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Ascott House

It is a very long journey from Worthing to Ascott near Leighton Buzzard in Buckinghamshire so it was unfortunate that the coach which had been allocated to us developed a fault and could not be repaired in time; poor Tony, our driver, had to take an older coach which did not have a toilet on board, the air conditioning was not adequate and one of the seats was damaged.

We stopped for coffee at Beaconsfield and then went on to have an excellent lunch at a farm shop and cafe about 30 minutes away from Ascott which opened at 1.00pm.

Text by Jean White          Photographs by Pauline Reynard, Janet Paterson and Linda Woowlway

Our timed tickets gave us plenty of time to have a tour of the house which is now the home of the Rothschild family. It is full of beautiful furniture, paintings and ceramics, many of them ancient Oriental figures and bowls, and the stewards in each room were very happy to talk about anything that took our eye. I could linger a long time in front of many of the cabinets.

The gardens are immaculately kept, the trees and hedges all pruned, the grass cut and edges trimmed and all the many features such as the topiary sundial tidy and easy to identify. The herbaceous borders were an amazing sight, who would think that purple and white foxgloves en masse could be so effective. The Venus fountain and the Eros fountain are works of art in themselves but in that setting they take on an extra dimension. There simply was not enough time to see everything.

Before leaving some of us had paid for a very disappointing tea in the cricket pavilion with bare tables and narrow benches to sit on which was a sad end to an interesting day.

Fortunately we had a smooth fast journey home.

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