Friday, August 31, 2007

Visiting the Carew-Poles

Yesterday saw a rest day outing to the ancestral home of the Carew-Poles (pronounced C'roo Pole apparently judging by the way the National Trust guides spoke about the family). In an effort to get some decent value from our National Trust membership, we took Lizzie along as she's still covered by the family membership.

I can't say I'm a big fan of Antony House as a visitor attraction. The gardens are great, but the house itself, apart from one or two superb pieces of art collected in recent years by Sir Richard C-P has little that grabs my attention. One of Sir Richard's ancestors struck a pretty handy deal with the National Trust that means the family still has the run of the place and live there pretty much full time (you can't really blame them for making themselves scarce during opening hours), whilst the NT picks up a goodly load of the running costs.

We spent a pleasant forty minutes or so pootling around the public areas of the house; I did extend the invitation via one of the NT guides to the C-Ps to have look around my gaff, but I somehow doubt this will occur. If it did I suspect they would similarly find little to grab their attention apart from our outstanding collection of scaffolding.

The gardens are a different matter, and there's plenty of them. I recommend anyone to take a walk around the both the formal areas which have some excellent sculpture installations and the woodland gardens which abound with wildlife. Well worth the entrance fee. Not only are the gardens great to look at, but if you're tiny bit cheeky and hate to see good fruit go to waste you can snaffle a few ripe mulberries on your way around, as Mrs The Millbrooker is demonstrating in the photo on the left.

As I'm sure most of you will be aware I'm not a fan of the aristocracy per se, but I do have to hand it to Sir Richard who has done outstanding work with the Royal Horticultural Society and is unfailingly polite and pleasant whenever I sell him a railway ticket (always the cheapest available - no sense in throwing it around).

Being of the slightly pedantic persuasion, Mrs The Millbrooker and I did thoroughly enjoy the use of pluralisation on the cafe's menu:

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