Thursday 21 August 2014

Art Deco and Fields of Gold.

This week we have been off work.

Getting Himself to book any kind of time of is nothing short of a miracle, so I was delighted to get him to commit to a whole week off even if we had no plans to do anything with it.

As it turns out we decided to finally visit Eltham Palace. It may have been the boyhood home of Henry the VIII but it is also a shining beacon of Art Deco gorgeousness thanks to it's owners Stephen and Virginia Courtauld who moved in in 1933 and with money no object set about creating their perfect home.
Ever since I realised it was Linnet Ridgeway's home in 'Death on the Nile' I was determined to visit it. Finding out that the house was also home to a Lemur called Mahjong who had run of the house with his own ladders and doorways made me want to visit even more!

It has taken me a while but I eventually wore Himself down and the trip was planned. Now usually I would have just gone on my own but I knew Himself would love it too so was determined we would go together. 
The journey comprised of train, underground, train, by foot but we finally got there and it lived up to every expectation, I was in Art Deco heaven. No photos inside so I bought a guide book as a reminder of what we saw.
If we had any complaints they are that the rooms were, on the whole, very empty, I guess to be fair when the Courtauld's moved out in 1946 they took their belongings with them! Also only a limited amount of the house is available to view.
I have read that English Heritage are still restoring the Palace so maybe a trip back in a few years might be an idea.

The palace was taken over by the Army from 1946 to 1992 and it was interesting to see some of the rooms set up as they would have looked as an officer's bedroom. I squealed when I noticed the bed was the exact same solid G Plan single bed I spent my childhood sleeping in. Clearly they were issued across all the armed forces and not just the R.A.F!

We also spent some time ambling around the gorgeous gardens, the sun even managed to come out for a short while.
This is me doing a 1930's/2010's mash-up.
Being a strapping lass the Deco style embroidered dress I had decided to wear turned out to be far too short on me to go without leggings, also a day out requires a bigger handbag than any of my tiny, age appropriate vintage beauties so I went for quirky and spacious. I also needed comfortable footwear so glittery sneakers it was.

All in all well worthy of a visit if you are a fan of all things 1930's.

From Eltham we headed back into London and across to Hammersmith. Himself had got tickets for a special Marvel screening and I was the 'plus guest'
Himself goes to the cinema at least twice a week, every week, and writes a film blog. It seems my years as a Cineworld widow are finally paying off.

It was quite exciting being signed in, getting a pass, being ticked off lists and generally herded about.

I'm not meant to discuss the screening other than it was mainly to do with Captain America and the DVD release of The Winter Soldier.
They gave is all a raffle ticket as we queued and gave out a few different prizes at the end. Himself only went and won a copy of the DVD so he was very happy.

On Tuesday we had a few things to do in town so we walked down together but split up as I wanted to do the Chazzas. There wasn't a whole lot to be had.
I bought a brooch and a pair of earrings

and a dress, £6 for the lot.

I had dropped a bag off in one shop on my way into town but didn't go back there to browse until much later.
I had had a good sort out of my jewellery last weekend and was amused to see what I had taken in was already out on display. I was very much less amused when the lady took the brand new pair of baseball boots I had donated and just lobbed them straight into the bin!?! 

Let's just say I won't be taking my donations to that particular shop again!

Yesterday we decided whatever the weather we would go for a lovely long walk and a pub lunch.
Thankfully the weather was chilly but sunny, perfect walking weather.
The hedgerows were full of berries and fruit which whilst pretty are all much too early, it's only August for heaven's sake!
They were cutting the wheat.
which was fine until the combine came near by and we nearly choked to death on that cloud of dust.

We found a pub called The Bear at Home so it seemed appropriate to have a pint of 'bear's paw' and very nice it was too.
We decided against food and headed off out again. We met a pig or two
and I fart-arsed around with the zoom on the new camera
It took longer than I thought it would to get home, I was busting. The downside of drinking a pint in the middle of your walk. Unfortunately this part of the walk was through a village and a nature reserve full of open spaces and people so I couldn't nip behind a bush.
We found some seats so Himself said we should take a picture, by this time my back teeth were floating.
I like this picture because you would never guess that behind this beaming smile was a very, very desperate woman.


  1. I really would love to visit that house!! I'm adding it to my list. I love having a good nose around, regardless of era, but the fact that it's 1930's inside makes me giddy! I can't believe your donated boots were binned straight away?! P x

  2. I've been meaning to visit Eltham Palace since it reopened in the 90s, how useless am I?! If you're a big fan of that era, you should try to visit the Landsdowne Club in Mayfair, which still has all the period fittings. My friends got married there, it was gorgeous (It's usually a part of London Open House (or Open City as it's been renamed) but I just checked the website so I could get you the link, and it's not participating this year. Such a pity, it's a great space.)

    How come you never link to Himself's film blog then? :)

  3. Eltham Palace looks and sounds fascinating. Good that you both went, too. Places are much more fun shared.
    Your sparkling pumps are fab, being desperate for a wee not so much! xxx

  4. That's a great post. Nicely told! Haven't got to Eltham Palace yet, but it's on the list.

  5. Eltham Palace sounds like a great place to visit. Anything to do with the Tudors always fascinates me. Can't believe it's time for autumn fruit already. Thanks for the heads up, I need to get out there. Oh no, a full bladder, torture!! Xx

  6. Ha, I bet that's why you're holding your bag on your lap, disguising the distended belly of wee! It's a nightmare, isn't it, being desperate and nowhere to go... Lovely photos of your walk though.
    But on the plus side, Eltham Palace sounds fab, love your frock'n'sparkly pumps combo, but I am outraged at the charity shop lady throwing new boots away - what was she thinking? xxx

  7. I really need to go and visit Eltham - it has been on the list for AGES!

  8. Glad you were able to get away and have a whole week off together :-) It looks and sounds lovely. Haha I cant hold my drink either my bladder is not what it was before children came along :-) Have a lovely weekend, dee x

  9. I adore the new-to-you dress, it reminds me of one I chazzed recently and I haven't stopped wearing it since! I do hope you took the pressure off and snuck of into the bushes for a quick slash after the post-brew pic of you mid-clench ;) heheeee!!! I'm glad you had a week off together and enjoyed some lovely adventures. xoxo

  10. Oh I really love Eltham Palace! It's so gorgeous there, especially the gardens. I visited when there was an Art Deco fair, which as to be expected was an utter delight!! XX

  11. Aaaah! Like so many other commenters, I've got Eltham Palace on my must-visit list too. I bet it was gorgeous. I believe it's possible to rent it out for events, but dread to think how much that would cost.

    You were an RAF kid too! Tell me, is my memory playing tricks on me or did Forces quarters come with utility china in the 1970s/early 80s? Dunno if you can remember back that far. I'm convinced we had utility china in our house in Germany.

  12. Love the darling, timelessly pretty Christmas tree brooch. It's hard to believe that we're less than four months away from that season again. Blink twice, I'm positive, and it will be here.

    Hope you have a fantastic weekend, lovely lady!
    ♥ Jessica