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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…

Spring has Sprung, Finally!

We've all been waiting for it, and I had to come to Provence to believe it was really here, but now there's no denying spring has sprung! After one of the strangest winters and coldest springs on record in Paris, (snow in March, I wish I was joking!) we- along with everyone else in France- are very happy to finally see spring. So happy printemps to all. Here are images and evidence of this spring in France, I particularly loved the irises (above) in Bonnieux this morning.
The magnolias at the Musee Quai Branly (which are protected  behind Jean Novel's glass wall and pictured above) were among the first trees to bloom in Paris this spring and they gave me hope! Right now we're in Provence ( much more about the trip later) but I couldn't resist sharing these images of the lilacs in the Luberon, aren't they fabulous, so abundant, fragrant and wild?
I also loved these grape hyacinth which I photographed at the Chateau d'Ige in Burgundy a few weeks ago - as you can tell there are lots more things coming up on the blog!
 
Finally, Paris in the springtime! A lovely image (below) of the sculpture park on the left bank over by the Institute du Monde Arabe. It's a fabulous place and the minute it warms up it's packed with people in the early evening.
Enjoy your spring wherever you are, I hope you didn't have to wait for it as long as we did here in France!

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