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Hilary and Dino’s Party Info

Against all odds, this actually seems to be happening! Hilary and Dino are celebrating some big birthdays with zeros in so what better excuse to have a party. No, it’s not in a trendy and annoying west-end bar, it’s in a field, with posh tents, great food, chilled activities and lovely friends (that’s you btw).


28th-30th August 2021.

Yes, that’s the bank holiday weekend. We’ll be there from the Saturday to the Monday. We’re assuming you’ll stay over on the Saturday night after the BBQ but hoping you’ll hang out and stay over on the Sunday too. It’s totally up to you.

Arrival on the Saturday is after 3pm

IMPORTANT: Let us know when you’re arriving

It’s all very casual but it would be great to get an idea of when you’re arriving. This is so we can organise food, activities and whatnot.


    Gravel Pit Farm, Gravel Pit Lane, Goudhurst Road, Marden, Kent, TN12 9NP

    They have a website where you can check out all the pics and whatnot

    The basics

    Gravel Pit Farm is owned by our good friends Annabel and Simon Elliott. If you’ve not been glamping before, it’s probably not what you’re expecting. It’s posh. Proper beautifully crafted wood and canvas tents, nice toilets, wooden floors, electricity, a proper kitchen and a lot more. Think boutique hotel, but will better views and louder birds.

    We’ll have some activities lined up but we’re keen for it to be as much as a getaway for you as it is for us. Just rock up on the Saturday, hang out, have a party and go go with the flow on Sunday / Monday. It’s will be relaxed. There won’t be minibuses at dawn and we won’t be watching the clock. There will be some relaxed activities like a visit to a vineyard, swinging by a local pub and some mildly amusing games on hand.

    What will be happening?

    This is purposely a bit vague but hopefully there will be enough stuff to keep you entertained, relaxed and generally having a lovely time.

    • Saturday 3.00pm – arrive, refreshments and whatnot
    • Saturday 4.30pm – vineyard visit (it’s a walk across a field away)
    • Saturday 7.00pm – dinner al fresco (ginormous lasagne and general jolliness)
    • Sunday 10.00am – breakfast
    • Sunday 11.00am – activities and exploring
    • Sunday 1.00pm** 1pm – Hog roast BBQ thing, booze and tunes **
    • Sunday 3.00pm – 3pm curious surprise event (she won’t tell me)
    • Sunday 7.00pm – supper and relax around camp fire, tunes and chats
    • Monday 9.00am – breakfast
    • Monday 10.00am – leave site with option to head for pub lunch

    What about COVID and stuff?

    Yeah, that. Hopefully you’re all comfortable with the opening up of restrictions… and that the government guidelines are still generous enough to let this go ahead. Clearly, if anything changes, we’ll have to bend with the flow. But in general, it’s outdoors, masks aren’t necessary unless you prefer to wear them but other than that, we’ll just follow the basic rules and recommendations. We’ve both been double vaccinated btw but feel free to do that awkward elbow / fist-bump thing.

    How can I get in touch?

    Probably best give Hilary a ring. If you call Dino, he’ll assume you’re a spam caller and will just stare at his phone as it rings. Hilary’s much better at answering her phone. And emails to be fair. So try these… or 07801 225660

    Got any pics?

    Yeah, we brazenly stole these of Annabel and Simon’s website where you’ll find a lot more, but here’s a flavour…


    Here are some answers to some of the obvious stuff. Clearly nobody’s asked us any of this so these are not strictly frequently asked questions, but you get the idea.

    How much does it cost?

    Nothing. You have to get there under your own steam but other than that, we’ll try and anticipate most things like food, drinks, the tents and all that jazz.

    Should I bring a present?

    It’s a lovely thought but it would be amazing if you could make a small donation to charity (unless the present is a 1971 Ferrari 246 GTS Dino (in red), then definitely bring that). The two charities that have (or are) affecting our families and are therefore close to our hearts are the MS Society and Alzheimers UK. As you may have picked up on, this weekend isn’t really about receiving your presents, it’s about <checks cheesy one-liner pamphlet> being in you presence.

    Can I bring a friend our dog / our horse / our pet?

    The farm rules say that dogs are limited to 2 per family. They have to be well behaved and ideally on a lead or tethered at all times. There are livestock (and much-loved chickens) on the farm and there have been some unsavoury incidents in the past apparently. Do let us know if you’re planning to being your dog so we know the plan. Horses, similar, although I’m unaware to any incidents where horses have attached chicken. Can’t be too safe though. Probably best leave lizards / hamsters / gerbils / snakes / goldfish at home too.

    What should we bring?

    Main thing is you. After that, just being what you would for a weekend away at a hotel, plus some outdoor gear to reflect the weather. Hopefully it’ll be lovely so dress appropriately, but likewise, there could be a shower or two, so, well, dress appropriately. Suncream / wellies know how this works.

    If it’s scorching, there may be nonsense like a waterslide, but possibly not. Possibly pack a random cossie just in case.

    Do we need to bring towels and stuff?

    Nope. Linen is provided (sheets, pillowcases, duvet covers, towels, bathmats and tea towels)

    Can I smoke?

    It’s the outdoors. Sure. But smoking and e-cigarettes aren’t allowed in the tents.

    Will it be an absolute banger?

    Really? At your age? That said, yes, there will be booze, general party nonsense but there is a 10pm music “turn down” limit to keep the neighbours happy, so don’t expect an Ibiza all-nighter. Waking up in a field at 7am, covered in dew, wearing yesterdays clothes and clutching a can of cider… is totally optional.

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