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Spotting an advertisement for the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens’ Summer Festival featuring Handel’s Coming Home! on Twitter thanks to the Handel House Museum, I grabbed my girlfriend Natasha and headed out to the gardens I had read so much about in 19th century British literature. Of course those gardens that attracted the creme de la creme of British society are no longer in existence but this evening’s festival took place in Vauxhall’s Spring Gardens which were a short walk from the train and tube station.
 The good weather had lasted the afternoon long and we crossed our fingers in hopes that it would last through the evening so the concert would not be rained out. And weren’t we lucky because it was a perfect evening to be outside.
 Families, couples and groups pulled out chairs, blankets and grabbed food from a couple food trucks while enjoying beers from the local pub on the grassy lawns surrounding the bandstand as programmes were passed out detailing the evening’s schedule. We oow’d and aww’d over the choice of music including Handel, Rossini, Holst and selections from Les Miserables and Pirates of the Caribbean.
 And what a delightful evening it was! The band was delightful and skilled, the soprano, Felicity Hayward, was lovely and the conductor, John Holland, was a riot — hilarious, adorable, entertaining, and the star of the night. We also learned a new song – Thomas Arne’s Rule Britannia – which we found ourselves humming back to the tube station.
“Rule Britannia”
Rounding out the evening, the fireworks were a triumph and perfectly accompanied by Handel’s Music for the Royal Fireworks and selections from Pirates of the Caribbean.
 Bravo! Bravo! we called along with the happy audience and a toe tapping encore was played complete with fireworks although unfortunately Natasha and I failed to recall the song’s name.
 But what fun! We were truly delighted to have been able to partake in Saturday’s festival.
 xx Joy Michelle
Outfit: Tunic by Yuki