Saturday, 22 May 2010

A Grand Day Out

The sun shone out of a big blue East Anglian sky for our day trip to Audley End House and Saffron Walden yesterday.   We felt like two excited schoolgirls off on our summer holidays.   Anne had had her nails polished and I'd had my hair cut and was wearing quite a fancy necklace, so we were all set for the day.   All aboard the Skylark for Audley End House.

Huge topiary hedge

Walled kitchen gardens, which used to supply the house with all their fruit and vegetables and plants for 'her indoors'.   Lots of espaliered fruit which yesterday were really getting the benefit of the heat radiating from the brickwork.

hundreds of terracotta pots, which were coveted by my companion  (though I have to say that this became a bit of a theme for the day ....)

pomelo - gigantic lemon-like but sweet fruit native to South East Asia, growing happily in the hothouse

Then off to the Jacobean stables, as we had been told a very handsome groom was on duty.    Actually the horse was pretty gorgeous too.

round by the river over the daisy-strewn lawns landscaped by Capability Brown

to the Tea House Bridge designed by Robert Adam

and back to the service wing of the house and into the laundry

coveting of pegs took place

followed by coveting of lacy linen

I think these are irons, but it's not a pastime I'm very familiar with ... not much coveting going on

round the corner into the dairy with it's sparkling white tiles

and my turn to covet

then what we wanted was a nice sit down and a cup of tea

Then we had a tour of the state apartments in the main house, but no photos allowed, so you can always go to the website to see.

After lunch we drove a couple of miles to the wonderful little town of Saffron Walden, mainly to visit the Fry Gallery ..... which I'll tell you about another day.

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend whatever you're doing!



KnitOneQuiltTooKristin said...

Lovely! Thank you so much for the virtual tour.

kay susan said...

It's been a long time since I visited either of those places. I used to live in East Hertfordshire. Thanks for the walk down memory lane. I once had absolutely the best french onion soup at Audley End House! Feeling quite nostalgic..........

Printed Material said...

These photos are amazing. That topiary hedge looks like it's just erupting from the ground. Are those pink and white flowers all alstromerias? En masse they look wonderful. I would have loved to see that kitchen garden - serious envy going on here! Looking forward to Part Two and the Women of Bardfield. Lesley x

Jill said...

I visited Audley End in 1966! on a school trip - I must say I can't remember much about it now - but your photo-tour is a real treat. I LOVE the hedge.

Menopausal musing said...

That hedge is wonderful! I would so love to have a look round the service area and stroke the pegs and as for the dairy......... well!

Uta said...

Ooh while we are into coveting could you add some jugs and bowls and washboards onto the list. I also covet one of those irons. I too am not familiar with such pastimes either and thought they were door stops :)

Anonymous said...

Your photos do not lie, Chrissie. It was a fab day out and, indeed, I'm still trying to recover from all my covetous behaviour! A gorgeous place on a gorgeous day ...... and the company wasn't bad either.

Florcita said...

Such a beautiful place. I can not stop looking at that hedge!!!! beautiful!

TheVintageMagpie said...

Wow, what a lovely place.. I always love the kitchen and the laundry room best in old houses!x

Gina said...

Gosh, you've had a busy few days. I've never actually visited Audley End but want to go now!

Chrissie said...

Kristin - my pleasure, glad you enjoyed it!
Kay Susan - glad it brought back nice memories for you
Lesley - I've been trying to magnify the plant label, but can't read it for the life of me ...
Jill - the hedge is truly mind-boggling!
Cathy - the dairy was quite an ethereal room, I loved it
Uta - haha to the door stops - I have one to hold open the shed door!!
Marian - just imagine having to trim it!
Nicky - me too - I'm always much happier 'below stairs'!
Gina - you'd love it!

silverpebble said...

I can't believe I've never been to Audley End - it's so close. I shall have to rememdy this situation. That hedge is astonishing and the dairy looks like a must. Thankyou so much for sharing your visit

Gunnels blog said...

Chrissie, your photos are so very beautiful ! And you gifttags, I really love theme! I have try to get you comments on flcikr, but it does´n´t works
Have a beautiful summer


Fab photos Chrissie, I'm with you on the irons!


ps. hope all is ok

Anonymous said...

What lens did you use for the photos. I am also with you on the irons! See you soon.