Sunday, 9 March 2014

Inside Lacock Abbey

A few weeks ago I promised more posts on Lacock Abbey, and finally here's the next one! As well as the older monastic part, there's also the house which used to be home to the Talbot family and run a full staff. It was given to the National Trust in 1944, when times were hard for many wealthy British families and they found themselves having to sell off their great houses (probably a familiar theme to any other avid Downton fans out there!). Here are some of the more interesting bits and pieces I noticed on our tour:

I loved the Household Wants Indicator; I could definitely use one of these for my kitchen! The detail was so ridiculous, with four different types of fruit (dried, fresh, glacé and tinned) and meat (cooked, extract, fresh and potted) and some things I couldn't work out, like isinglass and minerals (vague much?). Trying not to think about what 'meat extract' might be...

So many books! This was just a small selection...

Imagine having that rug in your nursery - I know I'd be too terrified to play in there! That rocking horse looks pretty fun though (if also a bit angry).

This helmet was one of the odder things in the house; it looks like something out of Game of Thrones - has anyone else ever seen one like this? It must be purely decorative, right?

This was my favourite room! I love the blue colour of the walls and most of the pieces (save maybe the ornate 18th century paintings and mirrors...) wouldn't look out of place in a vintage-loving home of today. 

Next up: Lacock village itself - hopefully in less than 3 weeks this time. ;)

Thursday, 6 March 2014

The Wild North

Hello! Back from a small unintentional blog hiatus - life just somehow got rather busy! But this is my week off, and to start it (and March) off right I made a trip to visit my best friend Aisha in Manchester at the weekend.

Sadly on my one full day there it was pretty gloomy, but thankfully it didn't rain until the evening. I could definitely tell that Manchester is a city in a whole different league to tiny Guildford; all the buildings were so tall and the roads were so wide, and it was a lot more multicultural too. I've never seen  an Armenian Church before!

We sensibly spent the day on indoor activities, such as visiting Manchester Museum, where I had  the biggest latte of my life with hazelnut AND amaretto syrups, all for the bargain price of £2.60!

Of course, there was the usual fare of dinosaurs, mummies, and beautiful Roman and Egyptian artefacts ...

...but also some really interesting animal exhibits, both stuffed and real (!)...

This is the yellow-banded poison dart frog, or 'bumblebee frog'! There were apparently a number of different coloured poisonous frogs hanging around, but we only managed to spot a couple.

After the museum we made a quick stop at The Trafford Centre, Manchester's amazing shopping centre which is like a mini town itself; sadly we only got to spend an hour there because it was Sunday, but I did manage to buy 100ml of tasty peach liqueur from Vom Fass, where you can choose the bottle you want your drink to go in as well as the drink itself! As well as alcoholic drinks you can buy things like balsamic vinegar and oils, and everything looked pretty amazing.

To top off a great weekend, I arrived home to this amazing rainbow:

The photo doesn't do it justice - it was probably the biggest rainbow I've ever seen!

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