I repacked my suitcases Friday night to squeeze in all the fabric I’d gotten on an outing with Suzi on Wednesday (I wish I’d taken photos — SUCH a fabulous shop!). The next morning, Keith drove Cathy, the baby, and me to St. Pancras Station, which I’d never seen before. Goodness! It is an absolutely jaw-dropping example of Victorian Gothic architecture. I took pictures inside the station, then (on Cathy’s urging) walked down to see the hotel, which has been gloriously restored to its original splendor.
I wanted to see the amazing interior of the hotel, but I managed to enter through the wrong door and wound up in the lounge of the apartments block. A sign pointed to an exit door (so I thought) labeled “Grand Staircase,” and I decided to see where it led. WOW! I managed to give myself a behind-the-scenes look at this beautiful place:
After wandering through a winding hallway, I came out in the front lobby/breakfast room of the hotel and back out onto the front sidewalk. Tickled pink at my “unauthorized” peep at this lovely place, I hurried back to swap places with Cathy, so she could also have a look. She took these detail shots on her turn behind the scenes:
Shortly after Cathy got back, grinning broadly at her own little “tour,” we headed upstairs to board our train, then settled in for a two-hour trip up to Nottingham. I’d never visited Nottingham before and enjoyed seeing the countryside and a wee bit of the town after we arrived and took a taxi out to Cathy’s place. One of these days, I’ll have to go back and explore the costume collection, the castle, and the art museum within the castle! Driving through Robin Hood country was delightful, and it was certainly a bit of childhood wish fulfillment to drive into Sherwood Forest (the little that is left of it, alas). Cathy’s utterly charming cottage looks out into the forest, which is wonderfully Romantic:
It was delightful to get into the warmth of Cathy’s kitchen and enjoy a cup of tea. We were really looking forward to the evening’s festivities at Chatsworth, and I was tickled pink about the amazing accessory Cathy had found when we were at the V&A Museum Shop:
Cathy drove out to fetch the very kind friend who had offered to stay with my little one during the evening, and I ironed my costume and tried on my wig. Before I knew it, we were both in costume and on our way to Chatsworth in Derbyshire! Next time I’ll share all the photos from that incredible evening–something I never would even have dreamed of putting on a bucket list!