Salon Privé has established itself as the leading luxury-lifestyle concours event in Great Britain. Founded by the Bagley brothers, Andrew and David, Salon Prive mixes a traditional concours with restoration shops, classic car dealers, modern supercars, art dealers and luxury brands.
What started out as a smaller upscale event at the private Hurlingham Club next to the River Thames, later migrated to Syon Park on the outskirts of London and this year moved to the prestigious grounds of Blenheim Palace to become a full-fledged top-scale event.
As in the past few years, the event starts the day before for the willing participants at the RAC Club in Epsom, where they depart for a 120-mile driving tour through the British countryside before arriving at the palace grounds for the evening’s gala dinner.
It’s pretty hard to resist the change of dining inside an actual palace while a string quartet is playing 10 meters above you.
The event itself spans three days:
- The first day being the actual day that judging commences and the Best of Show winner is revealed — a 1952 Jaguar XK120 Jabbeke.
- The second day is Ladies Day, which in proper English fashion means dress to impress. To motivate the finery, main sponsor Boodles, creator of fine jewelry for over 200 years, donates one of their rings for the lucky lady that gets chosen as Best Dressed.
- The final day is Supercar day and i’s basically a second concours in its own right held at the front of the Palace.
I felt that while the GT and sporting cars were well represented, there could have been more pre-war classics. But at least while it was chilly, there was very little rain despite the threatening clouds.
Besides, Salon Prive really is more of a luxurious garden party where they serve Pommery and Pimms all day. Did we also mention the barbecue lobster for lunch? And naturally there’s high-noon tea with scones, cream and jam.
Photography by Dirk De Jager