Wednesday, May 31, 2006

A lovely day out

The weather in Somerset today has definitely had more of a promise of summer than of late. My parents treated us to a visit to a National Trust property about half an hour from home that they've not had the chance to visit before.

The National Trust is a charity throughout the UK which takes on buildings of historical significance (usually old stately homes but not always as I believe they own the house where John Lennon grew up in Liverpool) and keeps them up to scratch thus saving them from falling to rack and ruin.

This costs a phenomenal amount of money every year and they are quite expensive to visit - my parents are members, as a family we can't justify that kind of expenditure, so it was a very generous gift of a day out today - especially as a 'cream tea' was also on the agenda - that's scones with jam and whipped cream with a pot of tea for those of you who haven't come across this delicious but sadly waist expanding experience :o(

Montacute House is an Elizabethan mansion dating back to the early 1600's and is quite simply just beautiful. Ten out of ten to the National Trust for providing kid friendly activities all round the place including a storyteller in costume and the opportunity to dress in some period costume, most particularly the starched ruff collars the earliest residents would have worn.

The hall also sports a lovely collection of very old needlework samplers with examples of some beautiful embroidery - some of the drawn-thread work was so tiny I'm not sure how they could see to pull out the correct threads - after all no daylight 150watt bulbs in those candle powered days. A real treat for me in particular

The journey back was convoluted to say the least as the driver (that's me) lost concentration at one vital roundabout and took a 20 minute detour of yet another unexplored part of Somerset because the three youngest occupants of the car were twittering in a very distracting manner in the back.

Still they were the ones who wanted to get home most urgently so I guess they got their just desserts! :o)


dot said...

Sounds like a lovely day.

Judy said...

I would love to visit England once in my lifetime. I'd like to live in that house!! All my favorite movies are set houses just like that!!

joyce said...

What a lovely part of the world you live in. You are so lucky to have homes like that to visit so near. The tea sounds absolutely delicious. I had one many years ago on a visit to England. In those far off days I didn't have to worry about my waistline. It is one of my ambitions to visit England again and this time include more of the countryside. Thanks for the photo.

Lily said...

Oh I just got a special Pride & Prejudice thrill when your blog opened up Anne! I know that's not one of the houses in my all-time favourite miniseries, but wow how stunning and just 'up the road' from you!! I hope I get back to England one day (not until the Aussie dollar catches up to the very expensive pound!!)

You might find this funny peculiar, but in Australia, a cream tea is known everywhere as a Devonshire Tea (scones, jam, cream and a pot of tea - scrummy)!!

Dawn said...

Oh that house is BEAUTIFUL! I can't even imagine seeing a house that old and beautitul! It would be like being in a story book! Oh wait - Lily is right, it is like a Pride & Predudice thrill!

quilt_mommy_2001 said...

Well - seems 5 other people said what I wanted to first! Lol* That is such a sight to see! Takes my breath away even in a picture! We don't have places like that here in rural Ohio! :)