Sunday, December 01, 2019

A Visit to Sandon Hall

Yesterday we visited Sandon Hall which is just a few miles south-east of the canal town of Stone.  

It was slightly foggy as we made our way there with just a glimmer of sun waiting to appear later in the day. 


It was cold too so extra layers were needed for a walk around the grounds.

Sandon Hall is a  Grade II listed 19th century country mansion set in 400 acres of parkland.

It has been home to the Harrowby family since the 1850s.  The house was rebuilt from 1850 to 1854 after it was devastated by fire.

As we headed towards the main entrance we were met by a little tabby cat who walked ahead of us to the doors.

It was very friendly and I was able to tickle under its chin and stroke its head.  Inside it was warm and noisy, a choir was singing carols around a piano near the staircase and stall holders were discussing their wares with visitors.

We decided to head to the Orangery first for a warming mug of coffee before having a good look around the stalls inside.  There were lots of lovely festive crafts but I didn't take any photos as it was too busy.

The Orangery was fairly empty when we arrived and we were able to find a table inside rather than outside in the marquee.

Delicious coffee and one piece of fruit cake to share.

Not long after we were settled people started to arrive for elevenses.

Everything was looking quite festive.

The staircase

The Orangery from the outside


We were looking forward to a walk around the grounds. 
You can see from the photos above and below how frosty it was.








Halfway round the garden the little cat joined us again.

 It wanted a fuss and left behind muddy paw prints

before its attention became focused on something moving at the bottom of the wall, a little mouse perhaps?

There was an elf trail for the children

and we could hear yells of delight as the elves were spotted and cards stamped.  We encountered about five of them as we walked around.

It was a lovely visit and felt very seasonal and festive.  Today is the first day of December and I think it may be a stay at home and make the Christmas cake day.  What are your plans for today?

23 comments:

  1. What a lovely place to wander with the added bonus of a friendly feline for company. Thanks for sharing & we stayed in, as it was cold too here in Oz for the first day of summer. 13 deg with a wind chill factor of around 5. Crazy!! Take care.

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    1. Thank you Susan, I loved the frosty walk. I hope the weather warms up at little for you soon:)

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  2. I love your photos of a frosty day in such a beautiful place. So festive too and a delicious snack to keep you warm too. 😊

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    1. Thank you Karen, my fingers were very cold after taking gloves off to take the photos, at least the coffee warmed us up first:)

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  3. We're lucky to have so many of these fine old buildings and gardens to wander around and explore. It would be nice though if there were just one or two events in December that were not Christmas Fairs! I might show willing and search out my Christmas card list some time this afternoon.

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    1. Thank you John, I found our card list the other day and put it somewhere safe!!? I thought the fair was okay but it was great to get in to see gardens and grounds which was really what we went for:)

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  4. What a gorgeous place to visit!

    And how perfect it is, with hoar frost. I so love hoar frost pictures!!! Yours here are amazing. Yessss!!!!

    Oh my, he did leave muddy paws, didn't he? -giggles- But it was a tiny mess, on a perfect day.

    🎄 😊 🎄

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    1. Thank you WoW, glad you enjoyed the frosty photos, the little catdid seem to take to us and it was nice to see it enjoying all that wonderful space:)

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  5. A perfect visit. A cat to stroke, coffee and a walk around a frosty garden. All my favourites. No frost here yet although it’s due to get colder this week. B x

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    1. Thank you Barbara, yes it was quite perfect, lovely to stroke a cat again and what a lovely place it had to live in. Mist and frost for three mornings running now:)

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  6. Such a beautiful place but looking very chilly from the photos. The tabby cat has such lovely unusual markings. Such pretty pictures especially the frosted oak leaves. Have a great week ahead Rosie. The Christmas tree has gone up today and tomorrow I will decorate it. Baked a batch of mince pies today so will enjoy them with a tipple this evening! x

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    1. Thank you Simone,yes it was very chilly, my fingers were quite cold after taking gloves off to take photos, there were some lovely frost covered leaves and flower heads. I made the Christmas cake and we had our first Christmas card though the post box, hand delivered from down the crescent. Hope you enjoyed a mince pie and a tipple and that you have a good week ahead:)

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  7. What a beautiful wintry post - gosh it does look cold and frosty. It looks a lovely place to visit and the elf trail is such a wonderful idea - I would have been looking for them too! :) It is always nice when houses are decorated for Christmas. I may try and go to Packwood and Baddesley here to see them although last year I went to Packwood twice and both times all the timed tickets had already been allocated! :( I started my Christmas cake yesterday - Mary Berry suggests you soak the fruits in brandy overnight so I will finish that off today. Also made some lemony almond tartlets last week and froze some for Christmas. Have a great week.

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    1. Thank you RR, I'm sure there were more elves around and they were seen easily as they stood out from the dark and frosty trees. We didn't see much of the house, it doesn't open very often and I think the family still live in part of it. Hope you get to Packwood and Baddesley. Sounds like you have been busy in the kitchen, I made the cake Sunday morning but had used the small amounty of brandy left in the Christmas pudding so will get some more to feed tha cake with later. I did soak the fruit in warm water for an hour or so. The lemon andalmonf tartlets sound tasty. Hope you too have a good week:)

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  8. You always take us to the nicest places, Rosie. Is it OK to love the beautiful coffee cups in the tea-shop when faced with all this?
    Amalia
    xo

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    1. Thank you Amalia, of course it is they were lovely enough to take a photo of, made by the Roy Kirkham factory in Stoke-on-Trent so very local to the hall:)

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  9. I love the foggy frosty photos, it looks like a good place to explore and I like your tour guide :D

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    1. Thank you Pam, Saturday was the first really wintry day we'd had with both fog and frost it was very atmospheric. I couldn't have asked for a better tour guide:)

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  10. Your photos of the grounds are lovely. Fog and frost make them very atmospheric. How wonderful to find an orangery where you could sit and enjoy refreshments!

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    1. Thank you Linda, I an imagine the Orangery is very hot in the summer as even though undercover it was very cold even sitting with a warm drink:)

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  11. What a beautiful place!

    The cat makes for good company.

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    1. Thank you William. It is lovely, the cat made the visit special:)

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  12. That sounds like a lovely day. I've drive past the entrance to Sandon Hall so many times, but never realised it was somewhere you could visit!

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