Let me set the scene…
It’s a beautiful early August day in Stockholm. The weather is overcast, but fine. An 18th century picnic has been planned on the grounds of Drottningholm Palace – the 17th century summer palace that is now the residence of the Swedish royal family. For days Elisa and I have been following the weather report with eagle eyes, discussing the exact chance of rain. On the day, we are triumphant: overcast it may be, but the prediction is for a <10% chance of rain.
We get dressed in 18th century finery: lacing our stays, and pinning on our gowns. All dolled up, we trip downstairs and out the front door, breathing in the crisp fresh air: just cool enough to make our layers a pleasure rather than a penance.
I scamper across the road, and put my hand on the car door handle, waiting for the click of the electric key.
And feel it.
A drop of moisture. One small spot on my hand.
Surely an anomaly! One tiny drop, and it will blow over. Right…
Alas, alackaday, no. Wailey wailey.
By the time we arrived at Drottningholm it was raining.
Undeterred, we set up a picnic under a huge oak tree in the ‘English’ park, across from the swan house:
Rain or no, I was very excited to meet other historical costumers. It’s so amazing to get to see people you’ve ‘known’ online, and exchange ideas in person. I got to meet Emma who tested the Charlotte Mantle!
Emma was one of a number of costumers who wore 18th c Swedish ‘folk’ dress. I am extremely envious: so practical for the weather, and it’s so neat to see examples of 18th century garments other than the English-French-American style.
I also got to meet Suvi of Summer Sun Stories, wearing a jacket made from one of her amazing fabrics, and Johanna of Enhörningen_och_draken wearing the most fabulous tabbed front ensemble (sadly not one of her amazing tiara though)
While the view was very picturesque, the rain got progressively heavier, and we got progressively damper, and we finally had to concede that it simply wasn’t picnic weather.
So we scampered across the grounds of Drottningholm, through the formal Baroque Gardens, to Kina Slott, the fascinating Chinese-inspired pavilion that’s such a good example of 18th century chinoiserie that it’s a huge part of why Drottningholm is a UNESCO world heritage site.
On the way we picked up more costumiers who had started from a different point on the grounds.
(this was the guard house, and it’s made of painted metal! Copper, if I remember correctly)
By the time we crowded in to the cafe in what used to be the kitchens under The Confidence (the dining room with a table that was lifted up on an elevator, so no servants disturbed the meal) at Kina Slott, we were a merry, if very damp, group.
After waffles and tea we explored the Pavilion and took photos.
Every room in Kina Slott had a different theme:
The Gold Room (with birds and butterflies!):
(look at the floor! Look at the wallpaper! Look at the ceramic stove (one of my (many) absolute favourite things about Sweden)).
@loiseaudelapluie was wearing a just finished Angelica Gown. She made it 3/4 length because of the fabric she had, and I love it. It reminds me of some of the Dutch jackets of this era.
Go check out her IG – she has the most delightful video of all of us leaving Kina Slott where you can actually see the building. I am extremely annoyed with myself: I was so damp and overwhelmed I completely forgot to get an outside photo of the Pavilion.
Elisa and Jan, the author of Tragedien på Tärnaholm
The Green Floral Room:
The Blue Room:
@astridangelica looking like an angel in her chemise a la reine.
The Yellow Room:
This is made of beads!
The Green Chinoiserie Room:
This was my favourite, although I rather felt like we were in some underwater realm!
The Red Lacquer Room:
The Marbled Entry:
An absolutely lovely time – but I hope next time (and I hope there is a next time!) there’s a little less rain!