Denise was feeling a lot better this morning, so we set off for Starbucks and the shops. It helped that the rain had decided to stop.
Back at home, after Bob joined us, it was decided we’d all go over to Uppark, the National Trust property at South Harting. We went there years ago. In fact it was the drive up to the house that spelled the end for poor old Neville. He just gave up the ghost after giving his best against an incline that was seemingly made to defeat him.
Being winter, most National Trust properties are shut up tight, cleaning, repairs and restoration going on behind the closed doors. Uppark is similar except for the tunnel linking the outbuildings to the servant’s quarters.
Bob wondered why they would have built a tunnel leading to the house from what was once the kitchen. Mirinda told him it was to keep the food dry before serving it. He wasn’t convinced. I suggested it was because the owners were terrible snobs and didn’t want to have to see the kitchen staff so keeping them underground was the perfect solution.
Whatever the reason, I thought it was a bit of fun walking beneath the original driveway and entering the various servants’ rooms. There was the big dining room, complete with Christmas tree dressed with handmade Victorian decorations, the butler’s room, the beer vault, the housekeepers cosy nook, and a few more.
Possibly the highlight for Mirinda was the room of dolls houses. Possibly the highlight for me was the pair of zombie dolls in the big dolls house.
There were a few more strange beings in the dining room upstairs, the only room in the house open at the moment. The table was laid out for Christmas with quite an expansive menu. The rather strange mannequins gave the whole thing an otherworldly air.
We stood outside, admiring the view for a bit before heading back to Max. We had intended to have lunch in the cafe but it was full to overflowing (the result of it being the only place open for miles around) so decided to pop over to The Mill near where we used to live in Shottermill.
There were a few options but then Mirinda gave me the choice. Nowhere else stood a chance. The Mill serves 6X on tap which means it’s going to win. Easily.
So lunch was had in the renovated Mill. I’ve reported the renovations before on this blog but Mirinda hadn’t actually seen them for herself. She was quite surprised. Pleasantly.
After a lovely lunch (thank you, Denise) we once more climbed into Max and set off for that seasonal favourite Surrey site, the Mortuary Chapel at Compton.
The day was bleak and yet, as always, Mary Seaton’s chapel looked perfect. I really don’t think the type of weather matters. Mary designed and made it to look perfect no matter what. I think my favourite bit are the seats outside.
It was soon time to complete our big circle by returning to the house and the puppies. It was decided we’d all watch A Room with a View if the DVD was at home but it wasn’t. So we all decided to watch Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Well, I say ‘all’ but actually Bob decided he’d rather do anything other than watch Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. He went back to the hotel while the three of us watched it. Bob returned once it was well and truly over.
I made foamy chicken for dinner but the highlight was the big old singsong we had afterwards. Having access to most of the world’s music means we can find just about any obscure song that Bob remembers from the early 1950’s. Before we all walked Bob back to the hotel, I made Denise sing Blue Bayou.
All in all, it was a lovely day, unspoiled by rain.