March 12, 2015 Jennie Chancey

Off to Nottingham!

Looking down from the station toward the hotel.

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.

The interior of the station, decked out for Christmas.

The interior of the station, decked out for Christmas.

Outside front of the station, looking up at the clock tower.

Outside front of the station, looking up at the clock tower.

Looking down from the station toward the hotel.

Looking down from the station toward the hotel.

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:

The Grand Staircase

The Grand Staircase

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:

The amazing floor tiles.

The amazing floor tiles.

Cathy's shot of the Grand Staircase

Cathy’s shot of the Grand Staircase

 

Looking up the Grand Staircase to the amazing ceiling at the top.

Looking up the Grand Staircase to the amazing ceiling at the top.

Beautiful details of a carved doorway.

Beautiful details of a carved doorway.

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:

What could be through the door in the garden wall?

What could be through the door in the garden wall?

'Tis Sherwood Forest! (Can't you just hear Errol Flynn saying, "Welcome to Sherwood, m'lady!" ??)

‘Tis Sherwood Forest! (Can’t you just hear Errol Flynn saying, “Welcome to Sherwood, m’lady!” ??)

Frosted leaves on the grass.

Frosted leaves on the grass.

The view from my room down into the courtyard through (sigh!) leaded glass.

The view from my room down into the courtyard through (sigh!) leaded glass.

And the view into the forest in the other direction. Wonderful!

And the view into the forest in the other direction. Wonderful!

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:

The theme for the 2014 Masquerade Ball was Alice in Wonderland, and I made myself a Tenniel-inspired Alice costume. Can you believe Cathy spotted this for me to carry? Wheee!

The theme for the 2014 Masquerade Ball was Alice in Wonderland, and I made myself a Tenniel-inspired Alice costume. Can you believe Cathy spotted this for me to carry? Wheee!

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!

Tagged: , , , , ,

About the Author

Jennie Chancey

I launched Sense & Sensibility Patterns in 1998 with my original Regency Gown pattern. I never dreamed I’d one day have over two dozen patterns on the market and would be leading tours yearly in the UK! Enjoy my blog, and let me know if you’d like to travel with us!