Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Nails, Shells and cheesecake.

Well forecasted rainy day today.  Certainly not going boating, but luckily the prettiness of Kings Sutton has grown on us and we decided to stop here the next few days. 

So with me wearing wellies,  we walked to the car.  There was an emergency to sort out, my broken nail.  So off to Banbury we went in the car.  I quite like trolling along boating with the car. 
Lovely nail bar and all sorted.  
I had an arrangement to meet Sweetie Pie in the M&S food hall, I called him and he told me that he was the wrong side of the lift bridge, the boater had gone on ahead and left the bridge up!!!!  Some boaters are shocking.  Calm down dear, he is a single hander and returned on foot once he was in the prepared lock.

We only really needed bread and milk but once David is let loose in these posh supermarket he finds loads to buy.  Chocolate cheesecake, red berry pannacotta, crayfish and mango salad (This was divine), a slice of carrot cake, bread and milk!  Well actually anyone who knows me will have realised that I put the cheesecake in.  
The excitement continued with a trip to Halfords to buy engine oil, this was more challenging than one might expect.  Limited knowledge is such a bore.  None was brought, they didn’t have the right one.

Next stop was Upton House.  

Upton House
We have decided that we would let our National Trust membership stop, as we never get to use it, there are so few properties close to the canals…..  That was until this year when we have kept the car going, we have actually been to a few, but today is the last day of our membership.  
Upton House has an interesting past.  Brought by Lord Bearstead in 1927, on the death of his father.  His father had started a company you may have heard of Shell Oil. 
The business was named after his grandfathers business based in Whitechapel importing small shell boxes from the far east.

I always wanted one of these as a child.

Publicity posters used nationally to promote Shell Oil.

Early delivery trucks

Bit fuzzy, sorry
He wanted a house to exhibit his rather large art collection.  They were wealthy beyond measure but I have to say, they house does not reflect that in my view.  Very plain (If you remove the fabulous works of art) nothing like as homely and attractive as Basildon Park which had actually been refurbished on a relative shoestring.  

Relatively plain ballroom.

Me in a 1930's hat, not a frightfully good look.
 My favourite places are always kitchens and bathrooms.  Lady Bearstead wanted a new fashionable bathroom of the type that were in the smartest houses in London and New York and first class cabins of the Ocean Liners, however she chose this.  Now I wouldn’t actually call it a monster, but it is truly ghastly, The Emperor’s New Clothes spring to mind.
Now I love red and chrome, on a boat, but this is hideous, all that money and no taste.

The Loo

The Bidet

However the garden is spectacular,
  almost hidden from view form the house, it covers a steep drop, south facing with a reflective pool at the bottom.
At the top looking down.

At the bottom looking up

Hedged Rose garden, pity the earlier rain had hammered them.

Delphiniums, mine at home don't look quite as good as these.
Almost untouched 1030's uber modern kitchen.

Two four opened aga's

David's mother has a cake tin like this one and uses it still.

A lovely sunny visit to the garden followed by a downpour, handily we had made it to the tearooms, with the rain persisting and all the old folks gone, we hopped on the last run of the “Train” taking people back to the car park.  This was driven by a retiree at such a pace he must have been related to Sterling Moss, there were bends and potholes to be avoided, I was hanging on!!!

Home for steak and salad, chocolate cheesecake and raspberries.

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