Monday, 20 September 2010
I always worry a bit about booking hotels on line, and half expect that things will go wrong; a forgotten booking, or a dirty, ill run hovel! I'm delighted to say that neither of those things happened to us, and we rocked up to Montacute to find friendly people and pleasant surroundings.
I thought some readers who have never seen inside an English village pub before might like a squizz at the bar. They're the same the world over I guess, but I was having such fun! I'm sitting on a sofa opposite getting quietly squiffy on cider. Sooooo relaxed.
It's not cold enough here yet to be lighting the fire, but it will be in a few weeks time.
Montecute itself is the prettiest of villages, and the houses are all built out of the local yellow stone.
I understand that Sense and Sensibility was filmed here..but couldn't say which version, sorry.
This house was for sale and DH was trying to guess how much it was!
Montecute church on the right houses the village clock which marks the hour all through the night with the tolling of a bell. Of itself, it didn't keep us awake, but was useful to work out how many hours sleep we were loosing because of indigestion and general over indulgencies.
Well, it wouldn't be natural if you didn't visit the largest attraction in the village whilst there. A huge great pile of a house built from wealth made as a lawyer in the 16th century. Famously, Sir Edward Phelps, the owner, was responsible for prosecuting Guy Fawkes after the Gunpowder Plot of 1605.
Yes, it was huge, delightful, with fab architecture, furniture, gardens etc., but my great delight was finding an exhibition of Tudor and Elizabethan portraiture on permanent loan from the National Portrait Gallery. All those famous portraits you see in history books were there for me to gaze at closely....and....for once....I remembered my glasses. Oh, deep joy.
There were about 50 portraits in all and some of the detail of the clothes was exquisite.
It was also housing an exhibition of the Goodheart collection of samplers. The work in them was unbelievable, and even more so because it was done my young girls.