We have a tradition in our family that once we finish for Christmas we like to go to London to see the sights and get any last minute Christmas shopping of those unusual gifts you can’t pick up anywhere else.
We’ve been growing veg for quite some time now but I’d been thinking for a while how lovely it would be to grow my own flowers to cut and bring into the house without ruining the look of the boarders. So as part of my planning I’d decided to have a veg plot with space for cut flowers.
We had another fab day out to make the most of our NT membership, this time to Grey’s Court near Henley on Thames. I’d heard about its fabulous spring gardens along with a lovely mansion house and Japanese bridge. I’m a big fan of Spring gardens and hubby loves anything Japenese, so I thought, perfect match really.
It was a little overcast and trying to rain when we first arrived so decided to head straight into the mansion house.
The mansion is a 16th Century building with 20th Century additions. It was still lived in by the family until 2003, apparently Lady Brunner could be seen cooking in the kitchen as visitors walked through, but she was always ready for a little chat.
There are some fantastic examples of 18th-century plasterwork ceilings.
There were signs saying no mobiles or photography, which I do consider rather archaic with today’s social media etc, so I did take a couple of discreet shots, but had to be guarded about it.
The views from the windows of the stunning gardens and surrounding parkland were spectacular.
I love to see the old stone mullions around the windows.
and some fantastic stain glass windows too.
There were plenty of rooms open to have a browse around but I didn’t take too many photos in-case I annoyed someone!
The kitchen however was a throw back to the 1960s, and I was quite taken with the style.
It was clearly a well used and well loved family kitchen. A couple of NT volunteers were baking scones in the kitchen so the sights and smells made us quite peckish.
Fortunately for us their onsite teashop, The Cowshed, a modern well stocked NT cafe was the next stop on our visit.
Refreshed we headed into the gardens to see all the spring flowers, we were not disappointed with the variety of plants in flower already.
There were a series of walled gardens, each one giving a different look and feel.
Feeling energetic, we thought we’d embark on the Estate walk, which was marked as 1 3/4 miles, however un-beknown to us quite a lot of the walk was incredibly muddy due to the recent rains, undeterred we ploughed on and it certainly would’ve been a lovely walk if it had been dry.
To round off our visit we took the short walk to the moon bridge, A gorgeous japanese bridge.
Another fantastic day out, we’ll be back in the summer to see how the summer gardens look.
Do pop back to see how we get on