The Amber Lakes summer showcase was well worth the trip out of town
 

I don’t like to bang on about the weather, but the prospect of spending an afternoon in the countryside, in March, was a chilly one. Fast forward to my arrival in Sunnymeads in Berkshire and, well, I’ve got my sunnies on.

 
Amber Lakes summer parties showcase venues an hour from london events daiquiri fountain
 

Send your guests entry wristbands in the post ahead of time

 
A fleet of Land Rover Defenders are primed to take guests to the 450-acre site. As we descend, I can see huge tipi crowns peeping out above the trees. As we get closer, a stage, daiquiri fountain and fleet of dragon boats come into focus.
 
I’m one of the first to arrive, so after grabbing a white sangria, I kill some time by checking out the venue itself, a newly built lodge that opened last summer.
 
Standing in the purpose-built event space, I can see this making a special spot for away days: antler-motif chairs, an open fire and faux animal skin rugs inside, a jetty with views onto the water and over to James Bond Bay and Cigar Island outside. 
 
As I head back outside for a daiquiri, it’s obvious the ‘festival’ is in now full flow. Stilt walkers duck inside the three-domed tipi where guests fill their own doughnuts, sample pintxo (Spanish snacks) and have some obligatory face glitter applied. 

Amber Lakes summer parties showcase venues an hour from london seafood raw bar grilled
 
Outside, though, the smell of flame-grilled scallops is drawing the Instagrammers who top their molluscs with the likes of salsa verde, gremolata and crispy bacon before getting a snap of their mini-masterpiece on its shell – and then devouring it.

Amber Lakes summer parties showcase venues an hour from london festival fun band
 
It wouldn’t be a festival without music. Our feisty compere does a fine job of introducing local acts to the stage to draw those distracted by the falconry and school sports back to the party. As I leave, I can hear the sound of shrieking laughter as the first full dragon boat leaves the jetty – I think the daiquiris had just kicked in.
  

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Send your guests entry wristbands in the post ahead of time
 

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Catering Jimmy Garcia Catering
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Amber Lakes venue hire

Amber Lakes venue hire

Amber Lakes festival showcase

Amber Lakes festival showcase boat