/31/ Basildon Park

Today, I came back from Oxford by train and my Mum met me at Pangbourne train station. On the way home, we stopped by Basildon Park, which is a gorgeous country house near Reading. We had a tasty meal at the cafe, and then strolled to the gift shop to pick up some souvenirs for my hosts in Switzerland.
I dragged these pictures from the internet to show what it was like back in the day and what it is like now. It’s places like this that I will miss when I leave England one day:
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I love that we live so close to places like this: Highclere Castle (a la Downton Abbey) and Englefield House (a la Pride & Prejudice) are also relatively nearby, and we’ve already talked about Grey’s Court. These places are beautiful, cheap or even free to visit (I expect they recoup those costs by charging extortionate amounts for tea & cake), and usually not very pretentious. Obviously these houses are grand and bombastic, but the way they are run is very simple – there’s no gilding the lily, and you can enjoy the beautiful house and gardens without being made to feel like a tourist.

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Highclere Castle and Englefield House

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