Nicola Vincent-Abnett

Nicola Vincent-Abnett
"Savant" for Solaris, Wild's End, Further Associates of Sherlock Holms, more Wild's End

Monday 25 January 2016

Walking with Wolves… Or not

So, we had plans last weekend… And the best laid plans…

We were supposed to be walking with wolves. There’s a place that offers the opportunity to do that. We were excited, because that’s the sort of thing we get excited about. We booked a place to stay, made arrangements to do other stuff for the weekend, sorted out the house-sitter, and made our way… well… away.

Part of the sitting room and the sleeping alcove
Fox Hall
Fox Hall is a Landmark Trust property located just outside Chichester. We like the Landmark Turst; you might know this from reading previous posts about our sojourns at the historic houses that they rent to the public. Whenever we have to venture away from home for a few days, we try to book a Landmark, and last weekend was no exception.

Fox Hall was the closest Landmark to where we needed to be for the wolf walk. We don’t generally book the smaller buildings. We like a bit of room, and we sometimes have other people with us for some of the activities we embark upon. Fox Hall is one of the smaller Landmark buildings we’ve visited, and, honestly, I was a little trepidatious about booking it.

I needn’t have been.

Fox Hall
The Hall was built by the Duke of Richmond, so that he could be close to the Charlton Hunt. It’s a little Palladian building over two floors. Below is an entrance hall with a twin bedroom and bathroom, and above is a large sitting room with an alcove for a double bed, and a little kitchen. It has a grand fireplace where we built roaring fires, silk covered walls, an impressive chandelier, and any amount of coving and gilding. The large sash windows on two aspects look out over rolling countryside to one side and stables to the other, and have shutters to keep out the darkness and the drafts.

Fox Hall is cosy and intimate for two, while feeling elegant and palatial. We absolutely loved it, and won’t need much of an excuse to return at the very first opportunity. If I could turn back the clocks a decade or two (or even three) this would be the perfect place for a wonderful honeymoon.

The sitting room is easily big enough for four, and there’s also room for a dining table that comfortably accommodates four people. The floor plan is bigger than the average new-build, so, providing privacy is allowed to those sleeping in the alcove, I imagine that there are couples who’d be more than willing to share this house with whoever they chose to tuck up in the twin bedroom downstairs: kids, friends or even younger of older relatives. We rather liked having the place to ourselves.

Every Landmark Trust building is special in its own way, but this one had a particularly lovely atmosphere, and we felt very relaxed and happy in it.

As for the wolf walk, the husband hurt his foot on Saturday, so wasn’t able to trek across country for several miles on Sunday afternoon; we called it off. It was a great pity, but it’s impossible to regret staying at Fox Hall. We did spend an hour in Chichester instead. The husband limped manfully around the Pallant Gallery, looking for stimulus, while I researched some art for a project. Time is never wasted.

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