We had a fantastically fun trip 3 1/2 excursion to the Peak District with our friends Sadie Jones and Tim Boyd. The icing on the cake is Tim happens to be a brilliant, highly regarded architect. Not only is he clever, funny and handsome he knows EVERYTHING imaginable about architecture and the English history surrounding it. We got a dazzling, personal tour through three of the great houses of England, each of them mind bogglingly spectacular. There are no superlatives, at least none that I’m aware of, to convey their beauty. Hopefully the pictures will speak for themselves. If you want the history try Wikipedia. It’s why Al Gore invented the Internet.
FYI: The three dogs (our two and Sadie and Tim’s one) were not allowed in the houses, only on the grounds. We went in shifts so two of us could look after the dogs and the other two could look around the houses. In the case of Haddon House, the dogs weren’t even allowed on the grounds. But the surrounding countryside was so fabulous we happily walked the dogs while waiting our turn.
One funny dog story. Sadie booked a charming hotel, The Peacock House, an absolutely charming English country house in the Peak District, exactly the kind of place you want if you’re in the English countryside. Since we were bringing our dogs, she double-checked about their dog friendliness. Yes, they were dog friendly, she was assured. We discovered the “friendly” part had limits. We had to keep the dogs in the room or in the car at mealtime. The four of us knew it would NEVER work, so we proceeded to educate them as to what “dog friendly” means. (As we were checking out, another dog owner was complaining to the manager, upset about their contradictory policy).
We put our two dogs in our room and Sadie and Tim put Brioche (an adorable Bijon Frisee) in their room, at the other side of the small country house. We went back downstairs, exchanged and waited. We took our seats in the main dining room, which although beautiful, was the equivalent of eating in a morgue. Nobody spoke. The only sound was the silver against the china as people ate. Five minutes later, the manager arrived to say the dogs were disturbing guests. Jim and Tim went upstairs to retrieve the dogs. The three dogs were communicating from opposite sides of the hotel and different floors, exchanging wolf howls. Brioche howled from one end of the hotel while Kukla and Tootsie responded from the other.
From then on we sat in a lovely private dining room for breakfast and dinner, the dogs quiet and happy at our feet. The four of us, on the other hand, were so loud, talking and laughing non-stop, they probably came to regret their decision and, if they could do it over, would choose the howling dogs.
I have so many pictures. The first batch are exclusively of Haddon House and the environs around it and our hotel. Haddon Hall was used in films like “Elizabeth” and “Jane Eyre” to name a few. Parts of Haddon Hall date back to the 12th century! Look around your house. How long do you think it will last?!