dinsdag 27 juli 2010
The man in the painting
This was our second visit to Bowood. Our first visit to the house and gardens was eight years ago. At that time we did not come any further than the adventure playground and the space dive, a spectacular slide with a 19 feet vertical drop, which our girls loved.
When we asked them what they would like to do during our recent stay, they were very clear about it: visit Bowood once again. We did not mind at all!
Bowood is a magical place, with so much to see. There is the impressive park, created by Capability Brown (18th century landscape architect), a grotto with waterfalls and an aritificial lake, a boathouse and a Doric temple from which you have an amazing view of the house.
The terraces and flower borders close to the house were a sea of pink, lilac and purple at the time we visited. The scent of roses and lavender intoxicating. I enjoyed strolling in the park, breathing in the atmosphere, letting my mind wander and my imagination fly.
The house was built at the beginning of the 18th century and is the home of the marquiss and marchioness of Landsdowne. Several rooms are open to the public and are full of treasures; from Napoleon's death mask to a little bunch of orange blossoms from queen Victoria's wedding bouquet. The orangery is filled with ancient tapestries, beautiful chandeliers, well shaped sculptures and Mediterranean flowers.
What struck me most was a portrait of one of the forefathers of the present owner, a handsome young man, born in the nineteenth century. It was not only his sweet looking face, the way he posed for the painter, but also his casual dress that impressed me. Somehow he would not look out of place if he were to step out of the painting and walk among us...
Well, I realise I have written way too much for one post. So sorry. Let me take you on a tour through the house and gardens. Enjoy the photos!