Yesterday we made our way to Richmond for a lovely lunch on the riverside and to visit Ham House. The walk along the Thames Path is enchanting – swans glided along beside us and the setting sun cast a blushingly pink hue across the water. I’ve always been a summer loving creature but there was something so mesmerising about the bleak mid-winter setting. The frozen yet muddy earth, the swirls of mist hugging the stark naked trees and the crisp cold that permeated the air.
I felt like I’d fallen into a fairytale – a cross between The Snow Queen and Sleeping Beauty. The gnarled and knotted branches felt like the thorned forest that surrounded the castle where Princess Aurora slept.
My favourite room in the house was the little domed bathroom belonging to the Duchess. I loved the secret staircase that spiralled down from her room, the beautiful black and white floor tiles and the large fireplace. We were told she would sit in the hot bath with a muslin canopy draped above her in order to allow the steam to really build up. A very elegant steam room indeed!
Dried rose petals were just one of many ingredients in the still room – where plants and herbs were dried and distilled to concoct medicines and beauty products (anything from toothpaste to freckle water). The black and white marble floor and the large windows give the room a slightly Italian feel; despite being used by the servants, the Lady of the house would also stop by.
The walk back to Richmond coincided with the sunset. While we wandered around Ham house, the banks of the Thames had swelled, flooding our path back home! It added a splash of excitement to our walk as well as providing some incredibly beautiful views. I loved the reflections of the flooded trees in the water.