Dear mummy, last weekend we were at Blissfields Festival in Hampshire having a house party in a middle of a field. While we were there we indulged in a festival trend that’s sweeping festivals up and down the country called GoGetGlitter. … Continue reading
Polesden Lacey National Trust
Friday 18, July 2014
Dear mummy, our travels took us somewhere new last weekend. As we were driving back from London and the traffic was bad on the M25 we decided to take a quick detour via Leatherhead towards a little village called Bookham, in between Dorking and Guildford.
We had been told that Polesden Lacey, a National Trust Estate, was just round the corner. As we are members of the National Trust, it was a good opportunity to stop in and visit.
It’s another fine day and the skies are blue. We drive up the long road through an impressive gate and up to the estate. The car park is a stones throw from the entrance to Polesden Lacey and it’s not too busy today.
We arrive at 2ish and grab our picnic blanket and get the sun cream out of the car, a quick nappy change in the toilets, which are cool and clean and I feel refreshed after my long car journey. A quick runaround is just what I need to stretch my little legs!
This place is beautiful! And is surrounded by rolling hills and stunning scenery. People are sat in deck chairs soaking up the sunshine.
Polesden Lacey is an Edwardian House and estate and is located on the North Downs. It is owned and run by the National Trust and is very popular. The house originally was owned by Margaret Greville, a well-know Edwardian hostess. Who entertained royalty and the privileged. She was a close friend to Queen Mary and bequeathed all her jewels to Elizabeth the Queen Mother, including a diamond necklace belonging to Marie Antoinette!
She was named a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1922 and her estate was bequeathed to the National Trust.
The grounds of the estate are extensive and we head off to see the house and take in the views. It is spectacular and you can see why King George VI and Queen Elizabeth spent part of their honeymoon here! Mrs Greville’s collection of fine paintings and porcelain is displayed for visitors to see in the house. My mummy ducks in and has a quick look while daddy and I play on the lawn. The estate has a regal feel about it and we imagine young royals playing on the lawn as children.
We explore the walled garden next, as it’s July the roses are still in bloom and they looked fabulous. Lavender lines the paved paths around the gardens and you could hear busy bees flying from one flower to another.
It was so peaceful here and we had the whole place to ourselves. Our favourite blooms were the snow white ‘Iceberg’ roses and the beautiful dip dyed yellow and pink ‘You’re Beautiful’ blooms. Both looked stunning against the deep blue sky.
Stone sculptures littered the formal gardens, some scary and some angelic. I was memorised by daddy blowing bubbles and followed them around the gardens chasing them with my hands. It was lovely to spend quality time with my daddy and we both lay down on the picnic blanket and stared at the sky. I nestled my head under his arm and we both chilled out.
But not for long! Mummy had brought my ball with her and we played piggy in the middle, while I chased it on the grass in my bare feet. I loved the feeling of grass in-between my toes. Daddy carried me through the trees and I giggled in delight as we ducked and dived through the leaves as they brushed across my body.
On the way back we walked through the pleasure grounds and watched staff set up for a wedding, a lovely spot for one. It’s still very warm, so before we head back to the car we stop by the cafe opposition reception and have an ice cream.
My mummy goes to get my National Trust passport stamped (a collection of little stamps we’ve been acquiring on our trips around the National Trust estates) and we sit and enjoy the world go by.
Mottisfont comes up smelling of Roses again!
Every year Mottisfont host an internationally renowned heritage collection of 19th century roses which draws crowds in from far and wide. They flower just once a year in June so I made sure mummy booked some time in the calendar for us to see this unrivalled show.
Acclaimed horticulturist Graham Stuart Thomas designed and planted the rose garden and brought his unique collection of shrub roses to Mottisfont in 1972. The walled garden is one of only 6 in the world to be in the Rose Garden Hall of Fame. Woweee mummy I feel privileged to see it!
This is the second time we’ve visited the walled garden at Mottisfont when the roses have been at full bloom. My mummy took me last year when I was 4 months old, but I was really too young to see them in their full glory, I did enjoy smelling them though. Last year we posed by the glorious Kathleen Harrop roses in the Frameyard, where she grows on wall.
So this year we return to the National Trust’s Mottisfont Estate, just outside Romsey in Hampshire. We’ve timed it just right, as Mottisfont’s collection of old-fashioned roses fill the Walled Garden with a beautiful color and scent. Our favourites are the ‘Yellow Pilgrims’ which greet you in the entrance to the gardens and the deep crimson ‘Ards Rover’ blooms.
I can walk now so I follow my mummy around smelling the roses and lightly touching them, their soft velvet petals in my tiny hands. They look spectacular against the bright blue sky and the garden is full of different colours. We pick up a roses trail book which lists the top ten old-fashioned roses which Mottisfont grow.
‘Mme Alfred Carriere’ roses climb over the walls and the arches and are a beautiful pale pink rose, they were a Victorian favourite. We see them everywhere in the walled garden at Mottisfont. Roses aren’t the only blooms showing off in the gardens, there are also beautiful irises and shrubs which act as a backdrop to the display. We meet a friendly gardener who stops and chats to us for a little while. It’s very relaxed in the gardens and there is a gentle hum of people chatting, just like the humming of bees which collect pollen from the flowers. The roses will be in bloom until the end of this month and Mottisfont have extended their opening hours on some of the evenings, so make sure you visit after work or at the weekend to take in this stunning display.
Thanks Mottisfont! From your youngest fan. Bella x