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cake and castles

December 10, 2012

castle-drogo

Rella, Arlo the beloved and I went to Castle Drogo at the weekend. It was a beautiful, sunny (and cold) day and the castle, which is a modern (it was started in 1910 and finished in 1930) and unlovely thing from the outside was looking quite nice in the sunshine. Inside, it’s a different thing entirely; designed by Edwin Lutyens and very beautiful in a castle like way. Clearly, Julius Drewe, the originator of the scheme to build a castle, was daft, but he had the foresight to employ a good architect.

We were shown round by a volunteer called Dave and I thoroughly recommend him. I suspect his tour takes longer than any of the the other volunteers’ tours, but it’s worth it to hear him talking lovingly about the mediaeval style architecture and his favourite stones (they were all hand carved out of lumps of local granite and some of them are very large and intricate. You can see the stonemasons’ hut in the grounds complete with tools). People giving guided tours don’t usually have favourite stones.

The views from some of the rooms are fantastic and in January, when they’ll be putting scaffolding up to enable repairs the roof (which has been leaking for years – Dave was very eloquent on this subject) you’ll be able to go up the scaffolding and see for even more miles.

Here’s a photo of Arlo with a strange looking backpack trying to push the castle over – it didn’t work, but that was before we had cake and hot chocolate. National Trust tea rooms with homemade cake are among the best the country has to offer I think. The cakes we had were lemon cake with lemon butter icing and slices of lemon to add a hit of tartness, and chocolate yule log with chocolate cream and redcurrants ( inspired – I’m going to try it myself) for a filling but this didn’t make it into the photograph. Very generous portions too. Arlo and I had hot chocolate with cream and mini marshmallows. Sometimes you just have to gild the lily.

cakes-and2

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