Tuesday, 24 November 2009


I arranged to meet a girlfriend here yesterday for lunch - Stourhead consists of a 1720's Palladian mansion which was the home of the Hoare family, owners of Britain's only surviving independent Bank. The magnificent interior includes an outstanding regency library, extensive art collection and furniture by Chippendale. The star of the show though and often referred to as the finest in the UK, is the landscape garden, constructed between 1741 and 1780. There are classical temples including the Pantheon and Temple of Apollo (used as the location for Darcy's futile proposal to Lizzy in the 2005 Pride and Prejudice with Keira Knightly) set around a central lake and a series of vistas which change as the visitor moves around the paths and through the magnificent mature woodland which houses an extensive collection of exotic trees. There are also two iron age hill forts in the grounds of the estate. It is breathtaking in every season and a wonderful place for a long (or short!) walk.

There is classical statuary in abundance......

A mansion to satisfy the most discerning......

and fortunately for us, a lovely pub right next door!

Our plan was to have a 'pub lunch' and then walk it off in the glorious grounds....I wish I could say that's indeed how it turned out but, I cannot tell a lie.....we arrived at midday and left at 9.15 p.m. (YES 9.15!!!!!) When we went to pay the bill, there was the evidence...coffee, lunch, afternoon tea & dinner!! Oh my, how time flies when you're having fun .....s


  1. I am laughing so much reading this Susie - staying till 9.15pm!! - you must have had such fun too - and I am sure it was raining too so it was probably only sensible after all!!
    Gorgeous place Stourhead - I love it... xx

  2. Oh Susie, you are a girl after my own heart. My oldest friend and I have been known to do the same, many a time. The waiters cannot believe that we can talk for that long. I have been known to talk to her on the phone (once for 9 hours !! Thought we should be in the Guinness Book of Records!!) and then meet her the next day.It's funny 'cos I had kunch with her yesterday. My husband can't understand it at all.
    What a fantastic day you had in the most beautiful surroundings. XXXX

  3. 9.15pm!! I'm impressed Mum! Especially since that's about an hour and a quarter past your bed time! And you should be impressed that I got one of these accounts just so that I could follow your blog. Aren't I lovely? (Answer: Yes Natasha, you are the loveliest.)Next you'll have a facebook! Glad you're having fun xxx

  4. Susie I've caught up with all your posts & enjoyed each & every one of them. You write so well, & I'm so delighted you've joined the rest of us who are possessed by the awesome power of blogging!
    Millie ^_^

  5. I'm so envious - Stourhead would have to be one of my very favourite gardens! Sounds like you had a fabulous day, even if you didn't get to see much of the garden! Leigh