On Friday, July 28, I entered the fourth and final phase of my trip. I moved from Winchester to Chawton. If you are keeping track, you will remember that I started in London for a few days, moved to Alton for two weeks, and then stayed in Winchester for two weeks. Now I am in the midst of my 1.5-week stay in Chawton at the Chawton House Stables.
I do not recall posting pictures from my Winchester flat, so allow me to do that now:
Above you see views of the bedroom, living/kitchen space, and bathroom. I also posted a picture of the flat from the outside (all five windows on the top floor belong to the flat–apartment 8).
I felt sad to leave Winchester. I arrived the evening before such a momentous occasion: the bicentenary day. I visited wonderful exhibits and an archive in Winchester. I walked the town and ate good food. “What could compare?” I thought as I closed the door and left town.
The answer: Chawton House Stables, of course! Yes, it’s not city living, but it’s peaceful and bucolic. It’s the perfect place to end my stay in Austen’s England. It’s so wonderful here that some days we decide not to leave the grounds at all! A walk outside the door leads us to beautiful gardens and pastures, as well as a church. Staycation!
The house itself is also quite amazing. The house was originally converted from horse stables to living quarters for researchers visiting Chawton House Library. However, this August is the last time such accommodations will be available to scholars, for the house will be let to renters. Come September, the scholars move out, and a family moves in. I wonder who could afford it at £4000/month+fees! I feel very lucky to be staying here, given that I will be among the last scholars to be offered the chance to live so close to CHL and on property that once belonged to an Austen (well, one that became a Knight).
Take a look at some of the rooms in the house.
Besides the gorgeous design of the house, I also appreciate how the decorator added some not-at-all-subtle touches, namely of a feline persuasion! Indeed, I am a cat person!
Other rooms (and even the patio):
Cats everywhere! No real ones, though.
There are other animals, too, and some heraldic and bookish designs:
Then, there’s the view from the house and the grounds:
We sure are lucky to be staying here!