Friday, September 20, 2019

Our last grand building...

Yesterday we visited Arundel Castle. This is Castle is owned by the Duke of Norfolk who is the premier duke in the peerage of England. He is also the Earl of Arundel. I think the most immaculate of all the castles we have visited. Lots of highly polished floors and furniture. 

Some glimpses of the Castle and splendid gardens. 

Inside everything was super sumptuous. 
The grand hall. Two of these huge fire places. Each complete with a Lion skin rug. Eeeek, didn’t like that decorating touch! 

The dining room which is apparently seldom used as it is haunted. 

The drawing room , check out those lamp bases! Talk about sturdy. 

The Castle once accommodated Victoria and Albert when they fancied a few days in the country.

The library which houses 10,000 books was also specially decorated for her visit. A splendid room with lots of cosy nooks for reading. 

Their were lots of very knowledgeable guides around who were happy to chatter. They also had a number of golf carts that you could 
hitch a ride on if you felt like a break from walking. A service which we availed ourselves of when it was time to leave. our last big outing in England. Where we staying in Hayward’s Heath it’s very easy to catch trains to lots of destinations. 
We spotted yesterday that we could go direct to Cambridge. Tempting yes, but we think a quiet day sorting our bags is required before we wing 
back to New Zealand tomorrow. 

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Flower Power

Close to where we are now Is the delightful village Lindfield, complete with village pond and more cute cottages than you can shake a stick at. 

The village has an arts festival running. This whole garden was taken up with a completely crocheted Mad Hatter’s Tea Party.

Even the flowers in the shrubs and the creeper up the wall are crocheted. 

From there we walked to the village church which was the venue for a floral art display.
Participants had to make a display using a poem for their theme. 

The cakes really did look good enough to eat. 

The display I liked most was The Owl and the Puss Cat. All the elements of the poem were included. Even the honey
Wrapped in a five pound note! 

Great attention to detail, look at what the pea green boat is made of. 

Finally a display all about the Tiger who came to tea. 

Such a lovely little oasis of peace and quiet. Hope nobody noticed me climbing up on a pew to take 
photos of the tea party! 

Monday, September 16, 2019

Visiting the Isle of Wight

On Saturday we visited the Isle of Wight. We had the most superb weather for the day. Picture perfect. 
The ferry we took was the poshest ferry I have ever been on. It sat so high out of the water , I wondered how it would be is the sea was rough.A lady I was chatting to told me it is the most expensive passage across water in all of England. I took this picture through the big wrap around windows in the lounge so it has some reflection in it but I wanted you to see the yachts. So many! I have never seen so many yachts. As far as the eye could see there were yachts out on the water. Of course we were near to Cowes which is the sailing capital of England. 

A leisurely lunch by a Marina was first on our agenda. More yachts. 

After lunch we set of for Osborne House

What a grand house

So many huge old trees. I loved looking through this tree up to the house

Inside was just as we expected. Chocka block full of totally over the top Victoriana. I thought this clock really said it all. So much fussy ornamentation but only a tiny clock face. 

And look at the detail on this huge vase.

Apparently Victoria and Albert liked to buy each other extravagant Birthday presents. I think there must have been a bit of one upmanship going on. 

This is a glimpse of the decoration in the main stair well.

One room I particularly wanted to see was the Durbar room which was talked about in the movie Victoria and Abdul.This is it in all its splendour. 

The terrace gardens are magnificent. I could imagine Victoria taking here early morning stroll out there. The colours in the garden were so vibrant. Very regal I thought with purple, gold and a touch of red. My kind of garden. 

The view from the terrace is breathtaking. Albert knew what he was about when he selected this location for a holiday home. 

The grounds are huge and immaculately kept. It would be a wonderful location for a picnic. It wasn’t at all busy with people, it would be so easy to find a nice tranquil spot to relax and enjoy. 

No trip to Osborne house would be completely without a visit to the Swiss Cottage. 

The garden beds in front of the cottage were where the children learnt how to grow vegetables. The same garden beds are still there today, all immaculately planted. 

Our trip to the Isle of Wight was, I think, one of the highlights of our holiday. 

Thursday, September 12, 2019

The Swinging Sixties

Yesterday we went to the Victoria and Albert museum to see the Mary Quant exhibition.

 Back in the 60s we thought her new look mod clothes were just the business. 

My eldest sister Wendy made me red mini skirt and jerkin out of red needle cord. This is the look I wanted.I thought I was the bees knees!

Mary was innovative in her ideas of how clothes could be constructed 

We admired this look from afar in New Zealand. I would have loved some of these shiny clothes but they didn't reach our shores.

Mary is also credited with making the mini skirt popular. 

As always the V&A put on a marvellous show. Apparently they put out a call for people to lend clothes for the exhibition. It's became obvious that women just loved their Mary Quant clothes as they had kept hold of them. Some even had the paper work that dated and priced the clothes. Amazing. I can't imagine keeping a piece of clothing that long. 
Some people even told stories of how they had kept their best Mary Quant dress and that their daughters in turn wore them. That's a great testimony to the power of good design. 

A super show, well worth a look. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Saint Jame's Park

I'm always delighted to walk through St Jame's Park. 
It is a peaceful, green pool of tranquillity right in the centre of big city hustle bustle. 

This pretty cottage complete with a classic country garden has a very ordinary name. 
Behold "Duck Pond Cottage"

A glance back over my shoulder and I can see the Queen Victoria memorial at the top of The Mall.

Autumn is coming....

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Now that we are in Epsom...

......we thought we would make the most of being near Hampton Court. So off we went for a visit. 

We're so lucky to be visiting at a quiet time. 
Inside Base Court 

We gathered with other people under the splendid clock tower 

Where we meet up with these two Courtisans who were preparing for a visit from the Queen - that would be QEI. 

They took us for an entertaining talk and tour. It was very well done with a very clever script. 

The weather had turned very chilly. We went on to visit the huge Palace kitchen which in its day made up to 1200 meals a day! It was very cold in there. It must have been a horrid place to work in winter. This sign says that people couldn't work naked. I wondered who on earth would want to!

We were very happy to find this fire going in the main kitchen we stayed awhile by it to warm up a little. 

If you are ever close to Hampton Court do visit. Out of the hustle bustle of central London, right by the Thames, it's a pleasant place to visit. 
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