Monday 17 September 2018

At Home for the Summer - #4 Back to Calke with Friends

Hi there everyone πŸ˜€

I know this post will seem a little late as we are now into Autumn but this is the last of my 'At Home for the Summer' posts for this year.

We were off out for the day with our good friends Jackie and Phil, who had managed to wangle a sneaky Friday off work so it felt like a real treat being out on a school day.

The original plan was to spend the day at Kedleston Hall, a National Trust property near Derby, followed by afternoon tea at a tiny little place nearby called The Little Shed.

However, at the last minute we discovered that Kedleston Hall isn't open on a Friday, so a quick change of plan found us back at Calke Abbey, but this time there were no bikes.

It was a scorcher of a day started off with a visit to the private apartments, which aren't normally open so this was a bit of a treat.

We then had a walk out to the gardens where the inspiration for our plant 'theatre' was looking as spectacular as ever ...
Obviously, ours isn't quite in the same class ...
Whilst we were quite late in the season there was plenty of colour to be seen in the gardens ...
With some welcome cool to be found in the potting sheds ...
The best treat of all though had to be the splash that we all had under the fresh cool water from the old pump. I can not imagine why I didn't take a photo of this, it must have been just so hot that I wasn't thinking quite straight.

There was plenty going on in the walled kitchen garden ...
We wandered out through the back of the walled gardens to find lots of children's activities under way, with plenty of running about in the long grass going on. We would have loved to have availed ourselves of pizzas, which were being cooked in the outdoor oven but settled for ice creams under the shade of the trees and the watchful eyes of the locals ...
We made our way back to the house for a good look round. Calke is not your typical stately home. In fact, it is described by the National Trust as 'the unstately home'.

I didn't take any photos inside but the interior of the house tells the story of the dramatic decline of the house and the people who used to live there. Gradually rooms got shut off and became unused, until pretty much only the private apartments were used. The rooms stayed this way until the property was handed to the Trust and this is how they have left them.

It's a really interesting property to explore, with lots of weird and wonderful things to see, just not necessarily where you would expect to see them. It is actually quite sad to think of this beautiful house becoming less and less used as the years passed.

Although we have visited Calke Abby before I had completely forgotten how you came out of the property and I won't say here, as it would be a big spoiler if you plan to visit, but safe to say it was lovely and cool.

Our visit over it was time to head over to The Little Shed for our afternoon tea, and not before time as we were all more than ready to eat.

Jackie had been before but it was brand new to the rest of us and we were delighted to find that it is just as described ... not much more than a little shed, but lovely, bright and quaint inside. Visiting the loo was a bit of an unusual experience and involved nipping round to the hair dressers round the corner, but other than that it was a real treat.

It was gentlemen's afternoon tea for Phil and Martin and a traditional for Jackie and I, both with as much tea as we could drink.
Well refreshed, and I don't believe I've ever said this before, but with too much cake, doggy bags were the order of the day, which made for a very welcome treat the following day ...


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