Archive for the ‘English country house’ Category

To Norwich and back via Oxburgh and Cambridge…..

Reflections    Oxburgh

 

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chris.baker.london@gmail.com

The daffodils are out and so are some hardy bluebells. But it’s also great to be inside and transported to some far away art treasures through outstanding presentations by leading experts. Soon it will be Venice (with musical accompaniment) then the following month we will be off to Japan!

Kenwood-from-rivulet

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chris.baker.london@gmail.com

To Charleston, the home of the Bloomsbury set and Farley Farm, the home of the Surrealists in England, and all in one day. And what a glorious summer day. Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant were the main inhabitants but the house has a fascinating history and is full of circles, squares and triangles. Roland Penrose and Lee miller lived at Farley Farm and the house was a meeting place for leading modern artists of the time including Picasso – more shapes to see and a sculpture garden. (Oh – and there are great places to have a pub lunch nearby.)

CharlestonNow to get ready for tomorrow’s Fair in the Square in Highgate…

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contact: chris.baker.london@gmail.com

A mansion house in NW3, built in the era of Queen Anne, which houses the Hampstead Museum and regular art exhibitions. And it has a lovely garden and a fine cafe. A great place to visit on a fine Spring day!

Garden at Burgh House, Hampstead

Garden at Burgh House, Hampstead

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contact: chris.baker.london@gmail.com

The satnav was switched on and the trip to Wrest Park began. So to all the back roads in Bedfordshire. It was a real mystery tour going to somewhere ‘new’. To one of Britain’s finest ‘secret gardens’ – all 90 acres of it. A fabulous place to inspire with its magnificent house with conservatory, formal and wooded gardens, a central walk along a gravel path surrounded by statues, giving the long view of the pavilion across the lake.

Wrest-pavillion

Wrest-Conservatory

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mail: chris.baker.london@gmail.com

A stroll across towards Hampstead Heath from Kenwood reveals – for locals – a familiar view. The huge house peeking through the woods is Athlone House. Over 150 years old it’s been a private house, an RAF college and was used by the NHS, but now very sadly it’s under threat of demolition. So I thought I’d paint it, as many have done before.

Athlone-House2

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e-mail: chris.baker.london@gmail.com

The website describes these gardens as ‘enchanting’. Definitely worth a visit Myddleton House Gardens comprise eight quite surprising acres slightly off the beaten track in the Enfield, North London.  Edward Augustus Bowles lived in the house up until 1954.  He was a very well regarded self-taught gardener, artist and expert botanist and his legacy has recently been restored. There is a visitors’ centre, a great cafe and very photogenic and highly sketchable grounds to enjoy. There are quirky features – chicken wire sculptures, hidden paths and follies, Victorian greenhouses and some grass is even painted blue to mark a lost river!

Myddleton

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