Having arrived at the hotel in the dark, and following a hearty English breakfast next morning, we set off on foot to explore the surroundings. It looked as if it would be a beautiful late November day once the mist had lifted her veil
For H's birthday we stayed in the grounds of a large Gothic mansion designed by Sir Charles Barry in the early 1820s. Barry eventually went on to design the Palace of Westminster 20 years later.
The house was built for William Currie, a distiller and banker to replace an earlier building. Currie wanted the house loosely designed in the style of a Bavarian castle complete with turrets and towers. After Currie's death in 1829 the property was then acquired by the lst Earl of Lovelace who was married to Ada, the daughter of Lord Byron, the romantic poet.
Ada was a distinguished mathematician who worked with Charles Babbage on an early mechanical general purpose computer, the Analytical Engine. Her notes on the engine include what is recognised as the first algorithm intended to be carried out by a machine. Due to this, she is often described as the world's first computer programmer.
Is this a Folly, a Dovecote or an Ice House?
After having had several distinguished owners the house became a girls' school in the 1920s owned and run by a Miss Isaacson and Miss Maule (a rather forbidding name for a teacher). It stood empty for three years and was then turned into a conference and management centre. The rooms and restaurant are now in what was the conference centre within the walled gardens. The Gothic mansion is used for weddings and special receptions
Amazon local deals are one of the best things that I have discovered during 2014. They have taken us to many different and interesting locations. Here we enjoyed a delicious three course evening meal, a bottle of wine included, and a great breakfast in the morning. Through the 'deal' we enjoyed a 60% reduction off the normal price. I don't know whether other countries do these deals but they are well worth investigating. This is a personal opinion, I am not endorsing any products.
Travelling on over the 'Hog's Back' to our next port of call we caught glimpses of the Surrey landscape - H's land of his forefathers