Day Nine: The Vyne and The History Wardrobe
We spent our last full day together at The Vyne, a National Trust property. Jane Austen is known to have visited there for balls. Her brother James was friends with the Chute family who owned the House, and he also hunted with the Vyne hunt. It was a very relaxed day: we could do whatever we chose, whether it was wandering in the gardens , the wooded paths or touring the house, provided we did not run mad or faint. The house has beautiful interiors, rich in history, but it was the entrance hall that we found most amazing. It is filled with fabulous, detailed white plasterwork on a pale blue background: standing in it is rather like being surrounded by a very large Wedgwood vase.
In the shop some of our group ambushed a certain Mr Willoughby, the author of a book about the Chutes and the Vyne, and much saucy badinage took place regarding the appropriateness of his name.

Luncheon was served in the Brew House Restaurant, and it was there that we had to say our first goodbyes. Candace and PF Barbara were leaving early in order to meet up with other friends in Bath. Though the rest of us had almost a whole day left together, it was a sad reminder that our temporary idyll form everyday life was swiftly coming to an end.

Evening brought us our last dinner together, and afterward another presentation by The History Wardrobe. This time, we watched transfixed, as Mr. Darcy Undressed. Gillian's sewing skills were again on display as she and Mr. Darcy (played by her husband Ian) showed us all the details of a fashionable gentleman's attire. The clothes were so interesting, and the handsome Mr. Darcy removing the articles of clothing wasn't tough to watch, either. Many ladies were puce: whether from the general hilarity or other reason one would not like to speculate… Once again, after the performance, Gillian and Ian were very generous with their time and knowledge, allowing us to pour over the clothes and examine them in exquisite detail.
No one really wanted to go to bed later. It was obvious from the echoing sound of yawns around the drawing room, and how slowly everyone eventually dragged themselves off to bed. It was hard to knowing it was our last evening together.


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