Posted on 30/10/2013 by Pseu Yesterday the sun shone in a clear blue sky and it felt distinctly Autumnal. We decided that it was just the right sort of day to walk among the trees. We are lucky. Locally, less than 17 miles from here, there is an arboretum which has been part of Oxford […]

Trebah is one of the ‘Great Cornish Gardens’ – climate and geography being the keys to its success. The secret elements are its sheltered wooded slopes, and closeness to the warmth of the Gulf Stream in the Helford estuary. This illustration is a good indicator of the way both the house and garden lie in […]

The Vikings opens tomorrow. I have been lucky enough to go already, and I urge every London resident and visitor to go to. It is wonderful. The audioguide is excellent. I went round once without it, stopping at the things that caught me attention. Then I started again with the audioguide. It led me to […]

via¬†wikipedia The frontispiece of the Kelmscott Press Edition of ‘News from Nowhere’ was based on a drawing by Charles Gere. William Morris designed the type and ornamental borders. When we sat beside the River Thames recently, enjoying our picnic lunch and contemplating William Morris’s home in the meadows beyond the trees, we never envisaged that […]

illustration by Jessie Wilcox-Smith As a small child you probably danced around to this nursery rhyme ending up in a heap of laughter at the end when you all fell down. However, there is a much more sinister tale connected with this childish rhyme which I was reminded of when visiting childhood haunts in Derbyshire […]

“It is a plaything house…….and it is the prettiest bauble you ever saw.” Horace Walpole, June 1747 Walpole was the dilettante son of Britain’s first Prime Minister and author of the first horror novel, The Castle of Otranto. Horace Walpole took a lease on a small 17th century cottage with 5 acres in Twickenham a […]

The tube station where Winston Churchill had his secret command centre is up for sale at a cool ¬£20 million. Brompton Road tube station, now disused, closed in 1934 and has since been owned by the MInistry of Defence. Now they’re putting it up for sale to the highest bidder. The property includes a drill […]

The quintessential botannical gardens at Kew have staged the ultimate English event: an afternoon tea. But there are no scones, no jam, no cream. And no tea. Instead, as part of the Garden’s Incredible Inedible festival, English bone china white-ware from Staffordshire¬†– some vintage and some simply irreplaceable – and filled it with the plants […]

I am cross with myself for not bringing a box of apricots back home with me from our recent holiday in France, especially after discovering how simple it is to make la confiture d’abricot the ‘French way’. I have seen recipes which suggest putting a split vanilla pod in the mix, or some lemon juice, […]