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Monday, March 02, 2009

Whining at Sissinghurst Castle

I've been watching BBC4's series about the National Trust property Sissinghurst Castle.

The castle is now predominantly a ruin with only the central tower in existence, around this the writer Vita Sackville-West and her husband Harold Nicolson created a garden which was handed to the National Trust in 1967. One condition is that members of the "donor family" could continue to live there. The current donors are Adam Nicholson and his wife Sarah Raven (a TV gardener and food writer) and their two daughters.

Nicholson wants to get away from National Trust manicured perfection to something he remembers as a child as well as diversify the agriculture of the farm. Raven seems to want to turn the restaurant in to some rustic Italian bistro (stocked by the farm). The programme is ok with one exception. Is it me or does anyone else want to tell Sarah Raven that she a right royal pain in the arse? "There are no flowers on the table" "we should have tablecloths" she whines as she flounces off. As a patron of National Trust restaurants over the years I know that tablecloths will get dirty quickly and I want good wholesome food. Wholesome does not mean some waffily little salad in the middle of winter thank you Sarah.

Nicholson complains about Trust bureaucracy whilst Raven moans to whoever will listen that the meal could be hotter and that it doesn't meet the "Mission Statement".

Nicholson also is a bit of a wimp. "They've removed my favourite statue its been replaced by a copy, why can't it be left to decay the new thing looks like it was plonked there from a garden centre" he laments as he jumps up and down and complains because everything isn't exactly as it was when he was a little boy. The problem is of course that the original statue once looked like it was plonked there from a garden centre.

I assume that any changes that Raven and Nicholson want to make are well underway, Raven looks the sort who'll make life miserable until she gets her way.

Oh and curiously I've never been, well I reached the car park but have no memory of going in. Very odd.


Tricia said...

A propos the presenters and in particular Ms. Raven - couldn't agree with you more. I find her very snobbish and various other things which I won't mention here. Not one of the best presenters IMHO!

Eagleseagles said...

Sissinghurst is a brilliant garden...and there is actually more than just the central tower of the original left.

I have been many times and there was a time we went 4 times a year just for the gardens.

Perhaps you should visit Pete and not be put off by the son and his wife!

The garden is amazing...changes with the seasons...

Spring/summer and autumn...and as I said I did all 4 season 2x!

not seen the TV..

Pete said...

hey C

I will get down this year. I've read the gardens are superb

Attila The Mom said...

If you get down there, take lots of pictures!

I wish we got this program on the TV. Sounds a heckuva a lot more interesting than some of the crap we've got on nowadays.

Pete said...

attila, I'll try and get down one weekend after easter.

lots of photos? moi :D