Walking with Winston Churchill at Chartwell

I went walking with Winston Churchill on Sunday....in my dreams. 
We went along to visit Chartwell,
a National Trust Property and the Churchill family home for many years. 
The inside was as special as the outside. I will come back to the inside soon.

Clementine and Winston Churchill lived in Chartwell for 40 years.
They adored it and it shows in what they created. 
They toiled, planned, and fretted but in the end it is said to have 
brought them great joy, as a home should. 

Mary Soames, daughter of Winston and Clementine, writes of her mother....
" Over the years her pleasure in the place was seldom unalloyed by anxiety. Clementine, however, never stinted thought or effort in making Chartwell a delightful, comfortable home for her family, and the charming place so many friends through the years would recall. My mother imprinted the stamp of her lovely, and always unaffected, taste on both house and garden".

and of her father...

"As the years mounted, Winston still found infinite pleasure and contentment at Chartwell. Grandchildren as well as children came to be company for both my parents. My mother now played croquet instead of tennis; my father would watch the butterflies on the buddleias and count the red admirals with satisfaction, or sit for hours gazing over the dim blueness of the Weald - the view that 40 years before had so enraptured him."

A rainy Sunday at Chartwell and a walk along the property

An Artist at work...the studio.

A Gardener creates....

A great man alone in his thoughts....

creating a vision that would change the world.

Westerham, Kent

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  1. What a beautiful place. A true respite from the world... You always share the most wonderful places. I feel as though I have a ready made guidebook here for when I get to the UK.

  2. Dear Jeanne - this brings back fond memories of when we were living in Sydney and visited the UK over one summer..we went to Chartwell and loved the unstuffy feel of it...I am sad that we won't be around this weekend for your visit to Bath! It would have been lovely if you had time to drop in...we have the 2nd wedding celebration taking place so will be in Hampshire all weekend. I have lots of suggestions for you though - firstly, I don't know how you are travelling but if you are coming by car, be prepared for the craziness that is Bath on a summer weekend i.e. parking is difficult (to say the least)...if you are staying at one of the 'good' hotels they have parking and you won't have to worry! Of course, you must do the Baths - again, be prepared for a long queue...there is an exhibition at the Fashion Museum of Diana's dresses. The best way to see everything is to get onto one of the walking tours - you will be guided to every building of note and it's worth it. It's all very compact and everything is located very conveniently...if you're not staying there, you must go to the Royal Crescent Hotel for afternoon tea or a meal - it's lovely. If I can help with lunch/dinner recommendations, please let me know! x

  3. Hi Susie,

    This is great, thanks so much! I have been googling the Baths and so far all I can find is Therme...is that the place to go too? I want to get the 'lay of the land' with this trip and come back again. I just read about the Christmas markets. That sounds like another good excuse to visit Bath to me. Thanks for tip on Diana's dresses, that is a must see. We will also book an afternoon tea at the Royal Crescent. We will be there two nights...any dinner/lunch suggestions would be great. We might get lucky if I can book ahead.
    Should we stop and see anything on the drive from London to Bath?
    Sorry to miss you. You must be so excited for the wedding celebrations.
    Best wishes for a fab weekend!!!

  4. So lovely Jeanne...... what I wouldn't give to walk amoung that garden! I will, for now, have to settle with your lovely photos! Thanks!

  5. Thanks for the memories, Chartwell is wonderful and interesting place to visit :-)

    Some are nearer to Bath than others, but here are some suggestions -

    The Roman Baths, Lacock Abbey, The Courts Garden, Stonehenge, Avebury and Stourhead.

  6. Jeanne - Try 'The Circus' restaurant - they are usually full but may have a cancellation or could squeeze you in if you go early; also Jamie's Italian is good - the problem is they don't take bookings so go early and be prepared to wait at the weekend! Casani's is also worth a visit - it's French & in the Good Food Guide - small bistro & quite good. Royal Crescent - lovely restaurant, expensive but very good if you feel like splashing out! There's also a little tapas bar above the Firehouse Rotisserie (can't remember the name!) - (just looked it up it's called Minibar Madrid) also worth a stop. For a quick lunch & very good cakes we always go to Chandos deli on George St. The coffee is good there also...If you like dim sum, there's a really good place on Widcombe Hill (about 5 mins walk from the shopping centre) which serves them freshly made from 12 - 4 (Hon Fusion). Opposite Hon Fusion is a pub called the Ring of Bells - also good and off the tourist trail. For a good pub meal (and an un-kitschy interior!) the King's Arms at Monkton Farleigh is our favourite. C.P mentioned some other places (all National Trust?)- Stourhead is lovely if the sun is shining and you feel like a good walk - it's on the 'other' side of Bath. Stonehenge & Avebury if you are into 'the stones' - again, on the tourist trail and as such, busy. Between London & Bath it's all fairly provincial - I always just get onto the M4 and go between them as fast as possible so I've probably missed anything of note en route! As you approach Bath, there is a little place called Castle Combe just off the motorway which is very pretty and there are the little Cotswold villages on the other side of the M4 - Tetbury (where Charles lives) etc. Maybe the Cotswolds is on your next agenda?! There are lots of lovely country hotels/spas around Bath where you can also incorporate a lunch/dinner with a walk in the grounds - we sometimes go to Lucknam Park (check out the spa if you go!). The Manor House hotel at Castle Combe has a production of a Midsummer Nights Dream on Monday evening if you're into Shakespeare and still in the area? Haven't tried Thermae (again because of the tourist crowds) but hear it's good...When you arrive, get hold of a copy of 'Bath Life' - they are usually hanging around in the cafes and shops - it has everything happening in bath listed and also lots of info and places to go/things to do. The availability of copies depends on how many days ago it was published - if you can't see one, ask in the shops/cafes & they might have one behind the bar! Don't leave without trying Marshfield ice cream - they have a stand in the centre of the shopping area (there are two - make sure you visit the Marshfield one!!!!) The blackcurrant & clotted cream is absolutely heavenly! Have fun - look forward to hearing all about it & send me an e-mail if you need any futher info! x

  7. Dear Jeanne, such a coincidence: I just started to read a bit deeper into Churchill (my son, 26, has a lot of books for that) I came upon your recent post - with so lovely pictues, thank you! (And beside my bed just for the fun of it: Alexander McCall Smith)

  8. I love the way you fully enjoy the place where you live.


  9. Susie has covered all the important stuff, so I'll only add that I never leave Bath without popping in to the San Francisco Fudge Factory... http://www.sanfranciscofudge.co.uk/

  10. Bonjour Jeanne. Thank you so much for your lovely comment on my blog. Isn't Chartwell just the most wonderful place? I've been a few times before, but it was the first time that I've taken my son to see it and he loved it too.

    Your photos are lovely and it's great to see the same place from somebody else's perspective.

    Have to check out the rest of your blog now :-) Have a great week, Love from London x

  11. How lucky you are to live in the same country as all of those lovely, lovely National Trust properties. What I wouldn't give to be able to stroll some of those estates on a regular basis!