I’ve been debating with myself whether to split this day into two posts or do it all in one. I think I’d better do it in two, because otherwise it’s just gonna be too long.
On Saturday the 24th Jeanette and I left Bath early in the morning in a rental car together with our new good friend Isabel and drove for two hours to get to Chawton. The reason we were going down there was because we were going to the third of the three balls I have been talking about. The “Sense & Sensibility Ball” ar Chawton House!
I was pretty excited about going to this. Yet another wonderful venue to attend a ball in! And it was a house I had long wanted to visit
We left early so that we would arrive in time for a dance workshop held at the big house (Chawton House) in the morning. Due to it taking slightly longer to get there than we had anticipated they had already started the dancing when we arrived. So we had to jump straight in.
After that was over we went out into the garden, walking around there taking lots of pictures! It was a really beautiful place! Unfortunately you were not allowed to walk around inside the house, apart from a couple of the rooms (most of you will be familiar with Chawton House, but for those who are unsure of why this house is special, it used to belong to Jane Austen’s brother Edward. Nowadays it is a library; Chawton House Library – Home to Early English Women’s Writing) but we could walk around in the garden!
After having spent some time there we headed down to Chawton village to visit Chawton Cottage (aka Jane Austen House Museum), but that I will do a seperate post about!
After several hours spent down in the village and at the museum it was time to start getting ready for the ball. We had to go do some shopping first, at this ball everyone was supposed to bring their own “Regency style picnic hamper”. This is where we all failed slightly… I take in my defence that you can only bring so much with you when flying Ryanair, and a picnic hamper just didn’t fit in my bag! Jeanette and Isabel were in similar situations. So our plastic containers of food from Sainsbury’s might not have been the most period correct thing there that evening… But at least it tasted good. 😛
Then we all crammed into Isabel’s hotel room to get changed (she was staying on, Jeanette and I would be heading back to Bath the same evening), and off we were again to Chawton House!
As we arrived there were already lots of people there. It all looked sooo pretty, with torches lighting up the drive up to the house, and people everywhere in beautiful costume (I DO like that you know!)!
Before going into the house I insisted that we run down quickly to the church just beside the house, to visit the graves of Jane Austen’s mother and sister! It was quite dark, but we managed to find them!
And then, we were finally ready to go into the house and the ball soon started!
Right, so for insurance reasons you were not allowed to take ANY pictures inside. 🙁 Boring isn’t it?! I was disappointed to find that out! So consequently I have NO pictures to share with you of the actual ball. 🙁 But there are some lovely ones that can be seen HERE if anyone is interested!
As always it was a lovely ball! Great dancing, lovely people (I met many whom I had met before, either in Bath or in Florence, which was wonderful!) and just a simply fantastic evening! The only thing which was not quite as lovely as it perhaps could have been was the fact that the “ballroom” was in the courtyard of the house, in a marquee. So not quite Regency, and rather crowded! But it worked too, even though it wasn’t quite like the two previous ballrooms we had been to that week. But over all it was another amazing ball, and I am sooo glad I decided to go to this one too!!
When it was over we drove back to Bath, where we slept one more night before both starting our journeys back home the next day.
Like I said, ONE more post to go, then I shall stop boring you with all these updates (for now!). Just bear with me a tiny bit longer! 😛