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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…

Less than Two Weeks Left...

We've just returned from a jaunt around Provence and the Dordogne  and I can barely believe there are only a couple of weeks left in "our small adventure". I'll be blogging about the Luberon, the Dordogne and our trip to Burgundy when we get home. We returned to Paris to the same cool weather but it's a city transformed, green and lovely as if a park exploded while we were gone. Place Baudoyer at the end of our street (below)is now a leafy retreat and although the sun is still staying away everyone has taken out their spring scarfs and coats. I must confess I took the above picture of the Hotel du Ville a while ago, right now Paris is longing for that kind of sun! 
I keep thinking about everything I wanted to see and all the things I continue to add to my list. Yes, the list of the things I have seen is long but it seems the longer I'm here the more I want to explore, revisit and learn. If you're curious, Paris is a city with infinite interest and there always seems to be another suggestion for something to do. We've relaxed into our time here and I don't want to turn my last few weeks into a race across the city. 
I have walked and walked and I have a  better sense of the cultural geography of Paris. I've met wonderful welcoming people. I've gone beyond the  single digit neighborhoods  to visit all twenty arrondissements. I still haven't been up the Eiffel Tower but I suppose it's a point of pride at this stage. I understand much better what it means to say you're from the Sixteenth, the Twentieth or the Thirteenth. It's still a basic understanding, lacking true nuance, but it's a start. I've spent time in the markets (much as I wanted to) but there are still so many restaurants on an ever evolving list that I intended to try. Today I went to the market (below) where I know the fish and vegetable guys, I'm going to miss having an outdoor market and a boulangerie this close by.
So, I need to make a modest list for my final days here. I'd like to visit the tapestry museum at Les Gobelins, to finish up the lectures on French art and locate the paintings at the Louvre, to spend some time in the contemporary collections at the Pompidou, to take the Batobus at night, to visit the kitchen supply wholesalers near Les Halles and to make it to  at least a couple of the gardens on my list, particularly the Albert Kahn garden. As I write it down I can see my wish list slipping away from me, the small museums I'll have to leave for another time, the day trips, the parks. But that's just the incentive to come back!

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