May 12th, 2009

Wanaka tree

Montacute for the umpteenth time

I took a day off on Wednesday of last week to spend it with Gerrit and Jos. In a roundabout way, via a reclamation yard in Martock and antique shops in Crewkerne where I bought, ever so slightly bizarrely, a book about Maori placenames, we ended up at Montacute House, comfortably close to home yet still a trip out! I have enjoyed Montacute at most times of the year and I was last there in the autumn with drifts of dried up brown leaves in the corners and sparcely clothed trees. Now, with spring turning to early summer, it was in all its colourful glory, beautifully planted borders and lush meadows full of buttercups.

Long drops of wisteria decorated the walls and framed the doorway entrance.

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On the way home I treated my guests to a great vegetarian lunch at one of the most unusual eating places I know. Here, at the Railway Carriage cafe. It's such a neat idea and the food, because it's part of an organic market garden, is wonderfully fresh and tasty.

Incidentally, on the map on that webpage you will notice some of the wonderfully colourful and extremely odd Somerset placenames I've come to know and love. If you can take a moment to look at the map, please tell me your favourite. So take your pick  from Whitelackington, Puckington, Compton Durville, Yeabridge, Parrett Works, Higher or Lower Chillington, Cudworth, Haselbury Plucknett, Middle Chinnock or Eggwood, or you may have your own favourites - I'd love to know.