style clinic – what to wear now: Roskanda Illincic, Patrick Grant, Charlene Prempeh & Jo Ellison
The Roaring ‘20s: a new golden age of glamour; Arnaud Champenois from Belmond, Harry Hastings, Marie-Louis Scio from Pellicano hotels, Tom Robbins FT travel & Tim Auld.

FT Festival Weekend | What I’m looking forward to 2022

The line-up for 2022 is looking good, already the confirmed speakers make the ticket worthwhile. Olia Hercules on Tasting Ukraine; Robert Harris on the art of the historical thriller; Gillian Text on ESG in the crosshairs; Henrietta Moon on can tech save the planet; Kenton Cool on Everest the inside story and investigative reporter Dan McCrum on the Anatomy of a scandal – inside the Wirecard investigation and why we fall for scams.

FT Festival Weekend | Eating and drinking

You can take your own picnic, but we had pre-ordered a picnic box from Honey & co, which went down a treat. We all took a large bottle of water, but I wish I’d also taken a chilled bottle of rose! There are drinks and street food trucks to feed you if you don’t want to take your own. Remember it is a long day, so if you are thinking of being there all day, pack for two meals with a few snacks.

Family verdict:

As adults, we had a great day and I cannot wait to go again this year. Our twenty-year olds came with us, and found it fascinating. They were both finishing university at the time, and I think they found the finance tent the most interesting, along with the key speakers. This year they are both busy, so can’t come – but both said they would.

I can sum up the festival as easily as I started this blog post with the quote “Where curious minds meet”. It not only brings curious minds together, you leave feeling inspired and energised – and that has to be a good thing.

Get £20 off your FT Festival ticket using this link code

Little London Whispers Super Seven