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Monday, February 29, 2016

The Sixteen at Saffron Hall

Saturday night I went to the Saffron Hall to see The Sixteen.

For those who don't know The Sixteen are a UK based choir conducted by Harry Christophers. They specialise in early English polyphony, works of the Renaissance, Baroque and early Classical music, and a diversity of 20th-century music.

For this performance they were joined by their orchestra for a programme of works by George Frederic Handel. The programme was:

  • Arrival of the Queen of Sheba from Solomon
  • Chandos Anthem No 11 'Let God arise'
  • Coronation Anhtem 'Let thy Hand be Strengthend'
  • Overture to Jeptha
  • Dixit Dominus


It was as ever from The Sixteen a very enjoyable evening.

One of the things I like about Saffron Hall is the variety of music they present during a season.  I'm back in a couple of weeks to see the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra perform works by Grieg, Mahler and Rachmaninov !

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Rainham Hall

Rainham Hall is a relatively small National Trust property in East London. It was built in 1729 for Captain John Harle and at the time it's location must have been quite rural. It is an example of the domestic Queen Anne style and is an attractive property.  Harle's son died young and since then it has had approximately 50 owners!

The trust acquired the property in 1949 and until October 2015 it was let to a succession of tenants. In October 2015 it was opened to the public. There is no original contents so it is presented as exhibition to the times of the first owner John Harle. The idea is that the exhibition will change in the future to reflect the life and times of other owner/occupants.

In 1729 the hall would have had a lovely rural location alas modern Rainham is heavily built up and the area is no longer a rural haven......... still the house is attractive.

Oh and this was my first visit!


A hall and a church how rural :)


Really good model. It shows that the rooms are surprisingly small!






The will of John Harle



The type of wedding dress his wife would have worn. At the time white wasn't common for weddings.





Indoor duck pond





These are things found in the house.




This map shows the Thames in Harle's time.


And this the British Empire



This was the Georgian Kitchen I believe. Today kitted out as a Georgian coffee house.



The garden.








The scone was rather nice!



It will be interesting how the house and garden evolves over the years.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Osterley Park

This was only my second visit to Osterley Park. My first was the year the National Trust went stark raving mad and allowed photography indoors. I can still recollect my shock!

The core of the house is 16th century but was extensively remodelled in 1761 by Robert Adam. Whereas 300 years ago it would have been a country estate today it is in the London Borough of Hounslow and it is a lovely escape from modern London.





I counted 5 Drake Mandarin Ducks and 3 females.








It was bitterly cold so we nipped into the cafe for a cuppa and a nice scone.




We went for a wander around the garden.




























And so into the house. Much of the furniture and pictures were not part of the transfer to the National Trust. The interiors though are very impressive.




























Lunch time.... I had the Vennison stew, I didn't have the bread but a cheese scone ;)




As we're at a concert tonight and it was bitingly cold we headed off.