Friday, 9 August 2013

Ham House, Richmond

Last Saturday we went to Ham House in Richmond to make use of our National Trust passes for the first time in a while.

The train to Richmond took less time than I expected and we had a lovely (if hot) walk along the river to Ham House, stopping for a picnic along the way. The river bank was pretty busy with lots of other people out and about on a summers day.

When we arrived at the house we discovered there was a garden tour in forty five minutes time. We had a quick look round the shop and then headed into the house to see how much we could fit in before the garden tour.

After looking round the first floor we headed back out to the garden. Over the last thirty years they have tried to restore the gardens to how they looked in the early 1700's. We started in the cherry garden (above),  and then moved to the read of the house to the formally laid out 'plats' (grass squares) and the 'wilderness' sections behind. They were all beautifully maintained.

Our garden tour ended in the kitchen garden (below) which has been a relatively new addition. The vegetable garden looked productive and stunning.

After the garden tour we headed back into the house to see the ground floor and basement, which I thought were more interesting than the first floor. Down in the basement we got to taste some of the National Trust beer brewed to a 17th Century recipe similar to that which would have been made at Ham. As we walked into the beer cellar I caught the guide having a drink, "only tasting!" she proclaimed. She seemed perfectly sober, but I wondered how many tastes she'd had that day....

After the house we strolled back along the river into Richmond and had an ice cream from Gelateria Danieli and watched some cricket on Richmond Green before catching the train home.

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