After a few days off at home – Ross training for the marathon onSunday and me catching up with work on the book and my charitable endeavours – we set off on part two of our staycation, via lunch with old friends John and Hilary in Penn. Ross is loving experimenting with our new electric car, although we have some interesting challenges plugging it in overnight in our two hostelries. This time we are headed for Hartwell House near Aylesbury where the Bourbon Court were housed after they fled from France.
The visit to Waddesdon is really the core purpose for our expedition to Bucks. Built by Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild from 1784 in the French château style it sits atop a hill, looking quite improbable in the English countryside. He was a passionate collector of art and furniture and scooped up treasures from châteaux discarded during the revolution, as well as commissioning major new works, especially paintings (Gainsborough, Reynolds and old Dutch masters abound).
So we end our very English celebration of country houses and gardens with a bang. We feel refreshed, cultured (thanks to our storehouse of knowledge, Clare) windswept, wet and ready for what comes next! We will be back in warmer climes next year for sure…
Meanwhile here is Ross fresh from completing 26 miles in 3 hrs 56 mins, just a tad wet and sans phone!