Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Highclere, 2016

We visited Highclere in 2013 with Rebecca and Penelope (http://roadeveron.blogspot.com/2013/08/highclere-castle.html), but Vicki wanted to see it again, without distractions (me). She even prepared by watching the first four seasons of Downton Abbey. (Photography and relevant captions below by Vicki).
We arrived early and got a good parking spot

Highclere, 2016

Pictures are not allowed in the house, but since our last visit
three years ago, pictures of the actors being filmed have been
added to the relevant rooms; these pictures were in the gift

It was fun to see how much of the furniture was actually used

One of two interior pictures I was able to take

I imagine that the filming of Downton moved
it up several spots; one of the room attendants
said the first season paid for a much needed
roof replacement.

In the garden now

A white room

It seemed to us that much work has been done in the gardens

From the meadow below

Penelope's Wood


Many mature specimen trees

Culpability Brown designed much of Highclere's grounds,
well before the current House was built

His view needs a little trimming

Waddesdon House: Gardens

Intermittent rain curtailed our garden tour, but we did see most of Waddesdon's extensive gardens and landscape. Alas, the big flowers and the roses all were beyond their prime.
Outdoor sculpture, made of magnum-size
bottles, one of two at the entrance to the house

Lots of impressive topiary and bedding designs


Specimen spcimen trees

Backyard pond, fountain, parterres, bedding...


More contemporary outdoor sculpture...something about
escaping the Revolution

In the aviary, a Waddesdon mynah

Still enough roses to be impressive

Waddesdon House: Cellars

Lafite-Rothschild and Mouton-Rothschild are at the forefront of the fine wine shrine, both estates purchased by the Rothschilds (French branch) in the 1800s. Waddesdon is an outpost for such, with an impressive cellar and a quite decent wine shoppe upstairs. They do tastings that appear quite accessible and affordable. Actually, I am more of a Burgundy kind of guy, but I'll also drink a good Bordeaux.
Comes in a variety of shapes and sizes

Ditto; I never can remember whether it's Lafite-Rothschild
or Mouton-Rothschild that has the artiste labels...

Priceless stock, behind bars

From a recent tasting; I was tempted to lick the table...

1787 was a good year...way before the
Rothschilds, however

Famous visitor with the current baron

Some of the artiste labels

Advert for the sale of the Lafite domain

Waddesdon House: Interior

Some interior shots of the house...
Note chandelier, too

Interesting seating arrangement for piano

Typical furniture

Moody Judy, by Sir Josh; the Baron was a
widower and had the place decorated in dozens
of portraits of young women, mostly Reynolds

High point of the tour, for me...a real Watteau!

In addition to chandeliers, portraits of beautiful
women, porcelain, etc., the Baron also collected
clocks; time is money, I guess...

A real Teniers...


The rug from Napoleon's chapel

"Best always, Alex"

Guest room

Belonged to Marie Antoinette or some other French ex-royalty

Note chandelier

Just a bit of the knife and gun club

Olympic-sized billiards (note spectator seating on left)