From the summer archives: a day out during apple season. Snowshill Manor and Gardens is a National Trust site in the Cotswolds. It’s worth a visit on its own, but during the yearly apple festival, there’s extra (tasty) reasons to enjoy a day out.
The National Trust visitor information text states: “Charles Paget Wade’s passion for craftsmanship, colour and design began when he was just 7 years old. His motto was ‘let nothing perish’, and his life was dedicated to finding, restoring and enjoying objects of beauty, both everyday and extraordinary.”
Translating this into real-world language: he was a pack rat. A crazy collector who would feature prominently on Hoarders were he alive today, and could very easily be imagined wandering his higgledy-piggledy house with tissue boxes for shoes and tin foil on his head. But he was well-off, so let’s call him a visionary lover of the extraordinary, instead. I enjoy living in a world where people with questionable holds on reality indulge their inner promptings and collect millions of spoons, and set them all out in a room, next to another room filled with creepy dolls, next to another room filled with wooden boats, next to another room filled with samurai armor, next to another room filled with miniature houses … but in the end my hands start to itch and I want to clean everything out and scrub the floors, so it’s not my favorite sort of day out, to visit a house like this. But apples … I do love apples … so following the suggestion of friends we rode out for Apple Weekend.
We were promised fall and apple themed food at the cafe, and were largely pleased. The pumpkin soup didn’t live up to my expectations (not enough pumpkin in there!) and we were sad not to see the sorts of apple treats we expected from apple festivals in the US. No pie. No apple fritters. No cider.
The huge variety of apples on display was genuinely impressive. Over 400 varieties were on display, and visitors could sample apples, core apples, peel apples, press fresh apples and sample the juice. Still no pie, though.
Inside the house, room after room of strangeness. Hidden among the rooms during the apple weekend are about a dozen apples. Find them all, and you can say you followed an apple trail as well as a poo trail!
The samurai room freaked out my youngest. All the rest of my photos are blurry as we run through the house, worried we’d find ourselves stuck in a room full of empty baby cradles or can openers and be lost in this fearfully bizarre collection of detritus.
This clock would look well in my backyard. Next to that Welsh dragon, I think.
Another view.I think it’s clear I have some doubts about the reality of this statement, yet it is clearly true that Charles Paget Wade had a unique sensibility and the luxury to indulge it. We enjoyed yet another view into the eccentric life of these beautiful Cotswold hills.