Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Houghton Lodge

Let us go to Houghton Lodge, hard by Stockbridge in Hampshire. 



Houghton Lodge is "An 18th Century  Grade ΙΙ* listed  Gothic Cottage Orné, idyllically set above the tranquil waters of the River Test." 

We were visiting Stockbridge and decided to have a look at this place on a pleasant afternoon. 

As we wandered around the beautiful grounds and garden we came across people in costume, looking for all the world like a Jane Austen novel come to life. It turns out to be a company of historical dance enthusiasts out for a stylish summer picnic.

  


In what is one of my great Missed Opportunities, I didn't have the brass neck to gather some of them together for a posed picture. There were all the right elements. The Empire line dresses, men in scarlet uniforms just back from some foreign campaign, and the odd bounder.




Surely this fellow is The Warden from Trollope's Barchester Towers... Oh well. I still kick myself that I didn't get more pictures. However, I was with my family and there's only so many times you can play the photo-opportunity card.




This next one looks like a posed shot, but I'm afraid the truth is much  more prosaic. She had sneaked away from the company seated at the table for a quick smoke..




There's a lot to see at Houghton. Its small but perfectly formed, and in the river meadow you may see some of their Alpacas. 


Now here's a picture (one of those tight focus shots). Something to threaten the children with:




When we were there the owners were out in the gardens working. As a result both the car park and the coffee shop operated a serve yourself and honesty box policy. I do approve. That shows great faith in people :-)


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