We just had a short break at Dartington Hall.
We had a great time, and not just because we went to see our good friends at Hill House Nursery (where amongst other good things, Charles had what he describes as the ‘best Victoria Sponge I have ever had‘).
Neither was it because of the breakfasts, which were a bit grim and a bit early for such an expensive hotel. But we happily forgave all that, and even them giving away the table we booked for supper – because it is such a wonderful place to be.
And the best bit, we agreed, was that we were able to just be there, quietly enjoying our surroundings. The garden cum estate is beautiful and we had good weather, and we were able to go and sit in the garden and read in the sunshine.
Now the point of all this is not to make anyone jealous, or to enlighten you as to why I happily holiday in the UK. It’s just to raise the question: do you ever just go and sit and read in an open garden? Forget the garden tour, the checking out of plants, even the Victoria Sponge – just sit, read, and occasionally look up and enjoy. What a joyous thing for a garden to offer. Especially if it’s silent (the yelling children vanished mercifully quickly).
So – here’s a thought. You must know someone with no interest in gardens or gardening. Suggest a quiet read in a garden to them as a restorative and delightful way to spend an afternoon. Let’s extend the best garden pleasures to the rest of the world.
O – and if you know of any other places with such good places to sit and read, indoors and out, we’d love to hear. Too many places still seem to expect visitors to vacate the premises during the day.