Finally, I hear you say, finally we get to hear about Saturday’s jaunt! I do hope you’re not seriously disappointed by this post, after all the build up…
So, yes, on Saturday we had a little trip out to Hanbury in Worcestershire. We began our day meeting Dapper’s friends at Hanbury Hall, a National Trust property, “William-and-Mary” style house dating back to 1701. Only the downstairs of the house is open at this time of year, so we had a mini tour of the withdrawing and dining rooms, and a brief wander around the grounds in the chill wind. The Vernon family (the halls’ former inhabitants) were a fascinating family whose fortunes varied widely over the 250-odd years they were in possession, and the house was therefore passed from spouse to spouse, cousin to cousin – and at one point, from housemaid-turned-companion to estranged wife, as if it were the unfortunate eating establishment in a modern-day soap opera! It’s therefore a very interesting story to listen to, should you ever be in the area and considering a visit.
After the hall we made our way down the the Jinney Ring restaurant and craft centre, where, alongside a hearty lunch complete with bread and buter pudding and custard (NOM!) we were able to enjoy crafts varying from glassblowing to wood-carving, felting to pottery, instrument-making to milinery, and more besides! The lovely thing about this centre is the fact that the actual sales areas are relatively small, and more a sideline to the workshops within which the craftsmen are openly practising their arts. It is marvellous to watch a potter throwing a bowl, whilst surrounded by her wares. We did buy some delightful treats from the Chocolate Deli (including some DIVINE violet fondants – my favourites) and I bought a pack of unspun wool with which to try my hand at traditional felting.
After lunch and some browsing we piled into the cars and drove up the hill to the nearby medieval church, Saint Mary The Virgin. It was a bleak day and the view from the top was likewise bleak and gothic – more akin to the Yorkshire moors than Worcestershire countryside. Still, it was very pretty church with some marvelous old gravestones to offer, made all the more eerie by the chill wind and failing light.
A Vernon Family tomb
A grand day out – followed by a night in with tea, chocolate and Strictly – you can’t beat it!