Monday, 31 August 2015


On our way down to our holiday in Cornwall, we decided to pop in on a National Trust property and that was Lanhydrock.  It is a vast and sprawling estate with quite a walk from the car park to the house (with golf buggies for the less able) but it is a pleasant stroll and helps to get you in the mindset of the people who must have enjoyed living here many years ago.  The house inside is now presented as if it was in the early 1900s.

Although the building is essentially very old, being Jacobean, a devastating fire meant that it was largely rebuilt in the late Victorian era.

I took oodles of photos inside but you were understandably not allowed to use a flash and it was a gloomy day so apologies if the photos are a little dark.

What we really loved about Lanhydrock is that the NT have staged it as if the family is still in residence.  So as you can see, the table in the dining room is set ready for dinner.  This really helped bring the visit alive.  Sometimes when you visit these old houses, it can all seem a little remote.

There were a lot of rooms to see in this house which was also a plus and it was not too busy on the day of our visit.  Although many formal rooms were on show, my favourites tend to be those with a more down-to-earth feel.  I therefore loved the nursery and school room and the Nanny's bedroom with its stunning handmade quilt.

The lady of the house's boudoir was pretty special, though.  In true Victorian style, a lot of the rooms were quite colourful and sometimes dark in their decor but this space was like a breath of fresh air, light and bright.  Again, seeing all the little personal effects on display was a really positive experience for me.

I think I would have liked being the mistress of Lanhydrock very much.

My absolute favourite part of this house tour however, and yes I have saved the best for last, was looking round the kitchens.  I am really interested in interiors styling and kitchens in particular and those of the Victorian/Edwardian era tend to be my favourite.

What was so incredible at Lanhydrock was that there was not just a grand kitchen, or even the addition of a pantry, but a whole series of rooms.  Oh my!

The main kitchen was a very large room with an extremely high ceiling.  It was difficult to take a photo of it in its entirety, both because of the scale and because there were quite a lot of visitors in this room.  What is it that makes kitchens so fascinating?

I was drooling madly over all the beautiful pots, pans and utensils on display.  I see pieces like these on stalls at antiques fairs such as Shepton Mallet and am always tempted.

The cabinetry itself was also stunning, the quality palpable as you would expect from the Victorians but also immensely practical.  It struck me how today's kitchen styles still hark back heavily to this era.

On from the kitchen to various rooms such as the scullery, pantry, bakehouse and dairy.  Marvellous.

This room was my favourite.  I forget what its official name was but it had me swooning.  I was in here a long time and I took lots of photos of all the detailing for when the time comes to have our own kitchen refitted.  From the cupboards to the labelled jars to the jam tarts, it was perfection to me.

Onwards to yet another room, we started to wonder just when the kitchen tour would end.

In fact, it ended in the cheese room which was utterly jaw dropping with its central marble slab complete with water connection and drainage channels, gorgeous light fitting and tiled walls.  Around the edges of the walls ran wooden slatted shelves topped with various lovely old chargers and jugs and pretend cheeses.  As with the other rooms, it was staged as if a maid could have appeared to prepare the cheese at any moment.

I don't think I've ever enjoyed visiting another National Trust (or similar) property as much as this one and we were all in agreement on that.  It was fabulous and I can't wait to go again!  I will definitely be going when it is time to design our kitchen, I cannot think of better inspiration.  Should you find yourselves anywhere nearby, please do make time for a visit as it is truly worth it.

I have only been able to share a little portion of the property with you here (completely biased towards the kitchen, of course) but the grounds are also beautiful, especially this little chapel replete with roses round the arch.


Friday, 28 August 2015

A Cornish Getaway

Reader, it's been a very long time.  Let's not dwell on the why and just get on with catching up.

I can't believe the very long school Summer holiday is nearly over but it is.  Rewinding back to early July, we found ourselves packing up Delilah Disco and heading across the border, two to be precise, a little deeper into the wondrous West Country.  We were heading for somewhere I'd long since wanted to visit, namely a magical little place called Trevoole in Cornwall.

Trevoole is a little cluster of old stone buildings centred around a traditional farmhouse with a large barn converted into two further dwellings and numerous outbuildings along with pretty sprawling gardens.  Trevoole has previously featured in Country Living magazine and I have drooled over its pages.  Now was our turn.

Both the farmhouse and one portion of the barn are available to rent on a self-catering basis.  The farmhouse was under renovation so we found ourselves in Primrose Cottage for the week but both are equally picture book, comfy and cosy.

It does feel as if you have stepped back in time when you stay at Trevoole.  The owners spent many years renovating the buildings to a superb standard and collecting all manner of fabulous vintage goodies.

The owner's side of the barn...

The farmhouse...

The interiors of the buildings have been furnished with much care and attention to detail.  It is clear it has been created with love and also with flair that money cannot buy.  Yet nothing looks contrived and everything works.  I fell in love with the farmhouse kitchen.  I can't really imagine a more perfect room from its 1930s solid fuel AGA to its fabulous old dresser and those gorgeous Colefax and Fowler Bowood curtains.

Upstairs, the cosy bedrooms are a delight with original wooden floorboards, feather-leaking eiderdowns (just as they should be) and Enid Blyton books waiting to indulge one's flights of fantasy.

Travis, the owner, was kind enough to show us round his own home and we were wowed by the effect in the library which is a circular room, once thought to be a threshing barn now furnished with a nod to hunting prints and the books colour coded with delightful vintage lettered spines.  Everything has been created from scratch, the wood panelling for example is made from cut-down doors.

The pièce de resistance for an old fabrocoholic such as myself?  The little laundry room in the farmhouse.  

There are no words.  Pick that chin up off the floor!

Outside, there is still much to explore at Trevoole.  The garden keeps going and going and we would round a corner and find yet another outbuilding, lovingly repurposed into maybe a potting shed, a little shop, even a café.

There was a gorgeous kitchen garden complete with active beehive.

And a Morris Minor Traveller, of course!

Trevoole is in a little stage of transition at the moment.  Its owners having gone their separate ways, it is now still owned by Travis who has been hands on in its transformation for the past thirteen odd years.  The quaint tearoom and shop is closed at the moment while he finds his feet but here's hoping that one day, it will be back up and running.

I couldn't imagine a more lovely spot and if you find yourself looking for a special place to getaway, I can't recommend Trevoole highly enough.  It's a magical place we have felt privileged to visit.  I'm hoping we will be back.