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Haddon Hall - A Glorious Country Manor House

Visiting historic houses is one of my favorite things to do in England and Derbyshire is a county that  offers an  extraordinary triumvirate of sites; Hardwick's Elizabethan glamour, the palatial splendors of Chatsworth and Haddon Hall, described by Simon Jenkins as "the most perfect English house to survive from the Middle Ages."  The joy of a visit to Derbyshire is that in visiting all three you can see the English country house through a variety of lenses and periods. 
In his definitive tome, England's1000 Best Houses Jenkins goes on to say of Haddon, "It has none of Hardwick's promiscuity or Chatsworth's bombast. It has not changed because it never needed to change". 
Indeed the house has remains in the hands of the Manners family since 1563 and is currently occupied by the Duke of Rutland's brother and his family. As they say on the website it has avoided, " fire; warfare;  family misfortune and changing fashions" and as such provid…

Paris - Our Flat in The Marais!

So I'm excited to let you know that we've found a place to stay in Paris. We'll be in the heart of everything in the Fourth Arrondissement, the historic Marais. We're across the street from the well known Mariage Freres teashop which I'm looking forward to getting to know, despite the fact that they were tres supercilious on my last visit!



I love the look of the place we've rented and I hope I like it as much on arrival. I wanted a flat that was bright, light and stylish. We'll be in Europe in the heart of the winter and  I'm happy we've found a place on the top floor with larger windows, light from multiple directions and even a skylight. 


So what are the downsides? It's not cheap, we have to walk up five floors, it's not large, the bathroom in particular is tiny and because it's in Paris everyone wants to stay - despite the fact that we only have a fold out couch. I know we should have stayed somewhere less glamorous! However, after a few weeks of talking to ourselves, and suffering withdrawal from all our friends, I know we'll be desperate to see you all!


It's located very centrally which could be both good and bad, by April it may be overrun with foreigners. Initially we intended to rent a place further out, to get a sense of a less touristy  Parisian neighborhood. We were focusing on the 10th Arrondissement near the Canal St. Martin which is certainly a trendy area with a lot of buzz. It's  past the Place de la République, not far from the place we stayed in when we visited Paris last. 

Here's the classic rooftop view from the bedroom, isn't it lovely? Perhaps I'll be spending a lot of time just looking out the window and watching Paris go by.....

Here's my blog post on the flat we rented (and loved) for our short visit the last time we were in Paris, this place is in the Marais outside the tourist madness and closer to the 10th. We loved it for a short visit but it's too small for a longer trip.