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England is full of giant houses, now mostly owned by the National Trust, from the days of the landed gentry (which sort of still exist, but whatever – cough Downton Abbey cough cough).  Every time I hear about/come upon a new one, I hope its the house they used as Pemberley in the original Pride & Prejudice.  No luck yet, but I’ll keep you posted. Anyway, Audley End is a National Trust property about 20 miles south of Cambridge, with its own train stop.  When Our Friend Liz was here, Ian and I took her to Audley End for a tour of the house, gardens and stables.

For me, the highlight was the garden – the things these houses did to be self-sufficient is so clever.  They had a mushroom cave, a pineapple pit, and a heated greenhouse so that they could have peaches and tomatoes year-round, and I bet they tasted better than the crap I bought at the grocery today.

The stables had two horses, which was exciting for the horse-enthusiast among us (hint: it wasn’t me) and the house was cool.  But actually the house wasn’t nearly as exciting as everything outside – a seven-acre kitchen garden, a formal garden, a set of walking trails, a giant expanse of lawn in front of the house…it was really lovely.

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