Day Four: Chatsworth
Monday found all of us, despite the early start to the day, excited to be at Pemberley, no, wait, at Chatsworth.

Used as Pemberley in the 2005 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, Chatsworth is beyond amazing. Acres and acres of gorgeous rolling hills, roaming deer and sheep (aristocratic sheep, of course. Not the plain garden variety at our temporary home at Hothorpe Hall), and, of course, the house and gardens. We had tea and coffee in one of the restaurants before we separated into three groups for our guided tours of the House.

The main part of the house contains the most incredible formal state rooms. Embossed leather walls, gold leafing, intricate woodwork, an incredible trompe l'oiel violin, and room after room of glorious painted ceilings. The library is impressive, the dining room vast, the collections of art incredible. A P&P3 mystery was solved: the stone dining table upon which Keria and Matthew sat during the US ending of the film was not a prop, but was actually the Cavendish family's own summer dining table which sits on the terrace where Darcy runs after Lizzie.
Our tour of the house ended in the Statue Gallery, famous now for the scene in Pride and Prejudice: the most popular piece on show was the bust of Mr. Darcy, Matthew MacFadyen, which was used in the movie. Many ladies competed to have their picture taken with the latest Mr Darcy. The beautiful gown Lizzie wore on her tour of Pemberley was also on display, along with first editions of most of Jane Austen's works. It was a privilege to be so close to both film props and these fabulous books.
Lunch was served in a private dining room in the stables restaurant. The salmon was enjoyable, but the Chatsworth strawberries and cream stole the show. After lunch, some of the group chose to join the private garden tour, and enjoyed having access to parts of Chatsworth the ordinary visitors are denied, like the Grotto (where one of our number was nearly locked in) and the kitchen garden. Others wandered and explored the gardens independently, and most of us visited the fabulous Chatsworth gift shops. One of the most amazing things about Chatsworth is the welcome given to every visitor. Families obviously visit Chatsworth together to enjoy the grounds, and children and adults alike could be seen paddling in the water of the great Cascade. The maze was amusing, too, though some of us never made it to the middle.

The fact that we watched the 2005 Pride and Prejudice on the way to and from Chatsworth added a special dimension to the long coach trip, and dinner time found us back at Hothorpe Hall. Many of us found that the Internet connection in the hallway was a popular spot. It was so convenient to be able to let family and friends at home know how we were, and the company while we waited in 'line' was exceptional.


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