Last year Charlie and I went away for a weekend to the Cotswolds. It was Christmas time, frost was on the ground and we spent the whole three days either wandering the stunning scenery with Hebe and very cold noses, or curled up with Hebe by the fire and very toasty toes.
Last weekend we went back to celebrate Charlie finishing his first five weeks at Sandhurst. We strolled around the beautiful Hidcot Gardens, ate vast amounts of pub food fodder, watched the rugby and drank Champagne.
The gardens at Hidcot were some of the most divine I have ever seen.
Wild, whimsical and with colour combinations that would even make Sarah Raven jealous.
We meandered around, in and out of the intricate flower beds for the majority of the morning, played croquet on the lawn (not that we knew how…I’m pretty positive this position isn’t right! if anybody could enlighten us that would be great!), relaxed on benches while taking in the view, and finally, inevitably, wended our way down to the tea rooms for a little too much cake. An activity that never fails to remind me of many happy afternoons spent in National Trust properties with my mother over the years.
The gardens themselves are split into many different ‘rooms’ joined by charming twisting, turning bricked pathways.
Every time you turn a corner you feel as if you’ve discovered a new secret space, or stunning vista designed specifically for you. Each room is very different to the last, and I’ve never seen anything quite so dramatic, and yet completely understated, before.
This year has been so mild that the soft pinks and purples so indicative of the summer months are still adorning the beds, although the unmistakable signs of autumn are finally starting to make themselves known too. It truly was the most wonderful juxtaposition.
It was a genuine sadness to leave such an idyllic place and return to reality, but it is one of the very few gardens I am going to make a point of going back to.
I really am quite desperate to see it in full bloom!