Visiting Chartwell - the home of Sir Winston Churchill
Keeping up our British spirit in the rain (and thunder)!
Without wanting to sound like a broken record, the summer weather was pretty rubbish this year, but with a bit of good ‘ol British determination we threw a steely glance at the grey storm clouds, packed a picnic (!) along with our raincoats, wellies and umbrellas and headed to Chartwell, once the home of Sir Winston Churchill and now in the care of the National Trust.
I've wanted to visit Chartwell for so long, having spent such a large portion of my years in education studying World War II and actually to visit during a thunder storm only made the place more atmospheric. Sadly you can't take photographs in the house, so I can only recommend you go and see the place for yourself! A couple of highlights were Churchill's Monet in the Drawing Room, his Study and desk featuring his glasses and of course a cigar, and the Dining Room (my favourite room in the house) built in the slightly newer extension, with floor length windows on three sides of the room and botanical print soft furnishings covering the chairs and windows. If it looked inviting on such a grey, rainy day I can only imagine how beautiful it is in the sunshine.
Churchill's studio, a separate building in the gardens was another highlight, I hadn't realised he was such a prolific painter and even had work accepted into the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. The double height studio walls are filled with his works, many featuring Chartwell and the gardens, all in his impressionistic style.
Gritting our teeth and gripping our umbrellas through the storm paid off and after lunch (which was a picnic in the car, thanks for that, summer) it stopped raining! Just in time for us to have a look around the gardens, which feature stone terraces with lavender lined steps, a rose garden, kitchen garden, cutting garden, lake and huge lawn, perfect for summer parties no doubt. All in all, including a visit to the shop and tea and huge chocolate brownie in the cafe, we were there for about five hours and the day completely disappeared.
“A day away from Chartwell is a day wasted” Sir Winston Churchill
I’d hugely recommend it. Have you been to Chartwell before?