Today me and a friend made the most of this sunny Sunday and went on a jaunt outside of our respective cities. They are both great cities to live in with all sorts of cultural and foodie diversions but getting away from them into the delightful west country countryside is a treat too! Especially if there is a National Trust cafe in the vicinity. I can’t be too far from a cup of tea and in my eagerness to get up early to make the most of the day I omitted to bring a flask of the tannin, caffeine rich stuff.

Our destination was Tyntesfield. Although it is too early in the season and I think there is also some remaining restoration work to be completed in the main house and chapel, we were able to roam around the grounds. And what pretty grounds they were! In the fresh spring sun everything was bright, clear and full of life. Wood of the benches we rested ourselves on had the aged grain and softness of skin, grass on the perfect lawns was actively photosythnsesising (of course it always is) and filling our lungs with the freshest oxygen and birds were numerous. Blue tits, crows and pigeons mostly but did I also see a coal tit?

Only smatterings of Spring flowers were visible. The ‘prize’ flowers in the walled garden and formal beds had yet to appear but there were crocuses, snowdrops and daffodils to enjoy. There were hardy shoots poking out and buds and tiny blossoms appearing so it was a garden full of promise. We shall definitely return. As well as the aforementioned walled garden, which they call a Lady Garden, there is also an Orangery. It’s in the process of much needed restoration but is looking good. Who wouldn’t want an orangery in their garden? This one is fabulous and according to the bumf, one of the few remaining in its style. Classical I think, as opposed to the style the main house is in (Gothic Revival).

If I could, I would move into Tyntesfield right away. Gothic (though not Goth) is most definitely my dream house style. Others may fetishise polished concrete and litres of white paint but give me turrets, gargoyles and excessive (though not baroque) decoration any time! Enough of my writing, here are some pictures




Beautiful yes? They give a taster but not the full view. I’ll upload some more pictures in time. Or you can JGI. Even better… visit the place!

Just quickly before I go to bed….the cafe was lush (as they say round these parts) and I would have loved to have indulged in all the tempting treats. I restricted myself to some Earl Grey tea….oh and I did share a little pork pie with friend as our ambling had provoked hunger grumbles. Well actually it was the pies themselves and the homemade scotch eggs that brought those on but we allowed ourselves the illusion. We ate outside where once udder wash and cow shit would have flowed but if you preferred you could actually eat in the cow barn in the ‘cells’ themselves! Having grown up in a village where cows passed through twice daily with all the smells and ‘fluids’ that brings my appetite to eat in there was quashed, immediately. Novel for city types perhaps though?

And speaking of shit, Tyntesfield would not exist without it. William Gibbs made his fortune out of it, Importing guano from south America to Britain as fertiliser.

On a prettier note, a hibiscus (?) growing next to the aviary…



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