Thanks for the warm send off! I’m back from jolly old England, but my head’s still spinning and my heart is overflowing. Lovely trip! I’m sure everything I’ve learned will make its way into the next few months of posts, but here’s some of the things that amazed me most:
Bath Water Doesn’t Taste That Bad. I’ve read where the heroines stick up their noses and gag down the waters in the popular Georgian spa town of Bath. Since Roman times the spring waters in Bath have been held to have healing properties. I drank from the pump used in the nineteenth century, and I’m here to tell you it didn’t taste bad at all. My husband says that’s because our local water is mineral heavy too so I’m used to it. The one thing that did surprise me is that it’s warm!
Portraits Really Are Kind of Cool. My heroine in La Petite Four sneers at painting portraits as beneath her skills as an artist, but I was really impressed with the ones I saw. The painter went out of his or her way to make sure you know something of the sitter by including little snippets from the sitter’s life: a sheath of music for a composer, a paint brush for an artist. The portraits are like little stories done in pictures.
It’s Not Possible to Collect Too Much If You Have the Right Architect. Architect Sir John Soane was an avid collector, and he managed to use every single inch of his small townhouse to good advantage. Still, it is a bit overwhelming.
Beau Brummell Was Audacious. I always imagined that judge of fashion taste, Beau Brummell, sitting in the famous bow window of White’s gentlemen’s club and staring down at the ladies passing on the street below. White’s bow window is at street level, which means that Brummell would actually have been about eye to eye with the ladies. How risqué that must have been to find yourself the object of his study. Ooooo!
More next week when I stop fanning myself and get my pictures properly in order.