This was the view from Mom's bedroom at the front of the house.
This is the sitting room that was set aside for us during our stay.
Anne and I shared this bedroom. She had the bed near the window and I took the one near the door. Clare had little arrangements of fresh flowers from her garden throughout the house.
There were books everywhere in the house. We saw one entitled "Rude and Ribald Racing Rhymes" in one of the stacks on the landing. We didn't flip through it. With a title like that we dasn't.
These well-loved first edition Beatrix Potter books made me swoon. I love the bookends too.
We watched some little birds at the feeder in the rain at breakfast one morning through this window.
|English fry up: sausage, eggs, bacon, mushrooms, tomatoes.|
|Fresh croissant with scrambled egg and smoked salmon.|
|Look at the little fox head on the teaspoon handle. Precious.|
|A soft boiled egg. We made soldiers out of our toast to dip in the yolk.|
Clare made excellent breakfasts. One morning we did the full English fry up, one morning we just had fruit and yogurt and soft boiled eggs and toast and one morning we had scrambled eggs with smoked salmon. Her toast was amazing. English toast is just different. I think their bread is better (and so is their butter) but it's almost like their toast is more dry and delicately crunchy. English bacon is fantastic too. Mom said they used to boil it--yuck--but all the bacon we had was fried and therfore delicious. I love it even more than American bacon; and in case you are wondering smoked salmon and scrambled eggs is amazing together. I don't know why it's not an American staple.
Clare had a flock of doves (that scared the heck out of us when they all flew out of this building when we peaked inside), two motherly, protective guinea hens and several chickens so our eggs each morning were fresh. No wonder they were so delicious.
I loved the collection of hats and antler hat racks and the collection of walking sticks she kept in the entry--so very charming and British. I want to start a walking stick collection for my front entry.
We parked our car right in front of the purple flowers.
|Steps to the back garden.|
|Clare's summer garden.|
An old apple tree. The wind seems to have given this one a hard time but it still had fruit growing on it.
Views looking west from the hill behind the house. There was a sheep pasture to the east.
When Anne and I were exploring we found a little secret door in the front garden. We went through and it was a shortcut to the road that wound around from in front of Clare's barn up to the main road. As we walked up the lane we passed several pastures with sheep, said hello to a horse, got startled by some huge pigeons and saw a border collie rounding up the sheep for the evening. One day when we were driving a little stoat popped out of the hedges, bounded to the middle of the road, looked around and dove back from whence he emerged. We also saw some pheasant hens and I think maybe two pheasant cocks in the hedges. It's hard to think of a word that describes Devon better than "charming." One day as we were driving we saw two farmers wearing wellies and flat caps (think this, only older). They couldn't have looked more at home in the English countryside if they tried.
One night Clare lent us her kitchen while she was out. We had our dinner at her big farmhouse table with woodworm holes, and admired her china collection and imagined what it would have been like for our ancestor, Mary Blake to work in that grand old house.
The gardens at Sannacott were magical--filled with beautiful things. Everything was peaceful and removed from the rest of the world. It was truly a delight to stay there.
To Be Continued. . .