See that cute, little hut above the garage in the picture? That is Rozel Apartment, our delightful home for the weekend. Only recently converted it was a modern, stylish place and a wonderful place to live for a few days.
Of course, we managed to give it a suitably ‘lived in’ look within five minutes of entering with the Little Man and all his paraphernalia. He did enjoy exploring his new surroundings, especially with the light streaming through the huge window.
Luckily, he has proved to be a relatively transportable baby, even if he does require a lot of stuff. He is an excellent eater so we can take him out and about and there’s always something that he can scoff but I did take the hand blender so I could make him some soup (his current food of choice) to balance the restaurant pickings that he devoured when given the opportunity.
The apartment was located in the charming little village of Galmpton near Brixham. This choice was not purely incidental. Firstly, it was near my lovely sister-in-law’s home in Chudleigh Knighton, secondly, it was near the coast (I was Desperate to visit the seaside) and, thirdly, Galmpton has an interesting literary connection.
Galmpton happens to be the location of Greenway Estate, the holiday home of the British crime writer Agatha Christie. As soon as I saw this I knew we Had to stay there and Had to visit her home.
As the National Trust has the annoying habit of closing its properties for the winter we were lucky that this Sunday was the final opening before the house was to be ‘put to bed’.
Originally Georgian (18 th century), the house is laid out as it would have been in the 1950s and is chock-a-block with items collected by the family since Christie bought it in the 1930s. Little Man was in the sling and slept through most of the visit indoors which meant that hubby and I could take our time really enjoy the artefacts. (Much as I love my Moby, I was glad to put him down after 90 minutes though – that boy is Heavy!).
Incidently, did you know that the Guinness Book of Records has Agatha Christie down as the best-selling novelist of all time, ranking her stories as the third most widely published books worldwide EVER! (Only the Bible and Shakespeare have been more widely distributed and they both have a few years on Christie).
The weather whilst we were away was somewhat ‘hit and miss’ but we certainly hit lucky here. As we explored the inside of Greenway, the rain beat down heavily on the glass panes and black clouds filled the sky. This was not the time to go walking, especially with a buggy. However, by the time we’d had a nosey around the gift shop the clouds had cleared and we were treated to dazzling sunshine as we navigated the winding paths through the gardens.
The estate is a mixture of cultivated gardens and woodland, full of trees gathered by the family over the years (these people were obsessive collectors!).
I adored these tiny archways. When I was younger I was always fascinated by the film ‘The Secret Garden’ and loved the idea of a garden hidden behind stone walls, shrouded with trailing plants. There is something so appealing about having a special area to hide in that is only yours.
Enclosed inside these walls were vegetable gardens with beautifully restored greenhouses.
The estate has grown figs and nectarines for many years and the tradition continues to this day. One of the things that hubby and I really enjoy about visiting National Trust properties is the carefully tended gardens, particularly the vegetable plots. I know he particularly dreams of owning an amazing garden overflowing with wild flowers and tasty produce. One day, maybe!
We continued walking along the path into the woods. I could not stop gazing up at the amazing canopy and the sapphire blue skies beyond. If there is one thing Greenway does properly it is trees.
Just look at the width of that trunk! Incredible.
I loved the lichen (?!) growing over this one. So delicate, I imagine that there are fairies dancing over the branches, springing over the soft, mossy covering.
The mystical atmosphere continued as we strolled through dappled shade encountering luscious, lily covered ponds…
…and enchanting hidey-holes with tinkling fountains and delicate ferns.
Eventually we reached the top of the path, turned a corner and this is what met our eyes:
Neither the camera I had nor my photography skills could do justice to this scene. The scale was breathtaking. The little white houses climbing up the hillside and the tall masts of the boats bobbing gracefully on the rippling water – I wanted to soak it up and fix it in my memory forever.
Such a wonderful visit.
Next time we shall have a change of scene and visit the seaside. xxxxx