Friday, 7 March 2008

Magnificent Port Eliot

Last Sunday was a rare day as the whole of my immediate family were together for the day (this only usually happens at Christmas time), and we decided to go and visit Port Eliot.

Port Eliot is a big estate down in South East Cornwall with a beautiful big old house and vast gardens. The grounds to the house are open to the public every year for the Port Eliot Lit Fest
but the house itself was only opened to the public for the first time last weekend.

What I loved about it was that it is still lived in and used as a proper home. Amongst all of the priceless antiques and paintings were modern day trinkets and things from a life lived in the here and now: a Mac computer on an ancient desk, plastic martian heads amongst centuries old books, modern cards and ornaments on a mantle piece below a portrait by Van Dyke...there was also a very old, valuable and rare cabinet of museum quality stuffed full of the families vinyl record collection! I just loved the clash of very old and very new.

Unfortunately I was unable to take any images of the inside of the house, but there is a round room with a 360ยบ mural by the artist Robert Lenkiewicz. A crazy and colourful symbolic masterpiece with amazing detail which was painted by the artist over the period of 30 years and spans 40 feet in diameter. One half depicts death, destruction, insanity, unrequited love, and the apocalyptic end of the world, whilst the other reflects love and affection, friendships, harmony and proportion.

We had a walk around the gardens on what was possibly the stillest day of the year so far, again a real treat with all the flowers coming out and we even saw a bumble bee buzzing along which is rare at this time of year!!

The house is open from 2pm until 6pm daily until the 10th of June (except 12th and 13th April) and really is well worth a visit...Go to HERE! for more info and directions etc

On the way home we stopped for lunch at a carvery near Looe, and there was a big ole Peacock in the garden and we were lucky enough to see him in all his glory when he attempted to scare other tiny birds away from his dinner of crushed up Nacho chips!!

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