Hooray for these National Trust cards - our visit to Knole was "free". After much anticipation, we finally journeyed to Knole yesterday morning and I have to say, "Oh, okay".
Set in a deer park there were several "very dangerous" deer frolicking around. Scampering up to the sightseers begging for biscuits and rolls. Of course, I ran in the opposite direction heeding the Danger signs.
The house is very ominous looking from the outside - like an insane asylum. Not a pretty place by any stretch of the imagination. The interior is quite cavernous but there were several walls inside stenciled and painted that were quite lovely and some of the rooms were charming. And the art... wonderful. But you couldn't take photos (of course) and they didn't have any sort of compendium of the art in the bookshop tho you could buy a list of the paintings for 50p. Er...
The gardens at Knole were really a disappointment. Sheila and Peter gave it the thumbs down and left after five minutes. Draw and I stayed on... for another 15 and then headed back to join them. The other neat thing about these free admissions is that you can leave after 5 minutes or 20 minutes and not feel guilty.
On to Chartwell, the family home of Winston Churchill. Not being British I wasn't particularly moved by the fact that Churchill once lived here, but I was moved by the very lovely and homey feel to this house. It felt like a lot of love resided here. Again, no photos inside... and I was given the evil eye and a strict reminder before I ever entered the house that no photos were allowed. Thank you very much, you scared me right out of sneaking any photos you old poo.
The grounds of Chartwell are equally lovely... several photo ops here. Like a smoker craving a cigarette, the minute I stepped out of the house I was dragging out my camera and snapping photos like a made fiend. And it was at this particular point that a lovely day turned brilliant. The weather was so fine I couldn't help but mention it... a dozen times. It was absolutely a perfect day.
Of the evening, Peter treated us to a lovely dinner at the Poacher in honor of my birthday - thank you, Peter. A very nice restaurant, a lovely meal, wonderful company. Pretty darn good day in my book. Not to mention I managed to snap about 170 photos but lots of duplicates, triplicates, quadruplicates just to make sure some are clear.
Joyful rediscovery: Fentiman's Victorian Lemonade
I drank three bottles of the stuff yesterday. One of those no-nonsense lemonades that will knock your socks off.
Joyful new discovery: Clarnico Cream Mints As my sissy-in-law says, "These are very morish. You always want more". And I do.