The first ever Cliveden Literary Festival

On the 14th-15th of October 2017 The London Journalist is excited to join fellow writers, journalists, politicians and poets in a revival of the literary salon at Cliveden House for the inaugural Cliveden Literary Festival.

Over two days the Grade 1 listed Cliveden House will be opening its elegant doors to the public with a brand new literary festival which will feature events focused on literature, history, politics, powerful women, art and exhibitionism.

The unique programme will allow guests to be able to meet and debate with some of the greatest living writers of our time including Ian McEwan, Sebastian Faulks, Robert Harris, Tina Brown, Antonia Fraser and many other stars of literature, politics and history.

Cliveden House's captivating history of politics and intrigue, aristocracy and espionage, sex and scandal as well as their beautiful gardens, 400 acres of pristine Berkshire countryside and grand staterooms will serve as a dramatic and inspiring backdrop to this weekend of intellectual frivolity. 

Since 1666, Cliveden House has been known for its revered literary salon which has inspired writers such as Lord Tennyson, Sir Winston Churchhill, Rudyard Kipling, HG Wells, JM Barrie, George Bernard Shaw and Alexander Pope. 

The house, which is now opening as a 5 star hotel, has served as a sanctuary for many esteemed guests including Queen Victoria, Charlie Chaplin, the Asquiths, Arthur Balfour, Lawrence of Arabia, the pioneer aviator Amy Johnson, Mahatma Gandhi, Winston Churchill, and FD Roosevelt.

Over two days, events at the festival range from:


Acclaimed thriller writer Robert Harris, Booker Prize-winning novelist Ian McEwan, and literary icon and author of Birdsong Sebastian Faulks on the secrets of their craft.

Sebastian Faulks, critically acclaimed author of Birdsong.

Sebastian Faulks, critically acclaimed author of Birdsong.



Andrew Roberts talks to Antonia Fraser, the Grande Dame of historical biography; Simon Sebag Montefiore leads a discussion on a century of Russian revolution, and debates the status of the Middle East a hundred years after the Balfour Declaration.


Howard Jacobson savages Trump; Michael Gove on how to make a scandal in politics; Kwasi Kwarteng on the high stakes of British politics today, while Sarah Vine arbitrates.

Michael Gove, British Conservative politician.

Michael Gove, British Conservative politician.


Powerful Women

Reflecting Cliveden’s past as the crucible of female power brokers, the festival celebrates female trailblazers and pioneers including Tina Brown, the editor who saved Vanity Fair; The River Cafes Ruth Rogers, the restauranteur who reinvented how Britain eats; and historian Amanda Foreman on how Keira Knightley became her Duchess.

Writer, journalist and powerful woman Tina Brown CBE

Writer, journalist and powerful woman Tina Brown CBE


Art & Exhibitionism

The Serpentine Gallery’s Yana Peel, the National Gallery’s Hannah Rothschild and the National Portrait Gallery’s Nicholas Cullinan reveal how the treasures of the past and present shape our future.

The festival runs from the 14th to the 15th of October 2017. For the full programme and tickets visit: