The utterly inessential Glyndebourne shopping list: A rug, a picnic basket and a £26,000 bangle…

We've rounded up all the utterly inessential products that you absolutely do not need (top hats for Ascot aside) to enjoy this summers season of festivals, shows and races. This week: Glyndebourne Festival.

Opera at its finest, Glyndebourne Festival is a British institution that is well-underway this year. Running from mid-May to late August, the festival is built around Glyndebourne’s stunning indoor auditorium, as well as their famous 90-minute picnic interval.

Dressing for work and drinks after is stressful enough (unless you’ve found the perfect dress and keep a pair of heels under your desk), but dressing for the opera and a picnic? Impossible!

Luckily Country Life has pulled together this year’s Glyndebourne must-haves to help you through this unchartered territory. So, from veteran to newbie, enjoy our latest utterly inessential offering.

Dress to impress


We begin, in true utterly-inessential style, with a bangle that costs more than the yearly salary of most of the bright young professionals who will be starting work in our capital shortly following graduation this summer.

Recommended videos for you

The Elizabeth coat by Favourbrook is stunning and will pair with anything from a plain shift to an equally bright dress underneath. Headbands are back with a vengeance – the kings crown headbands from Camilla Rose are particularly appropriate for this event, which is often frequented by the royal family.

Elizabeth coat, £1,250, Favourbrook,; headbands, £150 each, Camilla Rose Millinery,; bangle, £26,800, Susannah Lovis,

‘Life is a picnic on a precipice’ – W.H. Auden


You’d have to be a basket case not to appreciate a Fortnum’s hamper. The ultimate sign that summer is truly on its way, take a break from world-class opera with some world-class food from the picnic specialists themselves. No meal is complete without a bottle of bubbly; drink local with Nyetimber.

Piccadilly stripe hamper, £275, Fortnum & Mason,; sparkling wine, £36.99, Nyetimber,

I’m a fan of this look


The humble hand fan is much under-utilised and even more under appreciated. Use this lovely one to blow away the ever-growing crowds of midges from your new lipstick and finger sandwiches.  The natural look with a bold red is always a classic for any event – especially one outside where you run the risk of melting your mascara before even stepping foot out the car.

Be sure to touch up your Bobbi Brown after your glass of Nyetimber before returning to the auditorium.

Fan, £14.99, Historic Royal Palaces,; Les Beiges powder, £42, and tint, £48, Chanel,; lipstick, £24.50, Bobbi Brown,

See and be seen


‘Binoculars are invaluable. Possibly for viewing the lead tenor or soprano close up, or even to witness the full glory of a Joe Root sweep for four — but mainly to see who else is there.’ Says Rupert Uloth in his guide to surviving the summer season.

And to look good on the other side of other’s peepers, make sure you accessorise with flare. Glyndebourne is the event to go all out – pair a pattered dress with similar shoes in a different shade, don your finest jewels and enjoy the show.

Binoculars, £150, Henry Gregory,; rug, £52 by seasonal reduction, Fortnum & Mason,; necklace, £39,500, Susannah Lovis; shoes, £695, Emmy London,; eau de parfum, £200, Creed,

If you purchased our entire shopping list you would’ve spent £69,406.48 thanks to that nifty all-too-easy-to-misplace bangle and further offerings from Susannah Lovis’s beautiful collection. Next week: Ascot.