What’s that you say? A party? On a private island? 2 hours from London? What a weekend.My friends and I were fortunate enough to be able to spend the weekend partying, making new pals and eating exquisite food, courtesy of Little Yellow Door for this year’s Little Yellow Weekender. Boy, it was one to remember!
Little Yellow Weekender took place on Osea Island, an exclusive and charming uninhabited private island which is located in the Blackwater Estuary just off the coast of Essex and is only accessible for a few hours each day when the tide is lower than the entrance causeway. The island has been dubbed as a weekend retreat and party destination by The Guardian. It has hosted rehabbing stars and celebrity ravers. Celebrities said to have stayed on the island (which also holds a secret recording studio) include; Amy Winehouse, Jessie J, George Ezra, The Weeknd and Poppy Delevigne… And now it was our turn…
The weekend long celebrations ran from Friday 14th July – Sunday 16th July and began with a pool party and feast with food from the chefs of Little Yellow Door as the islanders arrived via various methods, helicopter, car, a coachload from London and probably a boat or two. Unfortunately, we were aware that we were unable to reach the causeway before it was submerged in water on Friday evening and therefore planned to arrive on Saturday morning instead, thus missing out on the first night’s festivities. We were told on arrival just how great the previous night had been, it was obvious, there were a lot of sore heads on the island that morning.
The four of us arrived at the causeway at about 9am, Ready to tackle the soggy road and it’s many deep potholes in our little car (Tip: Take the biggest and most robust car you can possibly find – Just in case! It’s a little bumpy).
Breakfast outside the manor house
Breakfast outside the manor house
We made it onto the island, parked up and walked round to the Manor House where everyone was outside having their hangover breakfasts. We found a housemate called Kam (leader/orga
niser) who talked us through the itinerary and explained where we were able to exchange our money for the island currency (Osea Dollars) and enlightened us to the fact that we were booked onto the 11am Yoga session which was then to be followed by a picnic for lunch, sports day and then the ultimate dinner party in the evening.
I’ve never actually tried yoga before but am up for giving anything a go! The room was lovely, very zen, it looked kind of like a converted chapel – although completely white and with some open French doors at the end that were covered by a soft white curtain that blew in the wind. The session was taught by a young lady named Ruby Reed from the Advaya Initiative. Her Voice was so soothing and the moves and paves were able to be incorporated and enjoyed by both ‘Yoga Bunnies’ and ‘Newbies’ like myself.
Next up was lunch, and not a moment too soon. (It was a little later than expected due to an unpredicted downpour). It was a picnic in the garden behind the Manor House. A lovely serene setting and a great variety of food. A range of salads, salmon, sandwiches, sausage rolls & Scotch eggs (basically everything that began with an S). It went down a treat after a long morning of travelling and yoga! At the picnic we also had a chance to socialise with other people on the island, we got chatting to a friendly group of people who had rented out the biggest house on the island (the Manor House) for the weekend.
A lovely girl called Sara then offered to take us on a tour of the house. It was magnificent, one room even featured a full size snooker table, the bedrooms were super luxurious and there was a large living space on the top floor with a huge window overlooking the beach below (it reminded me of the window in Lemony Snicket’s ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’ that I used to imagine as a child), not to mention the numerous kitchens and bathrooms. And from the looks of the images on the website it would seem that all of the available houses were equally as lavish.
Spending time with our new pals
We chilled in the upstairs room with our new-found friends for a while, drinking wine and waiting for the sports day to begin.
The islanders were divided into 4 different teams for sports day (we were team red), which included all the best things from a nostalgic sports day; a 3 legged race, egg and spoon race and rounders’, as well as a few slightly more exhilarating and grown up sports such as dodgeball, volleyball, ultimate Frisbee and a waterslide! It was a great event! I’m not completely sure which team won (probably us) as we decided to go on a little adventure around the island’s beaches and to visit the resident donkeys before the sports had finished.
It was nearing evening time so we returned back to base to get glammed up for the dinner banquet which was located at the ‘bomb factory’. When we arrived we were greeted with a welcome punch as we waited for the latecomers to turn up. We were then directed to an outdoor seating area which had been laid out and it was just so pretty. It looked as though it was part of a wedding!
The food then began to be brought out and I was more than ready for 5 courses of heaven. The courses included; Mussels, Lobster and pea soup (INSANE – I keep dreaming about it), various barbecued meats and an Eton Mess (Sadly, I didn’t manage to get any photos of the food as my phone had a hissy fit just as we were arriving). They were also very accommodating to our group’s dietary requirements which was great and allowed us to feel that we were in safe hands and could just enjoy the evening without having to worry. It was such a lovely evening and an awesome experience, I want it to happen all over again.
Following the meal, we returned to the shack area where little campfires had been lit and an extra mysterious room had been transformed into a small club/ dance area with an extra bar. As the night went on I found my friends and I sitting around the campfire with DJ Davy Diamond blasting out all the best songs. At one point I think pretty much everyone was gathered around the fire and singing along. It was great!
The party then continued into the not-so-early hours of Sunday morning before everyone blurrily retired to their beds.
Sunday morning wasn’t great. An extremely sore head and covered in (approximately 37) bites all over my body! We staggered to breakfast – a glorious salmon and Tzatziki bap, it was just what I needed and so so good that words can’t even suffice. I ate overlooking the beach and it felt as though I was in a movie.It was time to leave. We had to make sure to be completely over the causeway by around 12:30 or we’d be stuck til evening, not that i’d have really minded.
I really would urge anyone who is given the chance to attend an event on Osea Island to do it! It’s so refreshing to be out of London and in such a remote place. It’s a chance create some unforgettable memories and to some new great people that you wouldn’t necessarily cross paths with in daily life. I’d love to spend more time on Osea Island in the future, I absolutely loved it. Well done Little Yellow Weekender, it was a great success… I just wish I’d remembered to bring insect repellent.For more information regarding Osea Island Click HERE
For more information about Little Yellow Door and Little Yellow Weekender: Website Instagram
Photos are a mixture of my own and those from Little Yellow Door’s Instagram and Website.