June 27, 2007

KCWC Heale House Garden

Heale House itself, located on the River Avon, is not open to the public. It looked like it was undergoing extensive renovation but this is only a roof repair.
The red bridge is a copy of the Nikko Bridge. It and the 8-tatami tea house were brought back by Louis Greville when he left the Embassy in Tokyo at the end of the 19th century.

We were free to wander the gardens. I especially enjoyed the "tunnel garden" made of apple trees. There were many other beautiful flowers, including pink Musk roses (left).

June 23, 2007

Hurlingham Club

Our friends Lucrecia and Kamal took us to the Hurlingham Club to see Vijay and Anand Amritraj play tennis. Unfortunately, they were rained out. Kris was happy to at least see them strolling through the dining room while we were eating lunch. We had a nice time walking around the grounds and along the river - it is difficult to fathom that we are within walking distance of the Putney Bridge tube stop!

June 22, 2007

Royal Ascot 2007

Royal Ascot is a big deal. First there is the trauma of finding the appropriate dress, HAT, jewelry plus the need to wear heels. This is not Houston where we drive somewhere and walk 10 feet. I had to walk to the bus, stand half-way to Ascot on the train, and walk one mile to Ascot Village. And, then reverse the process at the end. Kris conspired with the other men NOT to wear black-tie but to wear a nice suit instead. Here is the final result:

The next order of business is to make sure you see The Queen!

Then you place at least one bet. We bet on Indian Ink (we liked her name) to Win The Coronation Stakes and we parlayed our £5 bet into £65! We wisely stopped there.

Last but not least, you enjoy the music and the free-flowing champagne, lunch, and high tea in your tent.

June 14, 2007

KCWC Squerryes Court, Hever Castle, and How Green House

This was a very full (and enjoyable) day. We started with a private guided tour of Squerryes Court in Westerham. This home has been "in the family" for a long, long time which gives it a special character. The home interior was beautiful but no interior photos were allowed (for security reasons). We were told to pay special attention to the exterior brickwork. After lunch we proceeded to Hever Castle.

Hever Castle was the childhood home of Mary and Anne Boleyn but restored by William Waldorf Astor. The Head Gardener guided us through the spectacular gardens, and by a man-made lake, a copy of the Trevi fountain, numerous statues, and many other sights.

The highlight for me was tea at How Green House, the home of Maria (KCWC member). How Green House was featured in Country Life magazine in 1910. Her home and garden are beautiful today, although Maria has serious restoration plans in progress.

June 13, 2007

KR Hike - Cowden Circular

The Kingston Ramblers led this Cowden Circular hike. We saw the Cowden Church, Waystrode Manor, and a very old Tudor house.

June 09, 2007

KR Hike - Upper Warlingham to Belmont

This Kingston Ramblers hike was supposed to end in Banstead but we got lost. Lavender fields, multi-colored sheep, horses, and several commons were highlights of this hike.