15 June 2011

Back to Strawberry Hill

Strawberry Hill is such an extraordinary house that a quick return was justified having got a first taste of its treasures last November.

The weather was a little better this time, but only a little. Rain was threaten but stayed away for long enough to let me cycle there and do have a closer look at the outside.

This is the face of the house that faces the road and so tries hard to impress with its grandness and individuality. Approaching, you are in no doubt that this is a very different house.

Restoration work continues on the house and a few more rooms are open now. You can also see where further work is being done and the useful introductory video shows you the care and attention that is going in to this.

Each of the rooms have their own purpose and charms but it is impossible to ignore the Gallery which is the show-piece of the house. It sits comfortable on the garden side of the house with views towards the river, now hidden by trees.

The Gallery may demand the most attention but all the rooms are enchanting.

One of my favourite rooms is the Library.

Here the Gothic style is all around you in the bookcases on three walls, in the windows on the fourth, on the painted ceiling and in the door.

Luckily there are no books to ruin the look!

Not only are the rooms pretty individually but the way that they are carefully, and confusingly, put together adds to the excitement and sense of discovery.

Strawberry Hill is a little gem, and it's only a short bike ride away. I'll be back.

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