One of the fun parts of our day was going to and fro to the different National Trust estates. Several times our first attempt to find the entrance of an estate would be missed. Most of the estates are situated in the country (logically), some off a main road and some off very, very, very, small country lanes. We got to see a great deal of the countryside that way, and many of the small villages we came upon weren’t the ones were had intended to see. The main thing is to keep your wits about you and realize you’ll get to the estate on your
second third time around. This is how we got to see the beautiful village of Westerham and the little cottages on the other side of the walls!
Now inside the gates of Chartwell!
The gardens at Chartwell, country home of Winston Churchill, were some of the best seen on “My English Garden Tour.” Each one is distinct and unique, adding their own personal touch. Like many other National Trust properties these gardens are well loved and well tended. There are garden tours with a volunteer gardener daily at 2pm. Just check at the visitor center. Now let’s go out and look at this garden!
A look from the terrace and on down the path!
A cluster of cottages is now used as art galleries and studios at Chartwell.
First a stroll through the flower gardens is in order!
What is the Marlborough Pavilion? Lady Churchill created the small outdoor entertaining area in 1927 and painted the walls pink with murals depicting the 1704 Battle of Blenheim in Germany. The battle was led by the Duke of Marlborough, Sir Winston’s ancestor. LOVE the PINK color!
And now a walk to the Rock Garden and Fish Pond!
One of the first gardens we entered was the rock garden and the fish ponds. The day we were visiting they were cleaning the pond. How about that job?
Now let’s take a look at Georgina Landemare’s kitchen garden! Mrs. Landemare started her career as an under-kitchen maid, eventually working up through the ranks under French Chef Paul Landemare, whom she married. Working for the Churchills since 1930, she first worked at Chartwell doing weekend parties. In 1939, she started full time as a private cook at No. 10 Downing Street and the War Rooms during the week, and then came to Chartwell on the weekends, until it became too dangerous for the family to be there. Just before a bomb fell on No. 11 Downing, she was called repeatedly to a bomb shelter. When she finally got there she told Churchill, “Sir, the soufflé is not quite done.” You have to admire a cook like this! On VE night Sir Winston Churchill told her he would not have made it through the war without her!
The playhouse, named MaryCot, was built for their youngest daughter, Mary. It is also in the kitchen garden. What a wonderful place to pretend and play! Of course, there was a miniature kitchen in there!
Wow, with all we’ve seen a rest is called for!
Last, but not least, on the way back to the restaurant, let’s look in the Butterfly House!
See you next time! If you are in the UK a stop to see Chartwell would be well worth the time! Next, we on our way to see Ann Boleyn at Hever Castle! See you there!