Travelled to Lincoln last weekend to see a football match, and went early in order to sneak an hour at Bunty’s Tea Rooms on Steep Hill (purveyors of fine Earl Grey tea and dandelion and burdock cake – yes, that’s cake tasting of DANDELION AND BURDOCK POP!).
Parking in Lincoln is like sewing with a feather, so we crept around for twenty minutes looking for a space AND IT WAS LIKE ENTERING ANOTHER WORLD.
The loooong school holiday means I haven’t been aware anything much above playdates and Clarks shoe-shops, so had no idea that the Asylum Steampunk Festival was taking place almost on my doorstep (not on my doorstep – I live in a forgotten land, nothing is actually on my doorstep).
It was bloody wonderful. Never has so much tweed looked so fine. There was a man with a propeller on his back and a woman with antlers in her hair – antlers. Feathers, lace, pin-stripes, butterfly nets, whiskers, parasols, goggles, goggles and some more goggles (I think goggles are compulsory, no?).The weapons were stunning; I can’t think of a better use for old curtain poles and abandoned bits of plumbing. And nothing looked crummy. It may have been my rose-tinted goggles, but there was no tin-foil-and-a-stapler school play look about any of it.
I spent so much time gasping and pointing, Bunty’s was already full when we got there, so we went to the utterly appropriate Brown’s Pie Shop instead, where the food, the dim lighting and lack of wi-fi was perfectly in tune with the theme of the day. It looked as if someone was about to bring out a set of angel bones and ask for wagers on the next tile.
Lincoln is the ideal setting for such an event, which made for a fantastical and inspiring spectacle. There are few better reasons to invest in a pinstripe corset and buckled boots and take up pipe-smoking.
The football? Yeah, well, it was a moral victory. The referee needed goggles.