Friday, 31 July 2015
My National Trust card had a good airing this week. There has been Edwardian splendour at Polesden Lacey, a fascinating story of female social mobility (from boarding house landlady/unmarried mother to society hostess within one generation) ... but sadly, the tearoom left a lot to be desired. NT teas are splendid when they're good but this one wasn't. Its ambience was more workplace canteen. Never mind, look at the roses and that gorgeous view across the Downs.
On the way, we made a detour to see the ruined shell of Clandon Park, gutted by fire. How sad to think of so many years of history gone up in flames.
Then there was Hidcote. One of the most beautiful gardens in England. In the pouring rain. We could only imagine the scent of lilies and lavender on a sunshiney day.
Soaked to the skin, we picnicked damply in the car, then set out in search of somewhere under cover. We passed lavender fields that smelled of rain ...
And finally reached the Cotswolds home of an eccentric collector. Where the sun came out on that lovely, golden Cotswolds stone - just as it was time to go home.