Saturday, July 20, 2013

Salt Air and Saltram

We left the apartment at 6:15am this morning to catch the 7:40am train from Paddington to Plymouth. 

We thought we'd escape the heat and noise of London for a day.
We made a great choice as it was a clear blue sky pleasant day in Devon.

We chose to visit Saltram, for 350 year the home of the Park family.
What a wonderful gem of a house. 

I do not have the words to describe the beauty and harmony of the Robert Adam interiors.

They are exquisite.

I became taken with the fireplaces of all things.  Each one is a unique creation and a little work of art in and of itself.

The rooms are somehow graceful. Tasteful and restrained.

I thought the needle workers amongst us might appreciate the canopy and bed covers. 

Here's the library. Don't the chairs look welcoming?

All the decorative details were perfect - chandeliers, chinoise details, curio cabinets, and ceiling details.

And the paintings!  One of the Parkers was a childhood friend of the painter, Joshua Reynolds.  Reynolds helped him amass a wonderful collection of paintings, including something like two dozen Reynolds.  
The Parkers did not just collect paintings, they painted too.  Frances, the first countess of Morley (pictured above) was a gifted water-colorist.

This is one of her many paintings. She sounds to have been a delightful woman with wit and charm and humor.  She had more than a nodding acquaintance with the novelist Jane Austin and corresponded with her. 

To engage younger visitors, there is a wooden mouse 'hidden' in each of Saltram's rooms.  Being young at heart, I attempted to find all the mice.  This one was in a dangerous location in a curio-cabinet.

After touring the house, we took a walk about the grounds.  There is a small wildflower meadow that is a butterfly magnet.

Mature trees created a shaded walkway. 

And our walk had vistas of the surrounding countryside.

Like the interior of the house, the grounds exuded grace and charm.  We ended our stay with a late lunch in the cafe.  I decided that seafood was appropriate and had a hearty brown and white crab-meat sandwich. 

I am far too tight with my money to ever spring for a 1st class airplane ticket, but boy howdy, I sure do enjoy the relative luxury of 1st class train travel.  A comfy leather seat, free snacks and WIFI - I'm easily appeased!  We returned to Paddington at 7:22pm and were back home by 8:00pm.  It made for a long day, but I must say that Saltram was worth it.


Margaret said...

Wow, what a beautiful estate! I love seeing the interiors.

CalamityJr said...

Oh, I love today's adventure! Thanks ever so much for sharing!

Barb said...

Thanks for the amazing trip to Saltram. The fireplaces were indeed wonderful.

Annette-California said...

Yes Saltram was totally worth your day long visit. How Gorgeous the home was decorated. I loved the colours they used. Oh Thank you for the delightful tour today:) I can't imagine how long it took to stitch the bed canopy, my heart melted. And good for you and your mom getting 1st class in the train. Beautiful.
love Annette

cucki said...

Too aww I love it too :)

Ann at Beadlework. said...

The air in Plymouth would feel so fresh compared to the city air. What a lovely place to visit, the interiors are very bonnie. It would be a reasonable length train ride to get there - first class on the train is certainly worth it.

Giovanna said...

Devon is so beautiful, and what a lovely house! The Westbury Horse is very special too.

Mary said...

The library is my favorite, I could just seem me there with a book and a pot of tea .......... love the chalk horse. The embroidery on the bed is amazing, to think women did this all the time, not like us just for fun. With all the day travel and walking you two do I am guessing there is no night life unless it involves a pillow...hahaha

Vickie said...

Beth, I don't know. Just something about Saltram, it is my favorite estate you have posted on. So lovely! Oh the life! sigh

Carol said...

Stunning, absolutely stunning! I could spend days holed up in that lovely library :)

Melissa said...

It must have been lovely to get out by the sea air. It looks like a wonderful visit. I love that library and that shaded tree walk!

Mouse said...

see you find me everywhere hehehehhe ... looks an absolutely fab place and has to go on my must visit list :)
loved the library and the bedroom but my favorite place .....the garden :)
off to go and peek where you have been today ... catching up as always heheheh :) love mouse xxxxx

Chris said...

Wonderful. You are going to some really interesting places. This looks like another perfect day!

Melanie said...


Angie Burrett said...

So pleased you enjoyed a wee bit of Devon. I have just been in London for the weekend catching up with my 3 kids and some dear friends - HOT! But huge fun. Back in the peaceful Devon countryside again now. Have a good day x

Maggee said...

Wow! Love those ceilings and trims! What masterpieces they are! I wonder what those books on the far left are--they looked much older and worn! Thanks for the tour as always! Hugs!