London Calling: Meeting Mr. Cogsworth Edition
When you think of traveling to the continent you typically think of the Queen Mum, high tea, great estates, Harrods, Shakespeare, and art. This trip to England was no different. As you know I wined, I dined, I danced, I sang, I took in shows in the West End, and truly lived the London high life. What I didn’t tell you is that now I have a new obsession: clocks and great halls. This blog is simply a photo album of some of the ones that I loved on this recent trip.
I know, I know, you are used to me gushing about the most sensational meals that delight the senses. Of course I indulged in fish and chips and English trifle, but I also feasted my eyes on some of the most spectacular architecture and interiors I have ever seen.
Of course everyone notices a gorgeous table set with crystal, vases overflowing with flowers, and the perfect lighting, but what about the grand hallways leading to dinner?
On this trip it was impossible not to take notice of the ornate gilded hallways dripping with artwork. As I walked through the spectacular hallway at Syon House in west London,with floor to ceiling windows with the most incredible gilded ceilings.
I imagined what the home was like in its heyday. What was it like being a woman in those days and wearing corsets and gorgeous silk gowns? What was the intrigue going on in those great rooms?
At Cliveden House, there is an entire book written about all the all the intrigue: The Mistresses of Cliveden: Three Centuries of Scandal, Power and Intrigue in an English Stately Home
We were given this book as a gift, and it really has my imagination going.
If being inspired by interior opulence that we simply do not have in the States wasn’t enough, I found myself completely mesmerized by these spectacularly grand clocks that were at the top of many of the private estates and buildings that we visited. Of course there is Big Ben, which you can’t help but notice when you are in London. It is like a Beacon that keeps you oriented to where you are in the city, and on time! I was absolutely amazed by the clock towers that I saw from Hampton House, to Cliveden House, to the clock Collection in the Wallace. I became obsessed. The craftsmanship alone using gold, platinum, mother of pearl to make these gorgeous clocks that are centuries old that still work like they are new.
They are true works of art. Not only do they look beautiful; each one distinctive with sculptures and varied faces, but it is also amazing to see the intricacies of the cogs that were painstakingly and intricately handmade.
The appreciation for these timepieces is lost on Americans. Americans, on a whole, just don’t appreciate the ornate, and delicious history of the Europeans.
On Another Note …
I am dreaming of my shopping moratorium being over – I haven’t shopped in 64 days!!! Just wanted to catch you up with my progress. I am now getting incredibly irritable but have not backed down or bought one piece of clothing. We’ll see what March has to offer!