Friday 20 December 2019

The festivities go on

Having so late in life discovered the pleasure of excessive stately home Christmas decorations yesterday we visited Harewood House which is not so far from the penthouse.  We met up with our friends Roger and Christine, started with coffee and chat then took a walk round the beautiful grounds, I am not a fan of formal gardens but for some reason I loved this one.  

The parkland is glorious, we walked round the lake through the Himalayan garden then took the little ferry back across the lake to the bird garden, which I felt was unnecessary and rather depressing, I am not a fan of captive creatures in small spaces.
The decorations in the house were not as opulent as Castle Howard, obviously everything was on a much a smaller scale and there were a lot of animations that I didn't particularly enjoy, talking statues that kind of thing, which involved the rooms being quite dark.  We need to go back again at a normal time of year to see the property fully.  
Fortunately I did see the painting of Seymour Worsley, the Scandalous Lady W.  If you haven't seen this BBC film you must watch it.  I watched it in 2015, have been waiting ever since to see the portrait, now I need to see the film again.

The below stairs part of the tour was delightful, you could just imagine the hot and steamy work involved to prepare elaborate meals.  There were a lot of cupboard doors that could be opened to reveal beautiful glassware, china, pots and pans. I came away thinking that I too probably need about 4 dozen individual size cut glass decanters.
And no library, there are 3 in Harewood House, should be complete without a Christmas tree of books.
This weekend we will travel to my brothers for the Santa drop and to attend the carol service in the village where he and I were born.  Another Christmas, another year almost over, I hope you have a happy and peaceful time.

Saturday 7 December 2019

Christmas at the Castle

We are just back from a couple of nights staying with friends in North Yorkshire.  They had been to visit us while we were in Lazio and wanted to give us a treat as a thank you, and what a treat it was.  They took us to see the festive decorations at Castle Howard.  We started with coffee, then a tour of the house gazing upon the decked out bedrooms, study, the long gallery, dining rooms, a massive tree under the dome, it was fantastic which coming from someone who is always so bah humbug about Christmas is praise indeed.  We had lunch, took a walk round the beautiful parkland and the walled garden, it was a bright sunny day and everything looked as it should under blue skies.  We left at dusk just as the trees along the drive were coming on, it was beautiful though my photographs probably don't do it justice.

Oddly I came home quite inspired to make the penthouse feel festive.   I am currently sourcing battery candles, for safety, and these two red birds came home from Castle Howard, they've settled in well on the minimalist tree we put up in our hall.  71 and suddenly there seems to be a turn around, it may not last.