A first for us, taking two weeks holiday slightly apart. Having spent a splendid week in Dorset, I went back to work for two weeks, only to have another week’s holiday. Highly recommended – two bites of the cherry, two ‘end-of-term’ feelings, and the second week didn’t go nearly as fast as normal. Our second week was at the Cider Press on the excellent Cadhay Estate just outside Ottery St Mary. I hadn’t been there since Uni (and the infamous burning barrels on 5 November). We were fortunate that the main house was closed for the bank holiday, so spent a few evenings in the wonderful gardens as well as looking around the house. As we were by ourselves, a rather gourmet week, starting off in London at Le Gavroche with their amazing set lunch. Weather proved very sympathetic, providing warm dry weather when needed (such as in the middle of the River Exe for lunch).
The Cider Press
View from the Cider Press
Outside Le excellent Gavroche
Outside Le equally excellent Gidleigh Park
Onboard Le somewhat different River Exe Cafe
The imposing parish church at Ottery St Mary
We were indebted to Rosie for lending us her caravan at a delightful site in Charmouth for the first week of August. Although I had stayed in Charmouth before (years ago, on a semi-plebby holiday with the lads) and more recently visited Harold and Jean, it was great to be reacquainted with some favourite places as well as finding some new. Beer was delightful, the Hive Beach Cafe at Burton Bradstock was a revelation, Livi fell in love with Sidmouth (rather, the folk festival) and people knew who Mary Anning was at the Charmouth fossil centre. Also delightful to run into the Hunters half way through, where Billy (the dog) was being looked after nearby.
Oh, and five lots of cheesy chips, Milly…
French Lieutenant’s Woman
Sidmouth Folk Festival
Fossil collecting on Charmouth Beach
Hive Beach Cafe
Unexpected evening get together
Shooting back to Shute
Proving it is possible to be relatively spontaneous, we found ourselves on a day trip to the Isle of Wight, with follow-up visits to Shanklin and the Ventnor Botanical Gardens. The gardens are always worth a visit and were pleasantly quiet when we turned up for last orders. Schools [still not] out [yet] for Summer.
Red Funnel over
Shanklin Sea Front
Sub tropical gardens
Vibrant colours everywhere
English Rose (another one)
About time to get the parents back on the site following a visit a few Fridays back. The house is looking in great shape (especially following a supreme short back and sides on the grass – check out the picture!). On the way there picked up Livi from an extended stay with her new surrogate sister Rosie.
Check out the hat
My hat’s better
Still not taller than the old man yet
Check out those lines!
Another day trip to London – a late birthday celebration for Rebecca. Without children, but with art. The day built up to an evening lecture, ‘On Colour: Veronese and Matisse’ by the two curators of the current exhibitions for these artists.
First to the Tate Modern to hunt down Matisse in the form of the ‘Portait of Greta Moll’ (1908), even though the talk and future exhibition is on his cut outs. Good to see, as the portrait was compared and contrasted to the ‘Portrait of a Venetian Woman’ (1560), with attention drawn to the background of the later portrait, comparing it to the white on the sleeves of the earlier painting.
Portrait of Greta Moll (check the background)
Portrait of a Venetian Woman (check the sleeves)
A quick walk round the Tate Modern with some excellent and perhaps not such excellent artwork…
Challenging (I think)
Next a visit to the Shard with a stop in Hutong (entered via the Shangri La hotel). Amazing views, particularly from the award-winning loos (with a view). Then onto the viewing gallery at the top with spectacular views all round.
Top of the Shard
Thence to the National Gallery and the Veronese exhibition. Not a particularly well known artist, perhaps, but magnificent pictures, use of colour and conflation of unexpected subjects (Christ and his apostles and the noble families of Venice paying for the pictures for example). Finally to the excellent talk on the two artists, who have often been referred to as ‘two of the great colourists of all time’. Bravo to Xavier F. Salomon and Nicholas Cullinan for an excellent lecture to round off the day.
Veronese – Magnificence in Renaissance Venice
A quick trip to London with Milly to check out the ‘Mind Maps: Stories from Psychology’ exhibition at the Science Museum. Our first visit there but certainly not the last – and a smug feeling as we walked past the massive queues for the Natural History Museum before going straight into the Science Museum. Nice to buy Milly a legal drink, albeit rather laced with sugar and blue colour. Happy 18th!
A quick stop-off before the work of the day
The work of the day
Alcoholic blue sugar at the Hard Rock
Science museum – out of this world
A welcome return to Lewtrenchard for a late winter break. Included a change of rooms on the last night as the hotel was empty and we were offered any room we wanted! A trip down memory lane as we went back to the room occupied 19 years previously.
Last guests standing
Tea with Bryony opposite Exeter Cathedral