14 August 2012

Greenway and Dartmouth

Everyone keeps asking if we're having a 'babymoon'... technically no because we are too poor and disorganised. We are going on a family holiday to the South of France in September which will be lovely and a babymoon of sorts but just not romantically just the two of us. I have however, just had the most lovely couple of days away with my mother in Dartmouth and now I really want to recommend to every pregnant lady TAKE SOME TIME OFF. Yes, yes there's lots to do before the baby comes etc but my god it was nice to ignore everything for a couple of days, hang out with my Mumma, eat nice food, gaze out at boats and see somewhere new.

Our reason for going to Dartmouth was that I am obsessed with Agatha Christie and have banged on about her, and her amazing house Greenway and my wish to see it, so much that my Mum organised to stay in a friends flat for a couple of nights and finally take me there. We often do 'culture days' together where we go and see some nice National Trust house or, one time we drove round Poole and Bournemouth just being nosey really (have you seen the houses!!). We haven't done one for ages and although I can imagine her offering to babysit while Joe and I go away for a long weekend I think next time we have a 'culture day' I'll have the little Grub strapped to my front so really me and my Mumma just had our very own babymoon.

First of all I was really surprised about how beautiful and picturesque Dartmouth is. This trip had been in the diary for ages but comes in the middle of a rather hectic time work wise so I hadn't even looked at any details of where we were staying or what we were going to do. It is just gorgeous. We arrived at lunchtime on Tuesday - sat outside our little flat in a disused pottery and had lunch and then walked round the corner to the castle (we didn't go in) which is right on the river mouth and has a beautiful church next to it that felt loved and used. There are boats everywhere from little dinghy's to full on gin palaces and yachts and amazing houses perched right on the sides of the hills either side of the river (another great place to visit if you like having a good nosey at other people's houses!).

On Wednesday, in pouring weather, we walked into Dartmouth and booked ourselves on the Christie Bell, the ferry up the river to Greenway. It started to pour whilst we were on the boat and my pac-a-mac I'd taken to fit over the bump turned out not to be waterproof so I looked rather sodden when we arrived. Nothing could damp the excitement of the first sight of the Greenway boat house which has been used in a couple of Agatha Christie's books and is iconic to any geeky fans. I was so overexcited I forgot to take any photos of it... rather annoyingly.

There's quite a steep walk up a hill to the house with incredible views down to the river and beautiful flowers and then all of a sudden you see the house itself.

The first view of the house when walking up from the ferry

 It must be the most heavenly place on a sunny day - it was gorgeous as it was (although my mum and I were desperate to do it up... with think the Chrisite's/Hicks' weren't big on interior decorating). It is the perfect house - the right sized rooms and beautiful views, pool and croquet lawn. The gardens too are famous for their beauty but I have to say we didn't venture that far in the rain. You can see why she found it so inspiring and you can pick out little links to her books throughout the house - her homeopathic phials are on the hall table as you walk in, neatly labelled showing the interests of a woman who knew more about poisons than most crime writers.

I'm desperate to go back in May to see the garden in it's full glory - I feel I could visit here again and again. An incredibly house in a beautiful setting.


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