Oh but it’s been a lovely week. Writing jobs have been ticked off. Plans are under way for some cracking Yorkshire collaborations. And, I’m going to make time to get out of the house with its home-office and spend relaxing times visiting National Trust gardens, houses and tea rooms – come along and enjoy with me!
Recently I headed to the next place I wanted to visit with my National Trust Membership – Goddard’s House and Gardens in York. Originally built in the 1920s by Noel Terry, the owner of the Terrys Chocolate Company (think Chocolate Orange), it’s a spectacular Arts and Crafts style family home. Finding it proved slightly tricky however and you have to keep your eyes peeled for the small sign outside the archway. You drive down a simply stunning, long tree-lined avenue to the front entrance where you are immediately greeted by the NT volunteers. And they were fantastic. So welcoming, full of enthusiasm and they know every detail on the family, the business and of course, the house.
“Unlike some people I don’t aspire to fame, riches, rank and power. No, I aspire beyond that. I aspire to a home. ”
— Noel Terry
Each room is preserved much as it was when the family lived there. Although not every room is open to the public, there are plans for more to be accessible in the near future.
I was greatly impressed with the Drawing Room, where you are positively encouraged to sit on the sofa, partake of a sherry and even play backgammon.
There is a tearoom in what was once the Terry family dining room which is small and fills up with customers quickly. It was delightful to sit overlooking the gardens and choose from a selection of hot dishes, cakes and teas, and the afternoon tea of course. Could not resist a slice of chocolate orange cake!
There is lots of information about the chocolate business too, and particularly impressive are the old chocolate boxes, stunning in their design. For me the best thing in the house were the details, especially the wallpapers.
The upstairs hall in particular is incredible with its botanical pattern which I’m pretty sure was all printed by hand. And then I saw the most beautiful paper, only one strip next to a door. A flower and bird motif in the softest shades of pink and blue, it was a little torn and faded in places but still utterly charming. The Trust have painted the doors next to it in a glorious teal colour and the walls in a mustard shade which makes the wallpaper stand out even more.
And then to the gardens. Always my favourite part of visiting a National Trust property. It did not disappoint.
Tulips and daffodils, blossom opening on the flowering cherry trees. There are several fish ponds and a lawn for croquet.
The original glasshouse is spectacular and still in use by the gardening team today. I loved being in there photographing the old pots and new seedlings.
The insect house was a kind touch for little creatures.
At the bottom of the garden lies York racecourse and during the racing season it must be quite a view.
In the summer the terrace area will be lined with a lavender hedge and the windows in the house surrounded by wisteria (you can see the dried branches in the picture above). It’s going to look stunning.
You can also take tea on the terrace or even better than that, a gin and tonic. Bring it on, I wish!