Monday, June 04, 2007

First weekend of summer #2, Eltham Palace

My public demands palaces, and so I shall provide: Eltham Palace, the new bit.

Sunday involved a pleasant if somewhat trackwork-afflicted visit to Eltham Palace with Chantal. Eltham Palace is a rather unusual blend of a 15th century great hall with a 1930s art deco mansion. The result is pure fabulousness, which suggests that sometimes architects and interior designers are totally worth every cent.

The great hall was once part of a place complex where Henry VIII virtually grew up. It was reputed to top Hampton Court in extravagance which is really, really saying something. However, it fell into ruin. Most of the complex was destroyed, and the great hall fell to use as a barn, which obviously makes sense when you consider that it has this ceiling:

The Courtaulds, textile magnates, took the crown lease in the 1930s and had a mansion built abutting the great hall in grand art deco style. Unfortunately we have no pix of the rest of the house - its splendid wood panelling, the inlaid whatsis, the bathroom WITH GOLD PLATE - but trust me, it was tasteful and awesome and led to many thoughts of redecorating.

And all of this is set in some fairly elaborate gardens:

I didn't get my desired snooze in the sun, but otherwise it was fairly perfect, especially as it involved a cream tea.

By the end of the weekend, Grant and I had absorbed roughly 200 times the required vitamin D. It was really the best thing for what otherwise would have been a very stressful and sad weekend, far too far away from family and with Nanna sick. He's a good husband, that one.

On Sunday evening Rohan and Narelle had arrived from the Netherlands, and we had a nice dinner at Fancy Italian with them and Chantal. And then Grant and I went home and dozed our way through the rest of the evening; and today Mum rang to say Nanna was awake and doing well.

All up, great weekend.

And now I have to quite procrastinating and write some damned thesis, I'm afraid.

Photos can be found here.

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